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London’s second Duck & Waffle is an altogether more earth-bound proposition than its City sibling. While the skyscraping original shouts destination dining, the St James’s newcomer really does have a local outlook: handy if you’re in the area for a quick breakfast or lunch, or a pre- and post-theatre/cinema supper. Speed is key: diners queue to place their order at a counter before being shown to a seat (many at a communal bench), from where table service is available for any extras. Aside from vegetable side orders (a big bowl of baked and pickled beetroot or nicely grilled tenderstem broccoli with chilli and garlic), there’s nothing to eat but duck: snacky breadcrumbed gizzards with mustard, the namesake duck and waffle (confit leg with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup – a love/hate collision of sweet and savoury) ‒ even the chips are fried in duck fat. Pick of the bunch is a richly rounded duck burger with miso mayonnaise and spiced slaw; the grilled duck breast satay tasted very tame in comparison. To finish, there are ice-cream waffle cones piled with jam and cream, and to drink a short list of beers, cocktails and wines. The system works: we were in an out within an hour having eaten three courses. If you don’t mind the primary coloured brashness and fast-food feel, this is a useful Piccadilly Circus pit-stop, and a kid-friendly venue with a grown-up feel.
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