Good Morning London!

Duck and Waffle

On my flight to Barcelona, I had a layover at London (see my previous post at Celebrating the New Year in London).  Not only was it about 10 hours of layover, I had to change from Heathrow airport to Gatwick.  Best of all, we landed at Heathrow at 4:30am, which was the time that Heathrow was actually open (thought most major airports were opened 24/7) and so our flight was hovering for 5 mins since we got there early.

No sweat; at least I got to ride on British Airways business class.

British Airways

When I was much, much younger, to a point I don’t even remember, my parents said that we travelled from New York to Hong Kong in first class.  Ever since then, I have yet to ride on a long distance business class until this trip.

For most people, they’d say that riding business class is a revolution; the difference is enormous.  I concur, but to a certain extent.  You see, yes business class was awesome in that you get to sleep completely horizontally, the flight attendants were much more attentive, they gave you really good sleeping pillows and three types of blankets for you to select, they give you proper headphones instead of the dingy fragile ones, and they serve you food as if you were eating at Lawry’s The Prime Rib.  Never have I felt as refreshed after landing as I did after riding business.

That said, I’m a huge sleeper.  I slept from after the first meal, dinner, to 30 mins just before the last meal, breakfast, was served.  I can replicate this sleep process in economy class too, but with some hiccups in my sleep and I would feel much less refreshed when landing, in fact a bit tired.  I’ve only remembered speaking with one person who, like me, thought that plane food in economy class was actually OK, but everyone else detests it.  If business was Lawry’s, economy was Outback Steakhouse – not bad like McDonald’s standard, but obviously not terrific.

From what I heard though, both Singapore and Qatar airlines rank highly for business class travel, so try to get these airlines for business classes.


Morning in London

In my previous post, I have complained about London.  I hate the winter darkness.  I hate the winter coldness.  I hate the winter rain.  The weather made the city so gray, and its bus designs were similar to those of Hong Kong.

The last two times I’ve been in London for a layover, I managed to catch really good sunlight.  It was still freaking cold, mind you, but it was much more enjoyable than the first time I’ve been at London.  I will admit; I did not had a good first impression London, but it’s warming up to me slowly.

Sushi Samba LondonRight next to the breakfast place we went to, Duck & Waffle

Duck & WaffleEntrance to Duck & Waffle.  You have to book at least two months ahead.  When we booked, the only time they had was 7:30am!  It’s open 24 hours.

LondonDuck & Waffle’s location is known for its exceptional views of London.  I’ll agree that you can view London extraordinarily at high heights, but you can see some parts of the view are sort of blocked.

Duck & WaffleI would probably say my favorite thing about Duck & Waffle, including the food, views, staff service etc. out of all these factors, the best was the interior design.  It stood out, it was unique, and I thought it was cool.  They turned a graffiti wall from an unfitting aesthetic to something that was perplex but blended.

Duck & WaffleThe seating areas.

Duck and WaffleThis is the classic and famous Duck & Waffle.  Sorry to say but it did not live up to its hype.  Having dined at London multiple times, not once has there been a restaurant that was superb; no wonder why Gordon Ramsay is always frustrated.  I would consider this restaurant to be much higher above average, considering most London restaurants just don’t put the heart and time in the dishes.  Ingredients don’t blend, and this dish is no exceptional.  I love dishes that get creative and combine ingredients that you would never imagine them to be complementary of each other, yet they somehow fit – molecular gastronomy restaurants in Spain do these really well.  This dish, this duck & waffle famous dish, lives up to its name – a duck leg, and a waffle, and a duck egg.  Separate ingredients that when trying to eat them together, they don’t match.

Duck and WaffleIn fact, this Ox Cheek Benedict, consisting of Ox Cheek, hen’s egg, and Sriracha, was better.  Both dishes, by the way, came out warm, and it would be better if the temperature was slightly warmer.  See what else there is to eat at the Duck & Waffle menu.

LondonWalking around London.  A beautiful passageway.

London BridgeWe on the London Bridge – views from LB.

London Bridge

Borough MarketNot enough time for shopping, but always have the stomach for eating, we go to Borough Market to sample some dishes.  I actually tasted some boar meat too.

Borough MarketHuge – I believe some Egyptian cuisine cooking meat.

Borough MarketGreedy Goat Hot Chocolate!  It was so good because they mixed in with coconut nut, and it’s dairy free.  And it was super hot, so really good for the bloody cold winter… it was like 1 degree Celsius and since I didn’t have gloves and had to carry bags around, my ears and hands were hurting!  We also added the marshmallows to it too.

Borough Market

Borough MarketI want to try these langoustine!  Cute.

Borough MarketThis is the salted beef rye sandwich.  Served cold and mediocre taste, disappointingly.

Then we didn’t had time so we had to start catching the bus to go to Gatwick airport, and at Gatwick… we got to eat Nando’s!  Surprisingly, I had Nando’s in the city once and Nando’s at Gatwick, and the Nando’s at Gatwick was much, much better… just as good as the one I had in Australia the first time.  Nando’s was probably one of my favorite meals I’ve had in London.

Sad to say, most restaurants in London have disappointed me, as you could probably tell.  But, other things have started to warm up to me in the city.  The beautiful buildings and taxis.  The convenience.  The civility and formality in British culture.

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