Duck & Waffle
110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
All too often, the better a restaurant’s view, the worse the food. Not so here, though, on the 39th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, both are top notch. Enjoy an exquisite bottle-conditioned Cherry Blossom Negroni on one of the terraces at SUSHISAMBA on the floor below and watch dusk fall across the cityscape of London and far, far beyond. Then head upstairs for some BBQ-spiced crispy pig ears, some south coast mussels and the celebrated duck & waffle itself – crispy leg confit served with waffle, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. Crikey it’s tasty! And since D&W is open 24 hours a day, you can come back later for more.
Monsieur le Duck
27 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RN
Those who beat a merry path to Monsieur le Duck in Spitalfields and despaired to find it gone, can breathe easy: it has found a new home in Clerkenwell and a gang-load of new admirers too. This is duck in all its forms, cheap and cheerful rather than fine dining. A pousse rapière, that classic Gascon cocktail, sets the tone and although the wine list could do with a bit of a leg up, the duck delights. Bread is served with duck fat butter and there is duck rillettes, duck wellington, magret of duck, confit duck and duck steak baguette. Best of all is the duck burger served with prune mayo in a brioche bun. Add some truffle oil frites and just try and stop smiling.
182 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1X 8EW
If lunch is your thing, I mean a real, shirt-popping, afternoon-frittering, evening-heralding, bottle-or-so-a-head lunch, then look no further. Le Patron, Otto, is charm and generosity incarnate, the wine list extensive and the pressed duck, well, the pressed duck is a thing of wonder. One duck, two guests, three courses for £160. The duck is flamed, roasted, carved and the carcass – innards and all – is then squished flat in an antique silver press. The blood and marrow flood out to be reduced with port and cognac into the most glorious gloopy jus that you will ever encounter and you will be happier than you ever thought possible.
60 St. John’s Wood High Street, NW8 7SH
The latest eaterie in the Corbin and King empire, Soutine sits at the bottom of St. John’s Wood High Street, barely a full toss from Lord’s cricket ground. One step inside, though, and suddenly you’re in your favourite neighbourhood brasserie in Montparnasse. Although brand new, Soutine feels like it’s been here forever and that corner table has been yours since you can remember. And in true Parisian brasserie style, the dish to head for is the immaculate confit de canard, delectably crispy and salty and served on a bed of braised puy lentils. Add a gem heart salad and a bottle of 2016 Ch. La Bastide Corbières and all will be well.
30 Gerrard Street, W1D 6JS
Four Seasons opened its first restaurant in Queensway in 1990 and now boasts four in Soho’s Chinatown alone along with branches in Bangkok, Singapore and Shanghai. Duck is their thing and if the service at 30 Gerrard Street is somewhat haphazard and stern (I was soundly berated by the waitress for not finishing my ducks’ tongues, a dish which I had quickly discovered wasn’t quite my thing) and the aromatic crispy duck and pancakes pretty standard, then the herb/spice marinated roast duck, with crispy skin and dense, meaty, slightly bloody flesh is first rate. Kick start things with some grilled eel in honey sauce, sit back and enjoy.