Running a restaurant that’s open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at the top of a skyscraper in the centre of London is no mean feat. But somehow, chef Dan Doherty and the team at Duck & Waffle have managed it – and the venue is now one of the most popular in the city.
Dan will be returning to Taste of London on 15 June at Regent’s Park after a successful few days at last year’s festival, serving up a taste of the restaurant to crowds of hungry people. As well as the sloppy joes he describes in the video above, he’ll be serving his iconic duck and waffle dish – a confit duck leg and a fried egg on top of a waffle covered in a mustard and maple sauce.
‘We tried the dish for the first time last year,’ says Dan. ‘At first we didn’t want to do it so we could show off other stuff on the menu, and it’s always nice to create new things for these festivals. But when we did offer it everyone went nuts, so it makes sense to do it again.’
However, there’s a difference between the duck and waffle in the restaurant and the one appearing at Taste. ‘Everything has to be suitable for a time and place, so we take the duck meat off the bone so it’s easier to eat,’ Dan explains. ‘When you’re in a restaurant you’re sat down with a knife and fork, but at Taste people will most likely have a drink in their hand or be wandering around. You have to tailor your dishes to these sorts of events.’
The final two dishes Dan will be serving at Taste offer something different to the usual fare at his restaurant. ‘We’re also serving a polenta dish with fresh Parmesan and sage, as well as some soft-serve Golden Graham-flavoured ice cream in waffle cones with lots of toppings, such as crunchy marshmallows and flakes,’ he says. ‘The polenta is already on our menu, but the ice cream is something we’ve made especially for the festival. The weather can be a bit unpredictable but I think a nice, nostalgic ice cream will be really popular, especially with kids, as they can add their own toppings. People have done cereal-infused ice cream before, but I just love it. The best part of a bowl of cereal is the milk at the end, when it’s taken on all the flavour.
‘You obviously want to go to Taste to show off what you do, almost bringing the restaurant to the festival, but there will always be some more unusual dishes created especially for it,’ Dan adds. ‘As far as trends are concerned, burgers always do very well, as does a lot of the Japanese barbecue stuff. But then last year Jose Pizzaro was simply serving this amazing plate of different hams, which makes you realise sometimes all you need is an incredible product.’