It has been a while since I’ve done an Eating in London post but I think the wait was worth it, because this edition brings one of London’s top restaurants at the moment: Duck and Waffle – a surprise date night arranged by the boyfriend.
A top restaurant because it is the highest restaurant in the UK located on top floor of skyscraper 110 Bishopsgate (aka the cheese grater one). Duck and Waffle also featured in my wishlist of restaurants to dine in for my birthday but was already booked when I got around to organising myself. Saying that Duck and Waffle appears to be very hard to book for a dinner reservation, however, they are open 24/7 and availability is easier during the early hours of the morning. Reservations open two months prior to the day and you will need to be super quick to nab a table between 7 and 11pm, especially at the weekend. Our reservation was from 5-7pm.
Now I’m going to admit that although I’ve wanted to visit Duck and Waffle for months, I actually hadn’t done my research properly and thought it was located in the Shard building. I’m not sure how I came to convince myself this but just to clear things up it is absolutely not located in the Shard.
We walked through the doors downstairs and were instructed we needed floor 40 in the lift. As we began shooting upwards I realised my camera was buried in the bottom of my bag and I was totally unprepared for the glass lift of views. Instead of taking photos I enjoyed the view until I suddenly became afraid of heights and glass lifts and found myself gripping tight to the railings, needing to get out. Luckily the lift is fast and we were soon on the top floor where my heart could return to normal and our evening begin. We had arrived exactly on time at 5pm and were firstly seated at the bar while we waited for them to be ready for us. We glanced over the extravagant cocktail menu which put flavours together I wouldn’t never have thought of. However, I opted out of trying one, knowing how fussy I am with alcohol I was afraid of hating these exquisite tastes. Instead we spent time admiring the views and trying to get our bearings of London.
It wasn’t long and we were shown in to the rather empty restaurant and right over to a window table with the perfect view. I couldn’t believe our luck when the waiter pulled out the chairs. The next five minutes were lost staring, mouths open out of the window. Still trying to get my bearings and pretend to listen to the helpful waiters who wanted to tell us the special and menu suggestions. I paid just enough attention to hear we should order 4-5 dishes from the menu – which was the all day menu at 5pm.
Having been scared by the exquisite cocktail menu I began searching the wine menu for a drink, they had a good range in price as well as country origin. After much debating and teasing to JP that I wanted the £150 bottle of wine we opted for a fruity Spanish wine (Cuatro Rayas, Verdejo, Rueda) at £37 for the bottle. Then became the difficult task of deciding what food to order… I found this a very hard decision as I liked more dished than not. Typically you should order the duck and waffle plate, however, me being me I don’t like duck – needless to say we didn’t order this.
We did order the following:
roasted octopus with chorizo / baby potato / pickled cucumber
wild cornish pollock meatballs with lobster cream / Parmesan
whole roast sea bass ‘forestier’ with ratte potatoes, baby radicchio & samphire, rock oyster dressing (this was a dish to share between two)
a side of corn on the cob in toasted coconut with spiced mayonnaise
And for dessert
baked alaska with English strawberries & elderflower
The food was delicious. Each mouthful was rich in flavour and mixed tastes you otherwise wouldn’t think to mix, the side of corn was possibly the best blend of flavours we experienced. I liked how the food was a kind of tapas style with sharing dishes which came out one at a time and were prefect size for the two of us. I think it would be hard to fill up off the starter dishes and I was very glad we went for the fish between two. The amount above was perfect sharing with two, although I probably didn’t need dessert, I just couldn’t say no after I’d seen the menu.
The staff were some of the friendliest I have experienced and their service was top quality with drinks being constantly refilled and help with the menus was always offered. The kitchen was open plan and allowed the guests to see into where the food was being prepared which I liked. The restaurant is of an average-small size and despite its popularity the experience felt personal and intimate because of the size and space between each table.
As we sat eating and staring out the window the restaurant began to fill up and by the time we left at 7pm most tables were now full. If you arrive on time for your booking I would suggest you have the best chance of getting a window seat as they save the middle seats until last.
Price wise Duck and Waffle is certainly somewhere you go for a bit of a treat, however, it was not as expensive as the meal we enjoyed at Sketch a few months back.
You can find all of the relevant information on booking a table and the menus on the Duck and Waffle website. You can find the building a short walk away from Liverpool Street but not far from Bank/Monument either.
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