Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Duck & Waffle, London

Oh here we go, a restaurant on the 40th floor with a 360 degree view of London. 
Readers of my blog will know this place is right up my street. 
Duck & Waffle is the restaurant inside Heron Tower, Bishopsgate.

After taking the fastest lift I think I've ever been in to the dizzying heights of the 40th floor you first arrive in a very cool looking bar even from here your looking down on the Gherkin. 

Inside is very spacious, bright and airy with breath taking views of London. I'm already a happy bunny.

After our waiter described the menu to us and how the dishes would be served, basically not in the order we ordered but as each dish was ready, confusing at first but as the menu is small plate (tapas) style we didn't mind too much. There are plenty of small dishes to choose from or larger dishes for the table.  

We ordered a mixture of dishes to share, BBQ spiced crispy pigs ears,
Roasted octopus / chorizo / lemon / caper.
Pollock meatballs / lobster cream / parmesan.
Harissa spiced Herdwick mutton sliders / lime creme fraiche / charred tomato jam.
Spicy ox cheek doughnut / apricot jam. 
And a couple of cocktails to wash it all down with, a whiskey sour for me and a Spring Negroni for my partner.

The BBQ spiced crispy pigs ears arrived in a brown paper bag complete with red wax seal. A fun way to start the meal. 

These were lovely the BBQ flavour was good and they were very crunchy, but half way through I noticed the thin white strip of ear through the coating and it became off putting and I became a bit squeamish. My partner however loved them. 

The octopus was a dish my partner chose, beautifully presented. I'm not a fan of seafood in general but I did try some of this and was surprised, very tender but the octopus didn't taste of much. The flavour of this dish came from the chorizo and capers. 

The mutton sliders where very good but very small they were gone in three bites . I know, I know ! sliders are small but at £8 a pop they were not good value, £16 for these two little burgers ! 
Pollock / lobster cream / parmesan 

This was one of the tastiest dishes for me after the sliders, the pollock meatball itself was very subtle but the lobster cream and parmesan gave lots of flavour, I could have easily ate both of these but I was sharing. 

Spicy Ox cheek doughnut / apricot jam was a huge Disappointment.

Added this second picture just so you can see how big they were and with not enough filling inside they were too doughy and heavy, the sweet and spicy coating just didn't do it for me. Dipping it in the apricot jam made it more palatable but this was a dish neither of us could finish, we just didn't  like it enough. 

Our experience was souring as we still hadn't received our cocktails we had ordered at the beginning of the meal. We had to remind our waiter, It seems they had forgotten. The restaurant was not that busy ? When the drinks eventually arrived our waiter kindly said they were on the house.

After the long wait the drinks were not great and we had to send them back which made us a bit uncomfortable as I hardly ever send drinks or food back. But at a cost of £24 for two drinks that were unpalatable (for us ) it was the right thing to do. 
My partners spring negron left a really awful bitter taste in the back of your throat, very unpleasant and the whiskey sour tasted way to artificial, I 'm not a hundred percent on this but I felt the foamy top was the culprit, I think an artificial chemical emulsifier had been used to give the frothy white head. I understand lots of bars will now use this and not raw egg whites in their drinks for fear of salmonella.

It did look rather pretty like a lemon meringue but to me it was no Whiskey sour. 

The waiter replaced our drinks for two others but I'm afraid these were not great either. 

What we felt was although Duck & Waffle is a lovely environment to have a meal, the service was hit and miss the food although OK for most parts, is very over hyped and over priced. As you can see from the bill and this was without the drinks added.
We've eaten far better (set lunches ) at Michelin starred restaurants for the same price. 

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