I was taken out for a much belated, but really appreciated, birthday brunch today. It was at Duck and Waffle in Heron Tower, where the brunch seems to outstrip the popularity of any other mealtimes judging by the number of people queuing to get into the glass lifts and be shot up to the 40th floor every weekend. Maybe because it’s the only time it’s acceptable to have a plate of dessert as a main meal. I’m also a fan of linner, although it doesn’t seem to have taken off in the same way.
The view from the restaurant is brilliant, even if you’re not facing any famous landmarks or it’s pissing down (as if was for us). I’ve been before but hadn’t tried the signature duck and waffle dish, so went for that this time. A fried duck egg and confit duck leg on a waffle, with a mustard maple syrup to pour, doesn’t sound like something you’d expect to go down that well. We’re not as used to the sweet and savoury mash up as they are in the US, where pancakes with bacon and waffles topped with fried chicken are really popular. The crispy, salty duck leg and rich egg yolk went perfectly with the slightly sweet waffle though, and the syrup was the perfect sauce. Think honeyed chicken wings for example. The dish also brings to mind the current trend for brioche burger rolls, where sweet bread is a great match for umami-rich meat. Not to mention that eating sugar and fat activate the mesolimbic, or reward, pathway in the brain, making this type of food as addictive as any drug.
Not satisfied with this I finished off with the dark chocolate brownie sundae. Why?? I always order dessert and regret it afterwards, but it still doesn’t stop me. It was rich and delicious, but of course I was defeated and had to leave a piece of mouth-gumming brownie behind. The oh so creamy ice cream was probably the highlight though.
Big thanks to my friend for an amazing brunch. It’ll be paid back for your birthday! Next time I’ll try the ox cheek doughnut…