'Pin back your ears' for a tale of utter lunacy.
Venue: Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower
Date: an afternoon a couple of weeks ago (2014)
Time: approx. 4.30 p.m
Objective: drink at the bar followed by sampling duck and waffle signature dish
Bouncer" Good afternoon, do you have a reservation?"
Snufflehound minor: "No, I'm sorry but we don't. Do I need one?"
Bouncer "Then I'm afraid you can't come in. There's a dress code"
Snufflehound minor: "What is the dress code"
Bouncer:"There is a dress code if you don't have a reservation"
Snufflehound minor: "What if I do have a reservation? Is there a dress code then?"
Bouncer: "There is a dress code."
Snufflehound minor: (Watching party of diners be greeted and ushered to lift, wearing more casual dress than ourselves.) Can I then just go up and look at the menu?
Bouncer: "No, there's a dress code."
Snufflehound minor: "Can I make a reservation with you?"
Bouncer: "No. But you can phone. Here's a card."
Snufflehound major then takes up the baton, leaving Snufflehound minor overheating in a cloud of steam, mainly emiinating from ears. Snuff' maj then phones - after 3 attempts someone answers."Hello, can I please make a reservation for a table as soon as possible?"
D&W reception - "Yes of course, when would you like to come?"
Snuff' major: "ASAP please - we're downstairs"
D&W reception - "the earliest I can fit you in is 5.00 p.m. Do you have far to travel?"
Snuff' major: "No, I am downstairs."
D&W: "OK then we'll see you at 5.00."
Snuff major: "Can we wait in the Bar until 5.00?"
D&W "Yes of course. I'll send you an e-mail."
Snuff major: "I am downstairs. I won't get it Can we come up to the bar immediately."
D&W: " Lovely. See you at 5.00"
We were seated at 5.10 p.m - there were about 45 available tables when we began ordering food. (This place says it serves food 24/7.) The final straw came when I was actually eating something and was reached across mid-forkful by a waiter retrieving an empty glass.
So, the verdict: Duck and waffle came with a fried egg atop confit of duck served on a batter-based waffle, served with a maple syrup and mustard sauce. Perfectly OK, unusual if slightly gimmicky. Also had the crab which was perfectly adequate, if a little 'no mates' sans bread or salad. Good view from 38th floor (Shard is better.) Obviously caters for City expense accounts and anyone putting a view over food. Good cocktails, despite very high cost.
So many more places on list to revisit. Verdict: "Poor."