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QC Restaurant


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#1 macrosan

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 09:46 AM

Just had lunch there today.

The room is very big, but divided up nicely into sections so it isn't too daunting, but it's certainly not what you would call cosy ! At 12.30 it was empty, and by the time we left at 3pm there still weren't more than a dozen people eating. Of course the snow may have had much to do with that.

The lunch menu, £18.95 for two courses and (I think) £24.95 for three, was interesting and varied. The starters were amazingly complex sounding, and I particularly recall "Jerusalem artichoke soup with confit of pigeon leg". I had pan-fried red mullet with artichoke other vegetables. This was a tail section of red mullet which arrived scorpion style, it's tail arched over the body, a kind of feathery arrangement in place of the real tail. The texture and flavor were excellent, and the vegetables set off the dish nicely.

Main course was sauteed venison. This arrived in three pieces, cooked exactly as I like it (red but not too bloody in the centre, brown outside). The meat was tender, but somewhat lacking in flavor. It could have been almost any meat, and certainly had no trace of gaminess. The vegetable garnish was sweet and sharp, and very much reminded me of my experience at The Capital, where I had been unable to eat the vegetables with a lamb dish, because they were excrutiatingly sharp. In this case, I ate a few vegetables and left the rest.

The wine was a Pinot Noir (I didn't choose it so I know no more) which was pleasant and (I think) reasonably priced.

Service was friendly and efficient throughout. Our server totally won me over when she brought the bill (to my colleague) and immediately announced "Service charge is included". I have never ever heard that done, and I complimented her on doing so and asked her to pass my comment to the management.

Overall a pleasant meal, but not exceptional. I don't know the immediate area well, but I think it's lacking in decent restaurants, so this place may well be worth knowing for business lunches.

#2 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 09:50 AM

Is this the same place as QC? If it is, I have never seen more than about 5 people in there at any one time

Their bar is a reliable place for a drink and, like the restaurant, is not over populated by customers

SD

#3 Kikujiro

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 09:52 AM

Macro

Is this the Jun Tanaka place?

Incidentally, if so, I notice there's a new branch of Matsuri in the flash new office block more or less opposite. No idea what it might be like as have never been to the older St James branch either.

#4 Miss J

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 10:02 AM

Just for reference, there's also an interesting little Polish bar tucked away in that area:

Na Zdrowie

Not that I'm recommending it for business lunches. But it's one of the only places I've eaten pierogis in London, so I'm glad it's there.

#5 Jon Tseng

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 10:36 AM

Just for reference, there's also an interesting little Polish bar tucked away in that area:

Na Zdrowie

Not that I'm recommending it for business lunches. But it's one of the only places I've eaten pierogis in London, so I'm glad it's there.

hear hear for the pierogi - especially with crispy pork fat scattered over the top

fifty vodkas at two quid a shot - what else do ya need?

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#6 Miss J

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 10:45 AM

Reliable transport home? :wink:

#7 Jon Tseng

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Posted 09 January 2003 - 10:55 AM

Reliable transport home?  :wink:

my skates are all i need to get home

flippin' hard trying to 'blade on ice though, have to say

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#8 circeplum

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 02:36 AM

it is the jun tanaka place. i think his cooking can reach the sensational.

the matsuri place across the road features great, un-nouveau japanese food but has the atmosphere of a deserted new town bus station.

#9 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 02:43 AM

Reliable transport home?  :wink:

my skates are all i need to get home

flippin' hard trying to 'blade on ice though, have to say

j

This statement now makes sense in the context of you turning a mere 25 yesterday



S

#10 Kikujiro

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 03:17 AM

Yesterday? Happy birthday, Jon. I'd say it's downhill from here but that's been true for some years now.

#11 Jon Tseng

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 03:19 AM

you or me?
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#12 Kikujiro

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 03:20 AM

Both. But me for longer.

#13 Tonyfinch

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 03:48 AM

For those members interested BYOB at QC is a mere £5 per bottle.

#14 Andy Lynes

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 04:06 AM

I've booked for a week or so's time for a work related event, so will probably not take advantage of the BYO policy but thats interesting to note.

#15 Tonyfinch

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 06:41 AM

Make sure you report Andy. I'm thinking of going there with a wine buff friend next month.

#16 Andy Lynes

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 06:47 AM

Will do, I'll try and stay sober enough to remember at least what I ate.

#17 Tonyfinch

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 08:19 AM

Will do, I'll try and stay sober enough to remember at least what I ate.

