Address: 110 Bishopsgate, 40th floor Heron tower, London.
Duck and Waffle boasts great reviews and is situated at the top of Heron tower with a 360 view of London. I initially had high expectations and was quite eager to try it out; at least until I actually tried it. Feeling very accomplish by booking ahead for a catch-up with friends, I had to eventually call and extend my booking due to schedule changes. This was just the beginning of a nightmare dining experience. I rang the restaurant asking to have my booking changed to a later time (8 – 8:30 pm) and was shocked to get ‘Oh, well I can see that you aren’t here yet, ok I will have the booking changed but do remember we are very full, and would like the table back within 2 hours.’ Rude much!? ‘Maybe the server was just having a bad day’, I thought to myself. Duck and Waffle is rated one of the top restaurants in London, surely service should be better than this?
On arrival, you could feel an air of poshness, with well-dressed Londoners and tourists sipping cocktails at the bar. The dining room had simple decoration, using the 360 view of London as the main attraction. The waiter was pleasant and briefly explained the menu, pointing out their signature dish the ‘duck & waffle’. Having named the restaurant around this dish, we simply had to give it a try. Other dishes we picked were the the BBQ-spiced pig ears and spicy ox-cheek donut.
The BBQ-spiced pig ears had good crunch and some spicy seasoning that tasted like paprika, but was dripping with grease. It was placed in a paper bag that was drenched in oil. The seasoning was nothing special either and was very very salty. The donut looked great on the outside, but the inside was the complete opposite. The donut was basically a piece of bread, with only a quarter of it filled with the ox-cheek ragù. Donuts, to me should be light and fluffy; what you call a guilty pleasure. This donut though, was very gummy and thick, and tasted like old bread.
The infamous duck & waffle topped the chart for bad dishes tried that evening. It came as a piece of Confit duck leg (no sauce) laid on an american style waffle, something you expect to find at a regular diner. ‘Maybe this was the point’, I thought. Cutting into the waffle, it was soggy, no different to big-box brands you find at your local supermarket like Tesco’s but for £17 instead of £2. The Confit was a bit dry and on the salty side. After pouring the maple syrup on top, it just made the dish overly sweet and overwhelmed the dish.
Feeling deflated, we tried to get the waiter to bring the bill. No one cared; I had to wave around furiously for 5 minutes and asked 2 different waiters before they finally came with the bill and a card machine. We were then insulted again by the waiter dishing out racist comments, implying that we were ‘tourists’ and did not fit in here.
Overall, food was nothing special and not worth the hype, although pricing seemed fair. Duck and Waffle is over-rated and pretentious, with obnoxious staff and even poorer service. Certainly would not recommend to anyone, even if it were just for the view.