24 hour restaurant on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. Small plates, cocktails and an all-day dining menu. From the people behind Sushisamba.
Duck & Waffle
Duck & Waffle Picture Gallery
All In London Review
Try something new with the Late Night menu...
It’s certainly had its ups and downs; after opening to so much fanfare it’s news itself that it’s stuck around for seven years already when so many London restaurants don’t last half as long. Earlier this year the 40th floor restaurant - the highest in the UK - launched a new late-night menu with a smorgasbord of savoury treats to lure tastebuds skywards between the hours of 11.30pm and 5am. I’ve always been tempted to head down to watch the dawn rise across the city, though having never managed to stay out that late (or drag myself out of bed that early…) I plumped for the earlier sitting to sample the menu for myself.
Start with a cocktail - you won’t be disappointed. The cocktail list is extensive and they really know their stuff, the Oxley Cocktail easily topping the list of my favourites with its sweet and sharp blend of Oxley gin, green apple, maple and prosecco.
The late night food menu encapsulates all the beloved classics alongside the new additions. Vegetarians might want to steer clear of the sweet and smoky barbecue spiced crispy pigs ears, a definite must-have, and the foie gras crême brulée served with marmalade brioche… yes, it is as indulgent as it sounds. Whipped up until its lighter than air, if a litre bowl of it was on the menu it wouldn’t be too much (I mean, it would, given it would probably give you a heart attack, but still). It is supremely delicious and worth a visit for that alone.
But I digress, there are new dishes to indulge in. Try the fried bocconcini mozzarella balls with sage mayonnaise and the sticky chicken wings with celery relish. When it comes to the mains, while you can’t beat the signature Duck & Waffle (if you haven’t tried the confit duck leg with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup yet, where have you been for the last seven years?) But the new Duck ’n’ Cheese is a deeply indulgent pairings of the aforementioned confit duck leg with macaroni, American cheese and a drizzle of Mornay sauce. Surely this has to be the ultimate in comfort food? The Pulled Lamb, with its charred aubergine and whipped feta cheese smothered in tomato sauce, delivers a good kick of north African style spice, mopped up by a toasted pita; a great option for soaking up an evening’s worth of booze.
Desserts have been upgraded to include two waffle options; the Toffee Apple Waffle with maple sauce, Granny Smith apple, hazelnuts and cinnamon ice cream and the Caramelised Banana Waffle of housemade hazelnut chocolate spread, vanilla ice cream, and peanut crunch, in addition to others sweet treats. In all honesty, after the preceding feast we were too stuffed to either consider either, but I’ll be back to get on that dessert wagon soon enough - they both looked sublime. Could they also be construed as a breakfast dish perhaps? Maybe it’s time they were.
The mainstays of Duck & Waffle will always remain; the signature dishes, the unrivalled views across the city, the dazzling sunrises and sunsets and the clientele (a steady mix of city folk, tourists and Essex couples on date nights…), but if you’ve not yet made it to London’s late night haunt, now’s a good time to try something new.
Reviewed by Laurel
Published on Oct 7, 2019
..once one of London’s most exciting restaurants now a gleaming façade with little to recommend it.
The first few days of January are challenging for restaurants, as anyone who’s tried to eat out that week knows: the kitchen has run out of bread, the kitchen has run out of wine glasses, the kitchen has run out of staff, etc etc. There’s a simple solution to this: don’t open if you can’t provide service as usual.
But this doesn’t seem to be the issue at Duck & Waffle. No, instead the problem here seems comparable to London’s gentrification, where important landmarks are being bulldozed to make way for over-priced glass buildings. And so the cheapest wine, a very average, slightly acidic Sangiovese (the Poderi dal Nespoli Fico Grande Sangiovese to be precise), is £30, yet a quick internet search reveals it has an average price of £6. A 500% mark-up is like customer cleansing, or in other words, pricing out those who can’t afford it.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the service or the food justified the cost, but Duck & Waffle falls short on both these counts too. The ingenious dishes we tried on our first visit two years ago (fatty sliced pig’s head aka mortadella seasoned with Amalfi lemon and salt, an all-day breakfast of bacon crisps with pan-fried foie gras and little balls of black pudding on toasted brioche with Nutella) are gone, to be replaced by food that puts style over substance.
