Breakfast in the sky at Duck & Waffle – worth it?
Every London blogger worth his or her salt has dined at the highest restaurant in the UK, Duck & Waffle. Everyone, it seemed, except me. And no wonder, since reservations at this establishment are a rare commodity! I finally managed to get one, but it required two months’ notice and a 9 am start on a Saturday. But we finally made it. And as we tried to un-pop our ears, we realised we wouldn’t have needed to adhere to the dress code quite as strictly as we’d thought… (we spotted some ripped jeans)!
Duck & Waffle is open 24 hours, and accordingly has many different menus for all the times of the day. We had consciously decided to come for breakfast, as it is better value than the rest, and considering the height at which the food is served, the quality of the ingredients, and London price standards, it was a very good deal. Particularly after I had the privilege of dining at Sushisamba last year, a restaurant that is located one floor below, has great food, but could never be described as reasonable!
The occasion for this breakfast was a day spent with my best friends from university. We finally managed to find a time we were all free, and so we decided to start in the sky, make our way through the city with a HiddenCity hunt (highly recommended for fun and brainteasers), and ending with films and food at home.
Obviously, the duck and waffle had to be done, and we placed it in the middle so we could all pick at it. And by pick, I mean grab large chunks with our forks before it disappeared! Eggs Benedict are normally my default when I go out for breakfast, and so I had already decided on the ox cheek Benedict when I checked the menu the day before. And just to balance things out, we also ordered a full breakfast and some banana brulee waffles.
The duck and waffle did not disappoint. Fluffy waffles and crispy, succulent confit duck, drizzled with mustard and maple dressing, and topped with a fried duck egg? How could we not finish every last bite?
The ox cheek Benedict was absolutely marvellous. The meat was pulled into thin, delicate strips and served atop another waffle, with perfectly poached eggs that had beautiful golden yolks. In my opinion, the Sriracha didn’t make for the best accompaniment, and I would have been happy with just the Hollandaise, but the dish was flawless otherwise.
Unfortunately, the sweet waffles didn’t quite measure up, as the two ladies who indulged in ice cream for breakfast attested to its inferiority, particularly in comparison to the bird in the middle.
But to make up for it, the full breakfast was incredibly well put together, with crispy bacon and a gorgeous scone going along with poached eggs, mushroom, and tomato.
The view from the 40th floor of the Heron Tower is, as expected, stunning. Although I still believe that London from above will never rival Zurich or Barcelona, there’s always something magical about being that high in the sky.
So the million-dollar question… was it worth it? The novelty of peering across the big smoke whilst sipping on fresh orange juice was wonderful. The restaurant was full of light and tastefully decorated, and I was amazed at how unpretentious it was, particularly in comparison to Sushisamba one floor below. The breakfast is completely reasonable for London standards (though they sting you on the tea/coffee), but the ox cheek Benedict alone is a reason to come back, and that’s before I even get to the gorgeous confit duck!
If you can get a reservation, take it. Wake up early on a weekend if you have to – you won’t regret it.