Call it food with a view.
While the UK often gets a bad rap when it comes to food, Liebling and I have really been enjoying the restaurant scene in London. The quality of restaurants here is very high, with a great deal of establishments and different cuisines to choose from. The problem, then, lies not in finding good places to eat here (as there are plenty), but often in just selecting a place to eat — there is just so much choice that it is intimidating. As the city is large (and we are mostly lazy) we have been exploring the various food options that present themselves in our neighbourhood.
A plethora of food options in East London
We live at the very beginning of what is termed East London, home to a zillion and one Indian and Pakistani restaurants (my personal favourite being Lahore Kebab House, which is quite literally on our proverbial doorstep). However, we live within walking distance of Liverpool Street Station, Spitalfield Market, the City (London’s financial district), all three areas yielding a wide range of restaurants suited for every taste and budget.
I’m rambling, but bear with me. What I basically am wanting to tell you is that in our neighbourhood peregrinations we stumbled upon Duck & Waffle, a fairly new restaurant located atop the shiny Heron Tower, one of London’s recently constructed skyscrapers. We’ve been to the D&W twice so far and are itching to go a third time.
Located on the 40th floor, you can eat amongst the clouds, and on a clear day be privy to a kick-ass view of London. Open 24 hours, this snazzily decorated restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
Duck & Waffle: Slick design, amazing food
First off, let me say that I love the interior of this place; whoever designed/conceived the kitchen, bar, and place settings deserves a huge pat on the back. The restaurant is airy and bright and brand new and homey all at once, the kind of place that seems so clean that I would feel no qualms about picking a fallen piece of bread off the floor and putting it onto my plate so it could be eaten later (yes, I just admitted that). I am generally afraid to use restaurant restrooms as they often aren’t the cleanest of places (and knowing that I’ve just eaten at an establishment with a nasty bathroom makes me feel a bit ill), but again, the Duck & Waffle’s toilet facilities are clean as a whistle.
But you are probably not as manic as me and could care less about the bathrooms, so let me tell you about the food instead. The food, just like the surroundings, is fresh and light — absolutely delectable. As British food is usually (thought to be) heavy and not refined, it was suprising to see on the restaurant’s website that it focuses on using all British ingredients. Shame on me for thinking that British food could never be good.
Commitment to excellent service
While Liebling and I love the D&W, our first visit left us a bit disappointed. Way back in November, when the restaurant was still in its infancy, we found the service to be lacking, though the food was spectacular. Waitstaff took a long time to serve us, were not well-versed in terms of what food options existed (I mean, come on, there are like 15 things on the dinner menu — not much to memorize!) and even neglected to bring us a couple of the items we had ordered once they finally got around to serving our table. They also made a mistake with our bill, charging us for items that should have come for free with our meal. I repeat, the food was spectacular, but the spotty service left much to be desired. As such, we decided not to pay the discretionary 12% service charge on our bill (we usually don’t do this, but we were so fed up that we really wanted to make a point) and our move was immediately met with the manager coming to to ask us what was wrong. When we expressed our disappointment in the service, she immediately invited our entire party back to the restaurant for a free meal so we could give the restaurant a second chance. I don’t believe she knew I was a blogger until after she extended her invitation: she really just honestly didn’t want customers to leave with a bad impression of the Duck & Waffle. And that commitment to making sure the customer is satisfied is AWESOME. For the record, when we finally went back in January, the service was impeccable. I chalk our first experience up to growing pains.
Fair prices for a restaurant in London
On both occasions at the restaurant, Liebling and I noted that the food was actually fairly priced for the location and food quality (not always the case at equivalent establishments in expensive London). On our first visit, even with the erroneous bill where we were mistakenly charged for bread, we only paid about $20 USD per person. This is an excellent deal in London for a restaurant of this calibre: we ordered four massive breakfasts, drinks, and even dessert (my friend and I split a Belgian waffle at the end of the meal, sue us). Upon our second visit, D&W covered the food but we paid for the beverages, which only came up to $5 USD a person. Not a bad deal!
Go to Duck & Waffle! The food is tasty and well-priced for London, the waitstaff is committed to treating you well, and the view is dazzling. Best of all, it’s open 24 HOURS (yes, you read that right). Stop here on your next trip to London.
How important is service to you when you go out to eat at a restaurant?
Duck & Waffle
110 Bishopgate, London EC2N 4AY
+44 203 640 7310