But Duck and Waffle up Heron Tower may just hit that sweet spot. It opened in August last year, and I made it up there just before Christmas.
First impression's are pretty swanky. You enter the bottom of the skyscraper, a receptionist checks off your booking and sends you up in the express elevator to the top floor. It's bloody terrifying how fast it goes up; your ears pop and London gets smaller and smaller very quickly. We were there on a glorious, crisp, clear December morning and light was beaming in through all the glass. The dining room isn't so big, but has 360 degree views. It's quite Jetsons with some 50s inspired rounded diner sofas.
We were just there for brunch (and an early one at that!), but much of their menu is available 24/7 (it really is open 24/7 - a rarity for London). Three of us opted for the signature dish: duck and waffle:
It's a confit duck leg, on top of waffles (Belgian style) with a duck egg on top and a side serving of maple syrup with mustard seeds in. The duck leg was super succulent - falling off the bone and rich with the flavour of its own fat. The maple syrup with mustard is a play on a Deep South smother for fried chicken, and worked well with the duck and the waffle. The waffle, too, a play on a soul food tradition. It's part of the posh junk food thing, but definitely at the, er, highest end of it.
Priced at £15, it's not a huge amount for the money, but considering the view (think Shard tickets are £25!) and the quality of the ingredients, it's actually a pretty good deal. One slight quibble was that the service didn't quite match the rest of the experience. Waiters didn't quite have the kind of flair you would expect, weren't very attentive or confident serving. That said, the rest of the menu looks good, and I'll be back to explore further.