"Try something new with the Late Night menu..."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Since opening in 2012, Duck & Waffle has been a mainstay of the late night food scene. Even in the small hours it can still be found buzzing with a clientele fresh from the city’s bars and wanting to sate their hunger with something more than the Liverpool Street branch of McDonald’s (which, incidentally, is also open 24 hours…)
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.
Laurel reviewed Duck & Waffle on Mon 07 Oct 2019