Case in point: the tartiflette, a dish of potato, smoky lardons and most importantly Reblochon cheese, given that the recipe was created to boost its sales. This is just a bland heap of potato smothered in cream. Foie gras brûlée with lobster sounds exciting, but it’s a mismatch of overly eggy, sweet crème brûlée with a few pieces of lobster on top, while the foie gras is lost among it all – the only thing that could make this dish more preposterous was if it was decorated with gold leaf. Smoked mozzarella with orange salad has very going for it, and only the eponymous signature dish is good: crispy confit duck on a waffle with a jug of mustardy maple syrup is a surprisingly tasty pairing.
Once we’re past front of house the service is terrible too; staff look straight through us when we call for attention, take away dishes even if we say we haven’t finished, and generally keep us waiting too long for everything. What once had the promise of being one of London’s most exciting restaurants has sadly become another gleaming façade with little to recommend it.
Reviewed by Leila
Published on Jan 28, 2015
Duck & Waffle is great fun
It’s hard not to love the place from the moment we’re speedily ascending 40 floors in a glass lift, entranced by the twinkly lights of London viewed from a height of over 200 metres.
Unsurprisingly they’re doing a roaring trade, as they’re fully booked on two consecutive dates and when we finally get an available slot it’s not till 10 pm. A smart crowd fills the room, which has obligatory floor-to-ceiling windows, a mixture of sofa-booths and tables, and a partially exposed kitchen.
The menu is entirely composed of small plates (mostly priced between £5 and £12), with exciting, even unusual ingredients. We’re unsure what form the thinly sliced pig’s head is going to take, but it’s like the best, fattiest kind of mortadella, seasoned with salt and Amalfi lemon. Pig’s ears are cut finely, coated in a spicy rub and served in a paper bag, to be eaten like crisps. The foie gras all day breakfast, another ambitious dish, plonks salty bacon crisps, pan-fried foie gras and little balls of black pudding on a toasted brioche smeared with Nutella. And guess what? It works.
The most conventional dish we try is the duck egg en cocotte, a rich combo of baked egg, fleshy mushrooms, cream and truffle oil, served with doughy, piping hot house bread.
There are a couple of nags: the “duck & waffle” (crispy leg confit with duck egg and maple syrup) never arrives, and we wait over half an hour for the bill, but we’ve had too much fun to care. And if it’s this enjoyable before midnight, at 3 am it must be even more of a hoot.
Reviewed by Leila
Published on Oct 16, 2012
In The News
23rd March - 29th March 2020
Check out our delicious recipe!
It doesn't have to be a greasy doner or whatever's left in the cabinet at Sam's Chick'n 'n' Ribz.
London’s most outstanding 24 hour restaurant, with clever reversions of comfort food, a fun atmosphere, and some of the best views the capital has to offer. Having opened in 2012, their signature “duck & waffle”, a dish composed of duck leg and duck egg on a waffle, doused in maple syrup, was the most talked about dish that year.
These really are the best backdrops to any meal.
Stunning views over London from the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, round-the-clock opening hours and a smart take on comfort food made this one of the most talked about eateries of 2012.
Let the good times roll.
Heron Tower’s top floor is home to this delectable 24 hour restaurant where you can feast on oysters and bubbly at any time of the night. Being on the 40th level means there is some pretty decent scenery from the windows too.
A little goes a long way
At Duck & Waffle there’s exquisite dining in a very fun restaurant: it’s open 24 hours, boasts amazing views from the 40th floor of a City tower and has a menu of smart, innovative food like foie gras crème brulee and the signature dish of duck leg confit, egg, waffle and maple syrup.
Feb 23, 2014
Service is very good. Efficient but unobtrusive.
Couldn't see any beer on the menu, which is a shame. Some of the food cries out for a good Belgian dubbel - Duvel?
Entrance is curiously anonymous - 70's glazed beige tiles line the pasage on the way in - but perhaps that's deliberate to heighten the contrast when you burst out into to almost 360 view
Dec 18, 2012