Duck & Waffle 5.8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 6/10
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 7.5/10
NOTE: None of the meat is halal, pork and meat is served onsite, vegetarian options are available but please check which dishes contain alcohol.
If there’s one thing you appreciate more after marriage as a woman, it’s family. Even if you’re happy after marriage, spending time with your own mother and siblings will always provide you with a sense of comfort and belonging. I think this is something all my family members would admit (bar The Adopted One who is very open in expressing her joy at having my mama to herself since I’ve been married). Anywho, as the festive season fast approached, we all decided to have a girly brunch with a view at Duck & Waffle. I knew that they didn’t serve halal meat but after a quick glance over the brunch menu I realised that they had a huge variety of vegetarian options, which would suit me and my vegetarian mother alike.
Even after calling to make a reservation in October, the only available date for brunch on a weekend was three months away, at 2.45pm on December 23rd. This is definitely not somewhere where you can spontaneously visit! Situated just a couple of minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station, the entrance to Duck and Waffle is tucked away right next to Sushi Samba, which shares the same building (Heron Tower). We were greeted warmly before being directed to the transparent lift, which allowed us to take in the breathtaking views across London as we travelled up to the 38th floor.
We were greeted warmly at the reception area and our coats were taken before we were shown to our table near the centre of the restaurant. The tables were full, despite it being 2.45pm, an odd time for anyone to dine! After taking in some of the views and getting a couple of snaps, we placed our orders. I got a raspberry mojito cooler to drink, which tasted similar to a pink lemonade, a little on the sour side but overall refreshing.
Food was a little bit more difficult than I had originally anticipated. I initially wanted the ‘duck egg en cocotte’ or the ‘smoked salmon royale’, however just before placing my order I happened to ask if either of these contained alcohol. Surprisingly, they did! As mama and The Adopted One had both ordered the Indian spiced chickpeas dish (with poached hens eggs, coriander and cumin bread), the only halal/vegetarian option left for me savory-wise was the columbian eggs, which consisted of scrambled eggs, tomato & spring onions, sourdough toast, avocado, and smoked salmon.
Our food arrived after a 10 or so minute wait. All the dishes were presented beautifully. I’m not usually a fan of scrambled eggs, although the combination of eggs (dotted with spring onion and tomato), avocado and salmon on the sourdough toast was quite good, so I soon forgot my distaste for eggs of the scrambled variety. I did feel that my portion size in particular was a little on the small side given the price, however, that being said, I was full after. Mama and The Adopted One loved their Indian spiced chickpea dish, which I thought was a good concept. I had a little taste and enjoyed the fusion of the Indian flavours in the chickpeas alongside the running yolk of the poached egg.
Although I was satisfied after my brunch, I couldn’t leave duck & WAFFLE without trying a WAFFLE, (I was already distraught after seeing almost everyone tucking into their duck, waffles, and maple syrup without being able to have any).
I ordered the ‘ELVIS DOES CHRISTMAS’ waffles to share between us, consisting of buttermilk waffle, peanut butter, candied chestnuts, caramelised clementine & pumpkin ice cream. This to me, was one of the most novel looking dishes on the menu, and so I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this. The waffles took some time to arrive, although I would say that they are worth the wait. The combination was mind blowing, and wasn’t sickly sweet as I had initially expected. The candied chestnuts and clementine gave the waffles a festive flavour, and the waffle itself was warm, soft, and fluffy. The pumpkin ice cream was the ‘icing on the cake’ for me, injecting a burst of flavour and complimenting the warmness of the waffle perfectly. My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough of the toppings, and even the ice cream resembled half a scoop rather than a whole one!
The bill came to around £56 for the three of us, which is pretty much what I expected given the excellent service and spectacular scenic views of London. That being said, that was mainly what you were paying for: the views and the service. Bar the novel taste of the waffles, the main brunch dishes could not really be described as exceptional, and as a Muslim you are limited to what you can eat even from the vegetarian options, as most of them contain alcohol. Overall, I would say that this place is worth visiting for a special occasion, so long as you understand that you are paying for the atmosphere and experience rather than the food itself! I enjoyed the company and acting bougie for all of 5 minutes but in reality, on a normal day, I couldn’t justify spending £11 on scrambled eggs, avocado and toast, especially given the portion size of some of the dishes.