Duck & Waffle, My New Favourite Steak in London

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…Discovered in the most unexpected location: Duck & Waffle. The 24-hour restaurant that sits atop the Salesforce tower just above Sushi Samba.  It’s the “highest restaurant in London”, sitting on the 40th floor and sharing it’s cocktail bar with Sushi Samba below.  The views are amazing and the clientele and venue are not over-the-top posh, which I like.

‘Duck & Waffle’ connotes nothing remotely beefy at all.  It gives nothing to indicate that an unbelievably good Angus, bone-in ribeye resides on their ever-evolving menu.  They are known first and foremost for their namesake, a dish that head chef Daniel Doherty brought back with him from a pre-Duck & Waffle sabbatical to Miami.  It’s composed of a crispy duck confit leg atop a Belgian waffle.  It’s then topped with a fried duck egg and served with mustard maple syrup.  Indulgent, rich, buttery and perfect any time of day as long as your arteries are in working order!

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It’s delicious and definitely worth a try – fortunately the Duck & Waffle is designed as a sharing plate concept, which means you can enjoy the dish that gave the restaurant its name without the shame of eating the whole thing yourself.  And you still get to try the amazing ribeye!

Doherty’s European-inspired signature dishes include a ‘spicy ox cheek donut served with apricot jam and smoked paprika sugar’ or the ‘foie gras creme brulée with buttered roasted lobster and toasted brioche.’  Being a 24-hour restaurant poses some unique challenges, not the least being that they must offer a compelling and delicious brunch and late-night menu in addition for their “All Day” offerings. But lets be honest, eclectic food has to appeal to a crowd who has been out for a few tipples and wants something ridiculously indulgent to finish their night off.

Back to the matter at hand though, the 500g ribeye is my new favorite steak in London.  And I never saw it coming.

Screen shot 2015-02-15 at 2.15.54 PMThe Longhorn beef is sourced from Thirsk, in north Yorkshire.  It’s served with a whipped marmite hollandaise sauce, assorted greens and pearl onions, sliced on a sharing platter with the hollandaise served in a bone – and I swear it’s got bone marrow in there somewhere!  My only complaint is that I have to share.  The beef is juicy and succulent, full of flavor and cooked just right.  It’s quite stunning that a non-beef-centric restaurant has stormed into my favorite steak considering the company Duck & Waffle keeps in the City mile.

I think Daniel Doherty should seriously consider a larger cut for the sharing platter – an 800g offering similar to the Hawksmoor would be just the thing that I’d go for if forced to share.  I didn’t want the 500g to end; I know they aren’t trying to make a name as a steak restaurant, but there must be more carnivores out there thinking the same as me.

Another thing to comment on is the creative cocktail offerings from the expert mixologists at Duck & Waffle.  It’s one of the few restaurants I’ve seen with a official position for ‘Head cocktail developer’.  Richard Woods fills that role for Duck & Waffle, Sushi Samba and their family of restaurants.  He’s filled their menus with wild and crazy cocktails which are unique and perfectly balanced.  Here are some I’d recommend:

The Hemmingway – Bacardi Superior rum, maraschino liqueur, lime and grapefruit juices – clarified.

The Roasted Cosmo – Grey Goose Le Citron, orange liqueur, roasted bone marrow infusion, cranberry conserve, lime.

My suggestion for Duck & Waffle is to plan your visit well in advance.  Decide on a brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night visit and lock in your choices before hand.  So much of their menus are unique, rich and interesting that if you arrive cold, you’ll take an hour just to sort through and agree on choices with your company. If you go for dinner, don’t think about it, go for the ribeye!

Duck & Waffle is located at 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY and you can visit their website here.

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