London came with a few priorities. One to eat. Two to see best bestie Tasty Photography. So when good friend plus eating mosied on down to the decision table, a “no can do,” was a no can do.
The Duck and Waffle is an escapade to the top of the Heron Tower for rustic dishes inspired by sustainability and seasonal ingredients. This is the home of authentic creations like the spicy ox cheek doughnut, house made breads, and bbq crispy pig ears; a gallery of original treats scattered throughout an anytime of day menu.
Daniel Doherty is the executive chef, but he stands right behind the counter, close enough to ask questions without knowing who he is until you either stalk them on the net or ask him for his card.
He’s a pretty cool guy who is tattooed, laid back, and shares his fresh ingredients with inquisitive eaters by displaying them around the open kitchen counters. He’s part of the movement in England to bring food back to its roots and serve not so simple dishes in simple ways. The menu has complicated techniques but Doherty is passionate about clean traditional flavours.
The proof is in the signature dish – a duck and waffle. A crispy duck leg cut and a fluffy, starchy, waffle with a yolky runny duck egg resting on top waiting to be poked by the prongs of a fork. And to compliment the savoury scents of fatty duck; the aroma of sweet maple syrup.
The terrace outside is a scenic place for after work drinks. Duck and Waffle is in The City so lots of well dressed professionals occupy most of their tables and that means this place isn’t on the cheaper side, but isn’t pretentious at all. It isn’t outrageous either (don’t convert to Rand or Dollars) and the portions are sharable and filling, but if you get the duck and waffle, don’t share, you will regret it.
The Duck and Waffle is brunch-tastic, good for a business lunch, or a hot Saturday night date with someone who digs good food, and if they don’t you shouldn’t be dating them.
A view of London from Heron Tower.
A team meeting led by Doherty. Restaurants that are run hands on by key staff members are tops.
Before I wobbled out of the Duck and Waffle, Daniel Doherty, exec chef turns quiz master and asks me if I know what this pink rock is. And, to my complete and ultimate satisfaction realising the endless hours of watching Iron Chef had paid off, said, “Himalayan rock salt.”
Master meets student meets master.