Tag Archives: french cuisine

Duck and Waffle

In a city that never sleeps, its almost imperative that there be a restaurant that never sleeps. Staying open 24 hours, and sitting 40 floors high in the middle of London’s financial district, Duck and Waffle has assumed this role in some style.

The vibe of the place instantly makes you want to just have a fantastic time. The restaurant being absolutely packed, with the constant sound of trendy tunes mixed with intense laughter and conversation, makes the ambience unbelievably lively. The big glass windows allow it’s exclusive clientele to look over the city they rule, with panoramic views of London stretching from Canary Wharf to Westminster Abbey.

I went with 3 of their small plates, the roasted octopus, wild cornish pollock meatballs, and the foie gras creme brûlée. Also, the mood seemed to scream out for a cocktail, so I went with a concoction of Jack Daniels, amaro, and smoked maple leaf and autumn flavours called Autumn. The flavour of the whiskey drowned in the aromas of the smoked leaf and autumn flavours made this cocktail hit the senses in multiple ways, leaving a beautiful feeling of wholesome satisfaction after every sip.

The octopus was nicely grilled, with the squeezed lemon juice over the pieces giving it a nice tangy flavour in addition to the fishy taste of the octopus. The meatballs were also very tasty, with the lobster cream giving it a classy dressing and the breaded crumbs on top giving it a nice crunch. The winner though, by a clear margin, was the foie gras creme brûlée. I was initially skeptical about ordering a creme brûlée made out of foie gras, but thank heavens I did. With a crispy top, and a hint of caramel custard, it initially disguises itself as just another creme brûlée, but soon after the wonderful foie gras carrying its baby pieces of butter roasted lobster marches in to remind you that this is a dish of another universe. I’m honestly surprised it wasn’t featured in “Interstellar.” Every bite of this was like the first bite, as the foie gras blends so well with the caramel and lobster that I constantly questioned what it is I was tasting.

I would recommend Duck and Waffle for the creme brûlée itself, however with its spectacular views, drinks, and atmosphere, I would rate it as one of the best spots for a great night out in London I’ve been to so far. On a side note though, our group paid around £80 a person, so a trip here wouldn’t be the best time to forget your wallet!

£160 (2 people)

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY

Duck and Waffle 4 Duck and Waffle 3 Duck and Waffle 2 Duck and Waffle 1

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Creme de la Crepe

Hidden amongst the violins, somersaulting performers, and designer brands of Covent Garden Market lies an absolute gem of an eatery that serves a classic dish that couldn’t be more complementary to the surrounding European atmosphere – the crepe.

Creme De La Crepe, with its low ceilings and white brick walls, takes you straight into a Creperie in an Alpine French town. Seriously, this tavern is literally so cute and cosy that I can imagine Frodo eating his second breakfast everyday here.

The menu has a wide selection of both savoury and sweet crepes. I ordered a “Dirty Harry” savoury crepe, a hearty fellow that packs chorizo, red onion, mature cheddar cheese, greens, and ranch dressing all for £6.40. It was large, hot, and brilliant. It had just the right amount of cheese, the crepe was crisp but had the right amount of thickness to prevent it feeling like a biscuit, and the perfectly sized Chorizo pieces were soft but firm. Most importantly though, it just looked so darn beautiful. Taking my first bite felt similar to that wide-eyed joy a 4 year old experiences when playing with a new Lego set. It was layered so that the warm taste of the cheese would hit first and then the onion, with the chorizo charging in at the end to drive it all home. The only downside to this crepe I felt was the ranch dressing. Not only does it horrify 50 million folks across the English Channel that an American sauce would be used in a French food, the dressing on top of the molten cheese makes the crepe wetter than I’d like it to be.

There is enough variety on the menu for any mood and for any time of the day, so there is no excuse not to give Creme De La Crepe many a visit. Bon Appetit!

£12 (2 people)

The Piazza, Covent Garden Market, London WC2E 8RE

Menu

Creme de la Crepe 1 Creme de la Crepe 2

Bouchon et Fourchette

Upon approaching the French bistro in the heart of Hackney, one is somewhat concerned by the less appetizing kebab shops on either side. As soon as you enter the restaurant you are quickly entranced by the French shabby chic and DIY décor. The bar is laced with candles whilst the little round tables scattered around the eating area has chequered red table clothes. The restaurant seemed to attract an array of people; the hipster, the couple and ‘the regular’ who perched on the bar eating and drinking. At one point the director from a film we had just seen at the BFI film festival joined ‘the regular’ at the bar.

The service was enthusiastically speedy. For a starter I ordered the mackerel rillettes and cumin bread and although it was rustically presented, the mackerel was quite doughy. Then I ordered the wild mushroom and beetroot risotto for my mains. This was pretty delicious; creamy and cheesy.

Finally and most importantly I had the magnificent chocolate slice and boy was it chocolate; chocolate and chocolate heaven. It was quite literally a chocolate brick. Best of all – it was gooey.

71 Mare St, London E8 3RH

£24 (2 people)

Bouchon et Fourchette 3 Bouchon et Fourchette 2