As Chef Director of Duck and Waffle since 2012, Dan Doherty has received many accolades including acceptance into The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, as the youngest member to date, in 2014. This is a prestigious statement of respect from his gastronomic peers.
Sadly, I suspect that very few of the guests at Duck and Waffle will ever have heard of Chef Doherty. They will likely be here, firstly for the view, and secondly for the food. It’s a shame, as both the chef and the dishes on offer should be the prime motivators for time spent at this restaurant.
Duck and Waffle is found on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate in London. Completed in March 2011 and rising 230m over Liverpool Street Station, this is one of London’s tallest buildings. One needs to negotiate a path around the rather intrusive security. These guys would blend in seamlessly in a bouncer’s away-day, but for people booked for an 8am breakfast they were a little intimidating.
One is whisked by glass elevator to the restaurant. That whisking is a little too swift as one will want to enjoy the increasingly spectacular views over London. The Duck and Waffle offers its own vistas, though, and they are even more spectacular than those from the lift. The diners, or in our case, the breakfasters, discover they are perched next to the Gherkin with the Thames in the background.
But the food is what will certainly ensure a return visit. The breakfast menu includes all the expected classics such as toast and jam, the Full English, and porridge, but we wanted to try some dishes that were a little more interesting, a touch more thoughtful, and a lot more exciting.
A light start was in order. Yoghurt might not sound too thrilling but my guest’s berry compote with Greek yoghurt was vivid and fresh. But I guess he might have secretly felt a little short-changed with the arrival of my dish of honeycomb and bee pollen-garnished Greek yoghurt. This is a stunner and it’s not often that one would hear that word in association with any milk product. As pretty as a Springtime picture, the yoghurt was a pale canvas for thick honey with rugged peaks of honeycomb, crumbles of cinder toffee (which was ‘crunchy’ – a hint at the style of this sweet confection), and flowers!
Indian Spiced Chickpeas with a brace of poached hen’s eggs, served with coriander and cumin bread, was my main breakfast item. It’s seldom one sees Indian foods on morning menus, so this was an opportunity to get an early belt of spice. I was impressed as this dish tasted authentic, with great flavour from the rich sauce. Excellent value for money too! This is a substantial and sustaining dish and a must-try for vegetarians.
Duck and Waffle was bound to put in an appearance on our table. The eponymous dish of crispy duck leg confit, fried duck egg with a mustard and maple syrup drizzle remains, understandably, a signature dish here. It’s a blessing that it’s an outstanding plate, as they are rather stuck with the name and thus the constituent ingredients!
We need more ducks and waffles
Duck and Waffle, the dish, doesn’t disappoint. It’s a delicious combination at any time of day, so perfect for a 24/7 venue. It is both decadent and deliciously rustic. Duck and Waffle, the restaurant, is a smart casual joy. Those views are noteworthy, and I would expect that they are just as spectacular at night. The service is friendly and attentive, but I feel that the food should be given a bit more appreciation. I have only visited for breakfast, but the menu displays a confidence in British food in all its facets. We need more ducks and waffles. There is another one at street level in St. James’s Market in Haymarket.
Duck and Waffle is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Monday to Friday:
Breakfast 6am till 11am
Lunch 11:30am till 4pm
Dinner 5pm till11pm
Late night 11:30pm till 5am
Breakfast 6am till 9am
Brunch 9am till 4pm
Dinner 5pm till 11pm
Late night 11:30pm till 5am
General Enquiries and Guest Relations email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +44 (0)203 640 7310
Duck and Waffle
London EC2N 4AY
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018