Duck and Waffle in the Heron Tower is a restaurant that is near and dear to my heart. Ciaran and I went on our first date to Duck and Waffle and go back annually for special occasions, you can read all about my 25th birthday celebration at D&W here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a sucker for a good view! Well, Dan Doherty and the D&W crew have come back down to earth and have opened Duck and Waffle Local, a fantastic offspring to my favourite 24-hour sky-high eatery.
So how’s it different from it’s cloud-grazing counterpart? Conveniently located in the burgeoning St. James’s Market on Haymarket Street in Central London, Duck and Waffle Local is accessible across the board – it’s a fast casual approach, but truth be told there is nothing quite so casual about the dishes.
I visited on one of the opening nights with my favourite foodie friend, Ayushi, who had just landed in London from being back home in Bombay (read her Bombay Diaries here). We headed into the shiny new restaurant and up to the counter to order. The menu is vast with options for breakfast and the rest of the day alongside some sweet waffle desserts (of which Ayushi and I had already decided upon before even ordering our mains)! You pay up at the counter and then head to your table where anything extra can be ordered table side – it’s super quick and efficient.
Ayushi and I caught up all about her Bombay adventures and she filled me in on all the amazing weddings and trips she had been on over there, which naturally gave me a serious case of wanderlust. It was so great to finally catch up and before we knew it, our baked and pickled beets (£6) were plonked on the table in no time at all. I was amazed at how such a beautiful dish could be delivered to quickly. I also have to note, that D&W Local have a phenomenal veggie menu, which I think more restaurants in London should to have.
Anyways, back to this pretty dish – the beetroot was sweet and tart with hints of spicy Harissa alongside dollops of creamy yoghurt and a bit of crunch from sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. Ayushi and I tucked into our starter and I was instantaneously impressed by the quality of the food that I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for the rest of our dinner.
Ayushi’s Puy Lentils (£6) promptly arrived. Another beautifully plated dish, I had to snag a bite and was hooked from the get-go. A well textured dish made up of miso yoghurt, blanched spinach and buckwheat, this is a hearty and comforting plate of goodness. A dish I would gladly order again upon a return visit.
The real star of the show for me though, was my quacking good Duck Burger (£10) with crispy duck leg, crushed noodle, miso mayo and spiced slaw. Duck is obviously the name of the game here and the D&W crew create each dish with such finesse – I honestly can’t fault anything on this beast of a burger other than I probably could have eaten another one with no shame.
If you’re a D&W fan, you’ll be happy to see several signature Duck & Waffle dishes on the menu including my favourite – The Original Duck and Waffle with confit leg, fried duck egg, mustard maple syrup and some quirky new ones like the duck jam doughnut, duck Merguez flatbread and the duck breast satay (yum).
None of my dinners with Ayushi are complete without desserts and for this occasion, we had our hearts set on the Full Elvis (£6) – vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, caramelised bananas and fresh berries combined into a sugary waffle cone to share. Anything that is PB&J inspired is a winner in my books and the Full Elvis is no exception! We dove right in fork first and it was the perfect sweet treat to roundoff our dinner. The Vanilla Fudge Brownie with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream also caught my eye, but we figured we’d save that one for our next catch up 🙂
Duck and Waffle Local is no doubt my new favourite go-to and I am so impressed with how accessible it is. It’s a great, affordable alternative to the original and in no way skimps on the quality. This is “fast casual” at it’s finest. Now waddle on over and give it a go – trust me, you’ll ducking love it.
Duck and Waffle Local, 2 St. James’s Market, London, SW1 4RP