5 August 2016

Date night at Duck & Waffle

Every night is date night, right? Not always. Although P and I do spend an inordinate amount of time (and money) eating out (I've actually lost count of the places I wanted to write up and then just ran out of time on). We just can't help ourselves at the moment.

We're planning to curb our enthusiasm a little when we move in together in just over two weeks (eek!). I am already dreaming of all the amazing meals we're going to cook up in our kitchen (with the cutest open shelving) and avoid the temptation to order in every night. But there's one place that I will never have a problem about going back to time and time again and it's the perfect date night destination - Duck & Waffle.

Doubtless you've seen all the selfies and sunsets on Instagram. With it being 40 floors above the city and open 24 hours all year round, the views are astounding and the gastronomic possibilities are endless.

We started yesterday's evening with a Woodland Negroni and a Daily Grind. Nestled in a moss-lined wooden bowl with a heady fragrance of ferns and meadows, this smoother than smooth campari was a dream. Cocktail genius Rich makes it with 'damp gin', campari and sweet vermouth and slow drips it through all sorts of flora as part of this season's 'Urban Foraged' collection. P, whose drink choices always tend to come in the most feminine of glasses, wasn't quite as keen on his cocktail which came topped with crushed coffee dregs (but that's only because mine was better).

No biggie though as D&W never disappoints. Just look at the guanciale and Welsh goat's cheese bread. Cured pork cheek is layered onto the dough and baked to order and oozing with tangy saltiness. Cutting into the still hot from the oven loaf, we always have to fight over who gets the last tear.

Particularly useful for finishing the last of the foie gras creme brulee. This small pot contains one of the most delectable dishes, worth hankering over with its smooth, meatiness. The cracked shards of sugar cut through the silkiness to add crunch and the heavy brioche with its pork crackling top serves as the perfect vessel from table to mouth.

We also had the seared octopus with raw fennel and chilli. I was too busy eating to take a photo but it was sharp and fresh with citrus and salad, complementing the meatiness of the cephalopod which had the lightest of smokes and crisps.

Next up was the pea and mint ravioli with brown butter crumble. I'm still trying to work out quite how they got this bowl of pasta quite so light and fresh tasting; no carb comas here but sweetness from the fresh peas and an undertone of buttery richness. Predictably, this was swept up and devoured.

We finished the last of our beautiful bottle of Ribeauville Gewurztraminer wine along with a British cheese plate. No time to waste, putting this new found love of Alsacien wine into practice.

So, another delicious date night. Normally I'd be aching to get another booking in the diary to do it all over again. This time? I don't have to wait - next week, we're showing off to clients and introducing them to a world of pig's ears, smoked eel and that duck and waffle dish.

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