Restaurant & Wine Review: Duck & Waffle in London

by Ian D’Agata

Duck & Waffle

110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Tel. +44 20 3640 7310

The dishes

Porridge, Morello cherries, pistachios and honey

Duck Egg En Cocotte, wild mushrooms, Gruyère, truffle, soldiers

Duck & Waffle, crispy leg confit, fried duck egg, mustard maple syrup

The wines

Philipponnat NV Champagne Brut Royal Reserve             92

Blessed with one of the best 360 degrees views of London from its perch atop the 40th floor of its building Duck&Waffle is one of London’s best loved dining spots (you get to the restaurant by entering from a smaller door at the side of the building’s main entrance where a hostess awaits to greet you). Whether it’s for an early morning breakfast (and it can be real early, say at 06.00 so as to catch the sunrise, given that the place is open 24 hours straight) or a romantic late night dinner, surrounded by the starlit sky, the Duck&Waffle has won over generations of different hearts.

Actually, it’s safe to say it has probably won over generations of taste buds too, because the food, though relatively straightforward and simple, is very well cooked and prepared, not to mention delicious. The restaurant also holds special events, such as celebrating Sunday Roast with a good deal on a three-course lunch, and “Waffle Week” in honour of International Waffle Day by specially creating both sweet and savoury waffle dishes. Examples of the former include the Eton Mess waffle (with mixed berry compote, crunchy meringue and blackberry ice cream), while the latter might include the mascarpone and wild garlic waffle. It also offers Champagne by the glass with breakfast, a very nice touch and one I didn’t hesitate to take advantage of, given that Philipponnat’s NV Royal Reserve Brut is always a winner. Fresh and lemony, but with a mellow roundness lying just beneath the initial zingy bite, this is always a sure-bet, crowd-pleasing Champagne that makes for an excellent aperitif but is big enough to stand up to the duck meat that is featured throughout the menu. And while the atmosphere and breathtaking views have rightly made the Duck&Waffle famous, here there can be no complaints about the food or service too. All the dishes are spot-on, and the service is not just fast and efficient, but also kind. In this light, I want to point out that should you not wish to take the usual way up to the restaurant (in a glass-walled elevator that if on the one hand allows you to see London as you glide up to the fortieth floor, on the other is not ideal for those who are scared of heights) the staff kindly accompanies you to another elevator in the back. This service elevator may not be as glamorous as the transparent-walled one, and it only takes you up to the 38th floor such that you then have to walk up two (short) flights more and corridors where there are offices, rooms and various other staff members milling about, but it does have the advantage of not leaving you with palpitations and dizziness prior to starting your meal.

The porridge was about as good as I have ever had, and the Morello cherries a real nice touch. The eggs in cocotte were simply splendid and the best dish of the day, with a rich, luscious, textured mouthfeel and oozing plenty of mushroomy and cheesy flavour. And as for the locale’s signature dish, the duck and waffle, all I can say is it totally delivered: a glistening sunnyside up egg sits atop a well cooked, juicy piece of crisp skinned duck thigh nestled on a delicious waffle which which to finish things off with.

Duck&Waffle doesn’t provide culinary fireworks, but then again, it doesn’t have to. Everything about the place works well, making for a fun, enjoyable and even relaxing dining experience, which is saying quite something, given how packed the super-popular restaurant always is.  In short, be you an early bird or a night owl or any another kind of bird, Duck&Waffle will be welcoming and satisfying at all hours of the day, breakfast, dinner and anything in between. Well done.



Ian D'Agata

Editor-in-Chief of Terroir Sense Wine Review
President of Terroir Sense Academy
Vice President of Association Internationale des Terroirs
Chief Scientific Officer of TasteSpirit

Ian D’Agata has been writing and educating about wines for over thirty years. Internationally recognized as an distinguished expert, critic and writer on many wine regions, his two most recent, award winning books Native Wine Grapes of Italy and Italy's Native Wine Grape Terroirs (both published by University of California Press) are widely viewed as the "state of the art" textbooks on the subject. The former book won the Louis Roederer International Wine Awards Book of the Year in 2015 and was ranked as the top wine books of the year for the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times and the New York Times, while the latter was named among the best wine books of the year by Food & Wine Magazine and the NY Times.

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Ian D'Agata