Iconic London restaurant, Duck & Waffle, opens in Hong Kong and succeeds in replicating the indulgent signature dishes of its UK flagship.
District: Central, Hong Kong
Cuisine: British, with American and European influences
How much: Snacks priced between $60 and $120; Raw between $130 and $170; Small Plates between $105 and $180; Large & Sharing Plates between $195 and $470 (Duck & Waffle priced at $230); Desserts $80
Must order: Irish Crab; Duck & Waffle; PBJ Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich
The best for: Special occasion date night or group dinner
Renowned in London for its 24-hour menu, city views and namesake signature dish, Duck & Waffle has now arrived in Hong Kong. And though the 852 restaurant lacks the 40th floor location of its UK counterpart, when we tried out the new opening, the food matched up to our sky-high expectations.
Located in the ifc mall in Central – handily found just around the corner from ZARA and the newly opened Sephora – Duck & Waffle Hong Kong is open daily from 8am until late. So, although us Hong Kongers may be missing out on its 24/7 dining, hungry customers can still get their fill of duck and waffles at (almost) any time of the day. The hearty breakfast menu is sure to please for weekend brunch, but when it comes to lunch and dinner, the all-day menu is split into six section: Snacks; Breads; Raw / Nearly Raw / Small Plates; Large Plates / To Share; and Sides – along with a separate dessert menu.
Serving several signatures from the London restaurant, the Duck & Waffle Hong Kong menu also features many HK specials. A favourite city-exclusive of ours was the Irish Crab ($160) from the Raw / Nearly Raw section of the menu. Simply complemented by crisp puffed nori for scooping up the sweet crab meat, it’s the ideal starter ahead of the rich plates to come. We also loved the signature Bacon Wrapped Dates ($110). Sweet, sticky and meaty, these turbo-charged dates packed a flavour punch that wasn’t expected.
Sure to delight carb lovers, Duck & Waffle devotes an entire section of its menu to “Breads”. From the six on offer, we tucked into the ‘Nduja and Gruyere Cheese ($70). Pizza-like in both appearance and flavour, the freshly-baked bread was doughy and soft, laden with strong gruyere and spicy ‘nduja.
Moving onto more indulgent plates, we had to try the Spiced Ox Cheek Doughnut ($135). Unchanged from the UK offering, the sugar rolled doughnut is filled with fall apart, lightly-spiced ox cheek and served with a sweet apricot jam. Though proven to be one of the restaurants best-selling dishes, having tried both location’s offerings, it’s one that doesn’t quite do it for us. We did, however love the Foie Gras Crème Brûlée ($150) with puffed pork skin brioche – another dish that shows off the restaurant’s penchant for mixing sweet and savoury.
Onto the main event and the iconic Duck & Waffle thankfully lived up to expectations. Priced at $230 (the London equivalent is 18GBP), it is on the expensive side for what at first appears to be a small portion. The half waffle is adorned with a wonderfully crisp confit duck leg – that, once it has been carved by the attentive waitstaff, falls off the bone. Not forgetting the crowning fried duck egg and an ample pour of mustard maple syrup. It’s not a dish for the faint of heart, but it is undoubtedly delicious. And one that is best shared to save room for the show-stopping desserts to come.
From the sweets on offer, big kids who love the nostalgic combination of peanut butter and jam can’t miss the PBJ Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich ($80). A light-hearted pudding that’s in keeping with the restaurant’s playful and inventive flavour combinations, we loved the duo of creamy peanut butter ice cream and chewy raspberry macaroon cookie. For those that are after something a little more classic, try the Torrejas ($80). The indulgent French toast dessert came complete with sweet maple glazed apples and a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream. We did, however find the Miso Custard Tart ($80) to be a little too savoury for our tastes.
Our verdict: Duck & Waffle Hong Kong succeeds in replicating the indulgent signature dishes of its London flagship with the same fine execution. Alongside the expected dishes sit several inventive city exclusives, which channel the same creative flair and unique flavour combinations. Though there are several quality dishes on offer, we recommend opting for the namesake Duck & Waffle to experience the restaurant at its very best.
Duck & Waffle is open daily from 8am until late. Bookings and walk-ins welcome.
Duck & Waffle, Shop 1081, Podium Level 1, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.duckandwaffle.com.hk
Featured image and image 1 courtesy of Duck & Waffle Hong Kong, images 2 and 3 courtesy of Annie Simpson.