Duck and Waffle, 40th Floor, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate. Soaring 574ft in 24 seconds above the dramatic landscape of The city of London, my ears popped from the altitude. Have I suddenly been blessed with extraordinary superpowers of flight? Unfortunately not. For I’m travelling up in the express lift to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, which happens to be the UK’s highest 24/7 restaurant, Duck and Waffle.
As soon as you enter the bar you are overloaded with the quality and London chic filling the air. I was already slightly late for my table but I couldn’t help myself and indulged in an apéritif when I glanced upon their extensive cocktail list. (http://duckandwaffle.com/menus/cocktails/).
After being ushered through to the restaurant by the attentive staff, you are once again aware of the height as your eyes cannot help be drawn toward the view from the panoramic windows on 3 sides of the room, extending from Wembley Stadium in the west to the Olympic Park in the east. The fourth side is the bustling open kitchen with its own sights and smells fighting for your attention.
The space of course is opulent with modern and old touches created by award-winning architects CetraRuddy. The room is cleverly laid out with the tables well spaced so you never get that feeling of other diners invading your experience. With a range of seating from tables for two up to booths for 6, there is not one that doesn’t allow you to gaze across this beautiful city as the sun sets.
Thankfully, you have all the table space you need as the ethos of D&W is to share dishes with your friends, tapas style. I asked a waiter for an idea of how many “small or large plates” to order, to which he replied ‘Order what you fancy and if you’re not full, then order some more’ I glanced at the ecletic menu and there is an array of wham bam in your face flavours mixed with peoples favourites. The choice is extensive – and international (http://duckandwaffle.com/menus/)
I started off easy with six Carlingford rock oysters (£17) and rosemary & garlic bread (£6) all washed down with a beautiful white 2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (£33). This menu just pulls you in, so within minutes of starting to eat I was already peering at the menu ordering more. BBQ-Spiced Crispy Pig Ears (£5 for 4), Foie gras crème brûlée with toasted brioche (£16), Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut with apricot jam (£10) my personal favourite, 500g longhorn rib eye with Marmite hollandaise (for 2-3) (£40) and of course D&W’s signature dish duck and waffle (£17, two classic waffles stacked with a big old confit duck leg and a fried duck egg with a jug of mustard maple syrup). Then to finish, ‘Tea and Biscuits’ – Earl Grey tea and bergamot custard with gingerbread crumble and white chocolate (£9). Of which I only managed 2 spoonfuls before slumping in my chair and rubbing my belly.
The chef Daniel Doherty has created a beautiful and varied menu which explodes with flavour in every mouthful. I just wish I’d had more room to sample more of his creations. Looks like I may have to come back at 6am when I’m wanting breakfast.