Please don't. I wouldn't want anyone doing that on my account

#18 Andy Lynes

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Posted 10 January 2003 - 09:10 AM

It looks like I've got an early start next morning anyway and to be honest the people I'm dining with are not great drinkers so it will be no great strain.

#19 tony h

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 02:24 PM

I've had a couple of perfectly acceptable meals there - very good for early evening/pre-theatre when you want something satisfying & quick. I'm not too keen on the room so I wouldn;t want to linger there for a prolonged meal.

#20 Andy Lynes

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 04:57 AM

Dinner for 6 a few weeks ago : This was a work related meal and I chose the venue on the basis that it was very convenient, I wanted to try Jun Tanaka's food and that no matter where I take my gastronomically disadvantaged work mates they always bloody complain. I had nothing to lose.

The room is large, high ceilinged and with loads of green marble all over the shop. Despite all this, it somehow fails to avoid feeling like the hotel dining room it actually is, underscored by the casual attire and recently-showered look of many of the diners. That the staff began laying the tables for next mornings breakfast whilst we finished our drinks at the end of the meal didn't exactly help much either.

It is nevertheless spacious and comfortable and grand in a way. The al a carte menu offers 8 choices at each stage, plus a cheese board. A 3 course meal will cost you between £31.50 and £44.50.

The now inevitable cup-a-soup arrived unbidden to the table before the main event. Although rather tiresome, they are in fact a good way of judging the skill of the kitchen and what sort of experience you are in for. A parsnip soup with truffle cappuccino was a welcome twist on a tired formula and delicious. Tasting strongly of the main ingredient but not too sweet and with a wonderful fungal aroma, it would have made a great full sized starter. Bread was also top notch stuff.

I began with a warn salad of mackerel with caviar, vegetables a la greque (£9.50). This was a precisely poached "ballotine" (at a guess I would imagine that the fillets had been laid top to tail then wrapped in cling film to create a cylinder, then cut in half across the length to make 1 portion) set upright in the centre of the plate, topped by a generous spoonful of caviar and surrounded by the not too acidic vegetables (potato, baby artichoke, carrot, mushroom and some others I've forgotten). A lace of frisee had been delicately arranged over the veg to good effect. It was a beautiful dish to look at and delightful to eat with well balanced, clear flavours.

A signature dish of confit of salmon with chives and ginger, lasagne of crab and shellfish veloute (18.50) was equally successful in design and execution. A several inch think fillet of salmon had been poached in duck fat and turfed over with a bright green layer of chives and fresh ginger. This sat in a shallow rectangular plinth of cut-to-fit crab lasagne, with the soup-like sauce poured around.

Each element worked well together, with no single flavour dominating. The ginger had been deployed with a judicious hand and added warmth and interest to the dish whilst counteracting the richness of both the salmon and crab flesh. The pasta was very fine indeed, and the veloute as deeply flavoured as one might have hoped. Crab lasagne with shellfish veloute is a long-standing highlight of The Square's menu where it appears as a starter and in whose kitchens Tanaka has in the past toiled. Adding to an already perfect dish risked gilding the lily, but in fact it worked a treat.

I am currently on a mission to try as many variants of the poached pear theme as possible and despite already having had 2 poached courses, went for the oven roasted pear with blue cheese centre, baklava and port syrup. This was a halved pear, still in its skin which had been cooked in red wine then re heated in the oven for service. Scoops of blue cheese ice cream filled the hollowed out centres with the slightly solid baklava and syrup arranged around and about. Interesting and unusual.

The wine list is surprising short and we drank an OK New Zealand Sauvignon at £25.00 a bottle. Service was very efficient but a little faceless.

Tanaka is a very talented chef, with a great visual sense. His food is refined with pronounced and finely judged flavours requiring I would imagine a very disciplined and skilled kitchen brigade to produce it. It put me in mind of early Petrus/late period Aubergine. QC restaurant is not the ideal place to east this sort of stuff, a smaller more intimate room would suit the food better, but for now at least that is where you will have to go to if you want to experience it.

#21 Miss J

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 06:44 AM

Great report, Andy.

Now, this thing you have about poached pairs: you are talking about pears, yes? :unsure:

#22 Andy Lynes

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 06:51 AM

I'm pleading the 5th on that.

(I've edited the report to amend that rather stupid spelling mistake now in case anyone is wondering what this is about)

#23 Miss J

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 07:08 AM

The frightening thing is, when I first scanned through your report I took on board the "poached pairs" thing and rationalised that you were into eating poached things in pairs of flavours. So as I read that paragraph, I kept thinking, "Yes, but what was actually poached? What was the first thing, and what was the second?"

