For the debut of a new series for Edinburgh Reviews, Girdy & Birdy descended on a dining experience they’d both been excited to try: Duck & Waffle! And with the whole menu set up for sharing, what could possibly go wrong?
Birdy: I went in the more stunning entrance, with the fancy red light, mirror, and bright yellow/green elevator! That kind of set it up for me, then inside there’s lots more to see. I love the screens displaying the lightning, bees and other fun stuff.
Very nice vibe, and does give the feel of an experience, doesn’t it?
Girdy: I found my way to Duck & Waffle through the Multress Walk route into the St James Centre. I had to check the map to confirm just which floor to head to, but the giant stack of waffles with a cheeky duck sat on top confirmed I was in the right place. It’s probably the backdoor but I was greeted warmly, efficiently and everything went up hill from there.
It was not too busy, but certainly had a pulse and I thought it might be too posh for me as there’s a smart casual dress code but even turning up in a horror b-movies sweater, I felt comfortable. Totally somewhere to take and impress a client without looking like you are working hard to impress anyone.
Birdy: A great start to the evening – and so tasty (if slightly messy – I got sauce all over my fingers)!
Girdy: I don’t think Birdy knew how brave I was starting with duck sliders but here we were at Duck & Waffle so starting with anything else seemed wrong! Why is ordering sliders brave? I’m rubbish with them. A weak jaw, perhaps, but I always seem to struggle to bite through, get a mouthful and swallow. Sliders always end up a dribbling mess over my fingers, my face and on the plate. These duck sliders were delicious, my taste buds, chin and fingers agree!
Birdy: I didn’t know that! But you did incredibly well. I think I was too concerned with my own messy fingers to even notice, hahah.
Charred tenderstem broccoli
Girdy: I felt I had to at least pretend to be healthy before we dug into the sweets later on… I was not wowed when the broccoli arrived but a few mouthfuls later and I was won over.
Birdy: Never not a fan of broccoli, and this was perfectly charred, with a nice little kick to it. And the added bonus of feeling like we were being healthy, so score.
Girdy: What a clever idea! More of this sort of thing.
Birdy: Never had aubergine like this before! Aubergine crumble FTW. It also felt like a very good portion size.
Duck and waffle
Birdy: The OG! There’s a difference between knowing why the place is called Duck & Waffle, and KNOWING why the place is called Duck & Waffle. Everything went together perfectly, especially with the syrup. Sooooo good!
For two people sharing, up until this point it had been pretty straightforward, so this was the first time it was slightly more complicated – only in that we had to move the egg off, remove the bones, move the egg back and cut down the middle. But so so worth it!
Girdy: We knew in advance, I think, it would come on the bone. Only a little bit of a faff by old me would have shied away at the risk. We halved this but if you’re not eating tapas style I imagine you could wolf down one all on your own and enjoy every mouthful!
Birdy: Oh, absolutely. I’m already thinking about my next visit!
Crispy duck fat potatoes
Girdy: The crispy duck fat potatoes were a Birdy recommendation and it was a good one! Tasty and a great side dish for pretty much everything on the menu.
Birdy: I’d heard about this, and again I was not disappointed. Perfect crunch, and perfectly paired with the accompanying fermented chilli and lime mayo.
Birdy: Two words: WOW factor! I know we’d both been looking forward to the baked alaska, neither of us having ever had baked alaska, so we didn’t know quite what to expect.
Girdy: A game changer! When you come to Duck & Waffle you now know that while the first two courses are delicious, the best is yet to come and you’ll have to wait for it. I often say that cooking is a magic I can’t understand – this wizardy was flamin’ amazing.
Birdy: The fact it’s brought out and set alight right at your table, and then the gooey yummy deliciousness with the brownie and the ice cream and the sauce? AMAZING.
Birdy: These were so light and delicious! Yum.
Girdy: It’s okay that I can’t pronounce the word because I can tell you that these torrejas are tasty and spicy french toast. However, they were outflamed by the baked alaska.
Birdy: Yeah, I also couldn’t pronounce torrejas so you may have noticed on the TikTok that I just didn’t say it. I think I called them ‘like French toast’.
Birdy: Because we’re a couple of lightweights (okay, you’re a lightweight and I just don’t drink, ever) we both ordered mocktails. But then there was a bit of a surprise when a couple of free glasses of bubbly arrived! Of course, I instantly slid mine over to you.
Girdy: Score! Two free glasses of wine. Fortunately, I don’t think I got too lightheaded to enjoy some mocktails. In fact, I recommend the mocktails as a delicious way to keep the bill down. Edinburgh Reviews uses a ‘value for money’ score because that feels like the fairest, wisest way to think about hospitality but please do check the prices on Duck & Waffle against your bank balance before getting too merry!
Birdy: I went for the citrus remix, which I really enjoyed. It’s always nice to try something a bit different.
Birdy: The serving staff were super attentive and 100% ON IT the whole time! It seemed like our water glasses never even reached midway empty because we were continually getting refilled without having to say a word.
After each dish, our plates were quickly taken away and replaced, fresh cutlery etc. and we didn’t even have to think about a thing – leaving us plenty of time to discuss our world domination plans.
Girdy: We have to put to rest this ancient notion that hospitality service in the UK is rubbish. That’s simply not true. Duck & Waffle was impressively good, charismatic, attentive and helpful.
Birdy: I don’t regret coming here AT ALL. Everything was amazing, and I’m struggling to pick a favourite between the duck and waffle, and the baked alaska. Maybe the baked alaska just slightly wins out due to the extra presentation points.
Girdy: My hero dish was the baked alaska and, how’s this for a wild card unexpected challenger… the pulled aubergine is a distant second. On the day itself I would have put the duck and waffle second, but I’ve thought about the aubergine a lot more since.
Birdy: Ohhhh, really?? You literally only wrote 10 words about it above! Also interesting that we differ a little bit there – which is unusual for us!