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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

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Panini House

Panini House on Exhibition Road has an unusual vibe, but lovely food! The Chicken Panini was a little too mayonnaise-y, but the flavors completely made up for it. The bread also was not great, so I cannot really explain why the sandwich worked so well. I was also served three salads, cole slaw, spinach & cucumber, and cuscus. I did not expect to like any of them, but I tried them all for the sake of this review and was thrilled! May have been the best coleslaw I have ever had. The other two were tasty as well and the whole plate was an unusual combination, but worked together flawlessly! I was planning on just eating most of the sandwich and getting to class early, but I took my time and ate it all. The Panini House also has very fast and quality service, which can be a deal breaker, even at the best restaurants. The interior confused me a little bit, everything looked very modern, but it was crowded and stiff.

£8.50 (2 people)

58 Uxbridge Road London W12 8LP

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Liz Cafe

Liz Café on Shepherd’s Bush Green has a great interior and inviting display case. The presentation is perfect for their style of bakery and manages the space well. I bought their Millionaire’s Shortbread (£2.30) to takeaway. (Keep in mind that it was damaged slightly on the way home, so the pictures are a little misleading.) The short bread and caramel were divine; I couldn’t get enough of those. The dark chocolate ganache was stale though. I really did not want to find fault with this cute bakery and yummy shortbread, but the truth is that their product was old. I haven’t been back, but I am curious to see if this was just a fluke, wishful thinking I suppose.

£10 (2 people)

7 Goldhawk Road, London, W12 8QQ

Liz Cafe: Facebook / Menu

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Dessertz

Dessertz at Shepherd’s Bush Green is a cute little dessert parlour, that I now have to talk myself out of going to, every time I pass it on my way to university. I ordered a single-scoop peanutella (peanut butter and Nutella) cone for £1.95. Delicious! I am a peanut butter addict, so I knew what I was ordering before I even looked at the other flavors. The only thing better than peanut butter is peanut butter and chocolate, even if it comes in the lesser form of Nutella. Dessertz has a great location right in Shepherd’s Bush Green, but it seems a little overlooked, so there is never a line! Not that I would know, because I don’t go weekly anymore. Even their sugar cones are tasty and a steal for the price. I guess I am saying this place has all the qualities I want in a restaurant: desserts, fast service, low prices, and located close to the tube.

£8 (2 people)

65-69 Shepherd’s Bush Green, London W12 8TX

Dessertz: Facebook / Menu

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Woody Grill

Woody Grill is a chain of Turkish restaurants in London.  When I visited this restaurant, I ordered a Chicken Doner Roll (£5.70) and it really surprised me. The bread was excellent! The chicken also came with two sauces.  Firstly, the sweet chilli sauce had excellent flavours and it complemented the bread and chicken perfectly. The white sauce was my favourite though; it was creamy and had spicy herbs. The chicken had excellent flavour and juices, even without the sauces. This was a new type of restaurant for me, so I was a little apprehensive of trying the mystery sauces, but the combined flavours were familiar enough to enjoy, but still exciting and unexpected. I was served a large portion, but I was so happy with the meal that I took my leftovers to go. The restaurant’s interior seemed a little casual compared to the quality of the food, but matched their pricing. CASH ONLY

£15 (2 people)

1 Uxbridge Road, London W12 8LJ

Opening Everyday: 11:00am – 05:00am 

020 8749 9767

Woody Grill: Website/Facebook

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Wong Kei

In the past, Wong Kei has been infamously dubbed ‘the rudest restaurant in London’. You will get no special treatment or patience from the staff – ever. You will likely get the bill while still chewing and don’t expect dishes to arrive at the same time. It looks like every other restaurant in Chinatown with succulent hanging roast meat in the window.

But regulars know you don’t go for the service. You go because it serves you a mountain of food for a few pounds in a matter of minutes. This visit, I had the roast duck noodle soup (£4.80), but also a treat is scrambled egg and prawns on ho fun (£6.20), crispy belly pork and eel on rice (£7.50) or the pork chop and aubergine on rice (£5.80). Order one-plate dishes from the back of the menu, this is not the place to order several dishes to share with sides of rice – you’ll rack up a big bill for average anglicised Chinese food.

The one-plate meals are value and always tasty. Forget all else, and you will might enjoy.

£26 (2 people)

Wardour Street W1D 6PY London

020 7437 8408

Wong Kei: Website 

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Wolkite Kitfo

Ethiopian food – not something you come across every day but peaks any foodie’s curiosity. Upon opening the menu and realising I hadn’t a clue how to gauge what was the right thing to order, I called over the waiter/owner/father of the restaurant to ask for advice. (His children were sitting at a table in the corner doing their homework intermittently shouting for his attention).

For 2 of us, we were recommended and ordered Gomen Be Siga – lamb and spring greens (£8) and Yetsom Beyaynetu – a selection of vegetable dishes (£7). Both of these were served on or with injera – a light and spongy sourdough bread. With no cutlery provided, injera was our utensil as seemed to be what the regulars around us were doing. Each feature on the plate was a good subtle blend of spices, though the sour taste of the injera although pleasant at first, was not something I wanted with every mouthful.

But if you loved the injera, you’d be a happy chappy here but don’t miss the Tej (£2.50 per glass), a mead-like alcohol served cold from a teapot into a berele (conical shaped glass).

£30 (2 people)

82 Hornsey road Holloway, London.

020 7700 3055

Wolkite Kitfo: Website/ Facebook

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