Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Mon January 11 2016

Opinion Home | The Main Course

  • Gabe Zaldivar | January 11, 2016 6:00 PM ET

    Digging On Delicious Dining At London's Duck & Waffle

    Digging On Delicious Dining At London's Duck & Waffle

    Images via Gabe Zaldivar

    Visiting London’s Duck & Waffle isn’t unlike taking a ride in Willy Wonka’s glass elevator. There is so much whimsy that you will have to take off your coat following your meal and wring all that whimsy out before carrying on with the rest of your day.

    My most recent trip to London was thanks to a press trip to tour the budding new Hilton London Bankside.

    During that trip, I was afforded the opportunity to enjoy a meal that is a true rarity in the city both from a culinary and topographic standpoint.

    At 40 stories in the London sky, Duck & Waffle boasts of being the highest restaurant in the United Kingdom, which is just one of its many features.

    Interested parties will join the business folk and posh hobnobbers out for a lunchtime treat at 110 Bishopsgate in London.

    From there you will enter a small room with two elevators opposite a giant wall with a gorgeous and rather enormous mural of what looks to be a young woman sitting on a swing anchored by trees during the very heart of autumn.

    And that’s how your experience begins.

    The next step is to take a brief ride up 40 floors. And really, it’s brief.

    The elevator blasts up at a pace of what seems like five stories at a time, leaving you at the doorstep of the restaurant that is equal parts sightseeing venture and foodie haven.

    Now unfortunately, the day was overcast during my stay, so excuse the rather murky view of The Gherkin.

    However, the restaurant has plenty of images of this amazing, sweeping vantage.

    After taking a moment to snap off hundreds of photos for your travel archive, you begin to appreciate the space you are in, which features a lively and unexpectedly vibrant bar area.

    But you came for the food, which may be what the couple snogging in the corner may have intended when they came into the restaurant. It also may be what the group of power lunchers thought they would do when they booked a table and ended up drinking and chatting the time away.

    Despite the awesome food, and it really is awesome, you begin to see Duck & Waffle as the London respite that it is.

    Sure, it’s not hidden by any regard, but being 40 floors up has a way of making you feel like you are tucked away amid the congestion and bluster of business below.

    But eventually, when you are done smiling like an idiot, you get down to the business at hand, which means picking out some food from this missive they call a menu.

    The bacon wrapped dates are like candy you get to have at lunch, savory and sweet in neither a daunting or overzealous manner.

    The Jerusalem artichoke ravioli was well done, warm and perfect for a rainy day while the sea bass sat like a conversation piece you can eat.

    The reason many come, however, is the duck & waffle, which is a crisp duck leg married to a waffle. Both are joined in culinary matrimony by a fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup.

    The result is delightful, especially when you sit back and consider you just had a little something fried and a little something dessert for lunch.

    But Duck & Waffle is hardly about one dish or one vantage; it’s a culmination of every last table, patron and dish. They all come together to garner what is one of the more enjoyable meals you will have in a city replete with amazing spots.

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Gabe Zaldivar The Main Course

Gabe Zaldivar Born on the rough streets of suburban West Covina, I learned a great many things, some of which has proved useful: knowing the tell-tale sounds of an ice cream truck and crafting a world-class burrito come to mind. You have seen my work on Bleacher Report and possibly my mug on CNN. Perhaps, if you are into archaic modes of entertainment, you have also heard me on the radio. Pop culture is my beat. If it has to do with the intersection of travel, entertainment and pop culture, I'm your guy.
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