How late am I to this party?
And not even fashionably late, I’m embarrassingly late. All the hip, happening blogs, bloggers and critics visited the Duck & Waffle way back in 2012 when the 40th floor, foodie Mecca for the slick and stylish, opened it’s doors.
I, however, only managed to make it up there last Sunday.
And to think my friends come to me to find out what’s hots, what’s in, what’s ‘fetch’. Well friends, I’m a fraud. I’m a lowly, late to the party, missed all the action, so 2000 and 12 wannabe.
Or am I?
Because despite being 2 years overdue I still felt pretty happening when my boyfriend (still-drunk-from-the-night-before, might I add!) and I arrived outside Heron tower and the huge glowing neon sign for Sushi Samba*.
I even felt happening at the not so happening time of 10.30am which was when our breakfast reservation had been made for. (A month in advance, might I add – this place takes longer to get in to than the posh toilets at Glastonbury…y’know the ones with a mirror…and loo roll!).
That feeling of happening-ness only intensified as we breezed into the lift (in my new Guiseppe Zannotti trainers of course), and held our stomachs as the lift literally exploded at breakneck speed towards the top of the building. If you suffer from vertigo or a fear of heights this lift ride will only exacerbate both.
*(Note: The Duck & Waffle is way low key with no signage on the door, so on arrival act like you’re in the know and just glide past the doorman on your way in – all Chanel sunglasses and Hermes scarf).
But man, when you’re hit the 40th floor is that view something to behold!
‘Scuse me and my boyfriend talking over the top…we didn’t realise you could hear us!
Anyway – now you’re only metres from a very stiff cocktail that can be ordered for purely medicinal purposes!
Stomachs back in their rightful places, we found our way into the bar and were greeted by not only a waiting staff member with a huge smile but panoramic glass walls and the City of London!
We were shown to one of the better tables in the restaurant situated right by one of the floor-to-ceiling windows and I dared myself to look down at Liverpool Street station and Bishopsgate below. It all looked so tiny! The car literally looked like toys, particularly a minute Smart car, and my boyfriend and I reminisced about playing micro-machines back in the day, y’know THIS game.
…finished playing? May I continue…
We admired the view for a while (Wembley, The BT Tower, Stratford’s weird twirly red thing, our house!) before getting down to the business of ordering.
The signature dish is, shock, the Duck & Waffle and I was so keen to order this if only ‘for the table’ which weirdly is an option on their menu. Like most places they break the menus down into categories, breakfast classics, brunch favourites, for the table and sweets.
This ‘for the table’ business is intended for the indecisive and the sharers among us and I think it’s a great idea but as my fellar pointed out, if I’m ordering a steak (one of the ‘for the table’ options), that ain’t for sharing! Anyway…I convinced the boyfriend to order the Duck & Waffle just in case the combination was a bit too weird for me, and I played it a
bit lot safer with Colombian eggs topped with grilled chorizo.
My breakfast arrived and I smugly smiled at the other side of the table, thinking my dish would wipe the floor with the Duck & Waffle across the way. The multicoloured scrambled eggs looked amazing, topped off with super crispy chorizo and toast. I was like a little dribbling hyena waiting to dive into my food.
The duck & waffle signature didn’t look too shabby either with a perfectly fried duck egg lounging atop the cripsy duck leg and waffle. However upon tasting, it was clear who was the winner when it came to the battle of the breakfasts.
Yup – the boyfriend was crowned champion. As much as it pains me to say it, the Duck and Waffle signature dish was all sorts of superbness. It was sweet, it was crispy, it was savoury, it was soft. The mustard maple syrup that accompanied it was just the piste de résistance! Don’t get me wrong I was a huge fan of the Colombian eggs but it just didn’t wow in the way that this, so wrong but so right combination of duck leg on waffle did. If you are at all hesitant about ordering this dish, don’t be – you will not regret it!
Fully in awe from the food and the view we paid up and moved into the bar nearer the lift to round off the morning with some cocktails…and on the way I took pictures of the floor, because, I know that’s what all-a-y’all really want to know about, forget the food Harry, show me the floor!! Well here, wrap your bins around these tiles…
On a slightly more serious note though, I actually thought the decor of the whole place was odd – it’s a lot of mis-matched, madness if you ask me! Yellow ceilings, graffiti walls, Greek looking floor tiles – it’s old, it’s new, it’s a tad nouveau riche but luckily the floor to ceiling windows, sweeping views beyond and of course delicious food distract from this.
Back in the bar we pulled up some stools at the window and noticed that the actual bar is just a station set in the middle of the room and completely open to view.
If I’m being pedantic it’s not really a ‘bar’ as nothing separates you from the barmen, potayto, potarrto – whatever – you can watch them as they pull ingredients together for your cocktails!
For us, as it was almost midday, we figured it was a suitable time to orders a Champagne Negroni which really packed a punch and a Whisky Sour which although smelt vomit-educing went down pretty easily! Be warned though, cocktails are a pretty price. Two cost us £30 in total which was just £14 shy of our total breakfast bill on it’s own. Still the view is equally as fantastic as it is inthe restaurant.
We sat drinking our cocktails and contemplating our next move. I was getting considerably more annoyed with my still-drunk-from-the-night-before and now-getting-drunk-again boyfriend as in his semi hungover, semi still pissed state, he’d had managed to adopt some annoyingly lad-ish behaviour and was quite frankly ruining Duck & Waffle day.
The sulky face below soon made him realise the error of his ways and he apologised before we posed for a selfie and then headed to the lift and down to the 39th floor where you’ll find Sushi Samba. Just so I could show him their amazing orange tree.
Oh, yeah, I literally meant tree that is orange rather than a tree that grows oranges. Well my guy was impressed, look at that grin! We then hopped back in the lift, where we nearly lost our breakfasts and skipped out into the sunshine and good vibes of London on Marathon day.
If you fancy heading over to the Duck & Waffle for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, late dinner, later dinner, midnight snack, early morning munch then you can! They’re open 24 hours! So you can watch the sunset in the evening and come back for the sunrise first thing. I’d love to know who’s dinning there at 4am…I think I might go just for that reason, or really for more duck and waffle – honestly it’s that good.