It was only then that I clued in about the fruit.

Okay. I had a couple of lychee martinis last night. I'm a little fuzzy-headed today. What of it? :rolleyes:

#24 macrosan

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 10:33 AM

The frightening thing is, when I first scanned through your report I took on board the "poached pairs" thing and rationalised that you were into eating poached things in pairs of flavours.

Tell you what, J, I thought exactly the same thing, and indeed my mind went straight to Blue Hill with their "signature" poached duck dish and a poached fish dish someone else had tried.

Having now re-read Andy's post with the amended spelling, I have to say I preferred the original :smile: It had more ... [i]je ne sais quoi[/] ... perhaps a hint of exotic mystery ?

Thanks for the post Andy :rolleyes:

#25 sandra

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 07:43 AM

Macro

Is this the Jun Tanaka place?

Incidentally, if so, I notice there's a new branch of Matsuri in the flash new office block more or less opposite. No idea what it might be like as have never been to the older St James branch either.

We went to the new Matsuri branch last night and were pleasantly surprised - ordered the 7 course Teppanyaki menu, got several mini appetisers, a soup, a dish of veg and prawn tempura, a plate of 3 nigiri and 1 roll sushi, a plate of sashimi, about 10 pieces, a salad and the beef, prawns, scallops and veges and fried rice cooked at our table - then the caramelised ice cream and fruit platters... £55 each

The ingredients were super-fresh, the sushi neat and cleanly cut, the tempura was not greasy at all and the teppanyaki very well cooked by a Benihana trained chef! There was so much food we could barely move afterwards...

We haven't been to the St James' branch so nothing to compare it to, this branch is very modern Starck-ish neutrals and blacks, they also have a sushi bar and dining room - it was very quiet last night, but it was a Saturday night in Holborn...
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#26 cappers

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 08:14 AM

There is a new restaurant in/nr the pearl building in holborn any one know what it is ?
many thanks

#27 circeplum

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 09:18 AM

if it's the old pearl assurance building, that would be qc at the chancery court hotel i think. it - and jun tanaka's cooking - are talked about in other threads.

it's not really new, though. where did you hear about new restaurant?

#28 Hallie

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 11:24 AM

I just had dinner at the QC restaurant (I know it has a name - though I can't remember it) the other week. The food, I thought was very good -especially my starter of scallops and langustines (excuse my spelling). My brain was addled by a particularly gruelling day at work so I can't at the moment recall the precise details of my main course other than it was chicken based and involved a feature I have been seeing on my plate quite frequently these days; a 'lasagnette'. A lasagnette, it seems is what we used to call an open ravioli. This particular lasagnette contained lovely, earthy truffles.

My one complaint was that the service was not up to par. Aside from four other tables, we were the only diners in the room, yet we sat with our empty plates in front of us for a good ten minutes before anyone bothered to remove them, or even came to check on us. The one thing that really lets the place down is the ambiance - morgue like chilliness; lots of marble, dauntingly high ceilings and a total lack of intimacy. Some people might go for minimalist chic (if you can call a converted corporate headquarters minimalist or chic) but frankly I'd rather dine under an army tent than in an ice palace.

Just my brash opinion . :cool:

#29 rjs1

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Posted 23 March 2003 - 04:17 AM

Reviewed by Jay Rayner in today's Observer. Likes the food but not the place.

#30 rjs1

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 04:30 AM

After a slightly disappointing lunch at QC a week ago, decided to give it one more go to try to find out if standards had slipped permanently or it was a one-off dip. My wife and I went there last night and ate from the full menu rather than the fixed-price lunch-and-early-evening menu I've always had there before.

Dinner was wonderful, by far the best meal I've eaten there. After a taster of blue-cheese, celery & walnut soup (a clever twist on the usual stilton, celery & walnut combo at the end of a meal), we had monkfish & clam risotto (very fresh fish, perfect risotto with lots of parmesan) and hot peppered venision salad with red cabbage coleslaw and blackberry dressing (very tender meat, perfect coleslaw, but slightly unbalanced by very hot pepper). For mains we had canon of lamb with sweetbreads (perfectly pink meat) and red mullet & sardine with chorizio and tempura-battered vegetables (again, very fresh fish; the vegetables were perfect with very light and beautifully flavoured batter; the chorizio didn't overwhelm the other ingredients.

Unfortunately didn't have time for pudding or coffee.

The sommelier said that there would be a new wine list in place by the end of next week. :rolleyes: