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Quo Vadis


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A very average/poor meal here on Saturday. Asparagus with Hollandaise was ok. Unfortunately the Beef Wellington suffered from that typical beef wellington problem of a soggy base only this time the undercooking of the base was mainly caused by the pastry being around an inch thick (not an exaggeration) leaving a horrible uncooked gloop. A shame as the beef itself was pretty decent. I pointed out the pastry problem after I had eaten the dish (we were with friends so didn't want to create too much of a fuss) and he barely raised an eyebrow let alone cooment that he would let the chef know.

Treacle tart was poor, it had a crispy top for fucks sake! What's that all about?

Service was amateurish, cutlery being changed after plates had been served, "whose is this?" questions etc. etc. I'm pretty sure our waiter and his mate we more concerned with their pretty hair, where they were going to go drinking afterwards to practice their chat up lines: "Yeah man, I work in one of the best restaurants in London." A lie is never the best basis for the beginning of a realtionship. :hmmm:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Interesting to hear. I haven't been there before but was considering taking Mrs Smoz there this weekend as its her birthday, I ended up booking a table at Chapter One instead (not as a result of your post, but it sounds like it turned out to have been the better option).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Following the review above I was invited back to eat on the house. This meal was better. Starters of Crab Mayo and Courgette flowers were good and steaks were decent enough (Rib-eye and Sirloin) though not as well flavoured as some breeds that have been hung for 8 weeks can be. Having said that I've never found steak in any restaurant as good as I can buy and cook myself :hmmm:

Service was efficient and charming and I was more than a little surprised to find that I didn't have to pay for my wine either which makes me wonder whether I should have ordered something more expensive or something a little cheaper :laugh:

Incidentally it was still daylight outside and the room looks lovely, I imagine it would be very good for lunch.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Following the review above I was invited back to eat on the house.  This meal was better. Starters of Crab Mayo and Courgette flowers were good and steaks were decent enough (Rib-eye and Sirloin) though not as well flavoured as some breeds that have been hung for 8 weeks can be. Having said that I've never found steak in any restaurant as good as I can buy and cook myself :hmmm:

Service was efficient and charming and I was more than a little surprised to find that I didn't have to pay for my wine either which makes me wonder whether I should have ordered something more expensive or something a little cheaper :laugh:

Incidentally it was still daylight outside and the room looks lovely, I imagine it would be very good for lunch.

That was very good of them.

In fact very, very good if the wine was compted as well :cool:

May give it a whirl.

Interested to know where you buy your steak from?

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Not exclusively but mainly from Borough Market. My favourites are White Park, Dexter Steer or Red Poll from Northfield Farm or Longhorn from The Ginger Pig. The Dexter is normally hung for around 5 weeks but before it got too popular I managed to have a piece hung for 7 and it was fantastic. White Park and Red Poll hung for 6 - 7 weeks and The Longhorn for 7 weeks. I've noticed that beef tends not to be quite as good during the summer months, I wonder if this is to do with the weather conditions affecting the ageing?

Edited to add: Note that those hang times are my preferred times, its not often these days that you can find beef at Borough market that has been hung that long unless you have put in an order in advance.

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Not exclusively but mainly from Borough Market. My favourites are White Park, Dexter Steer or Red Poll from Northfield Farm or Longhorn from The Ginger Pig. The Dexter is normally hung for around 5 weeks but before it got too popular I managed to have a piece hung for 7 and it was fantastic. White Park and Red Poll hung for 6 - 7 weeks and The Longhorn for 7 weeks. I've noticed that beef tends not to be quite as good during the summer months, I wonder if this is to do with the weather conditions affecting the ageing?

Going to a Michelin starred place this week that rears its own Dexters, hope they have it on the menu. :smile:

Thanks for the heads up, keep meaning to give Northfield a try, will look at Ginger Pig also.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 2 months later...

Had an absolutely awful meal here Tuesday evening. Seriously. I had a *much* better English dinner at my hotel (Brown's) this evening.

I found the cuisine to be half-hearted (we had sole which was dry, a filet overdone, and grouse overdone), and the service to be as Mr. Grant indicates in his initial post on this thread.

I liked it better when the cuisine was so-so but the stuffed heads were on the walls.

Hospital Road is on Monday. My sincere hopes for better London cuisine.

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  • 2 years later...

Well, following a four out of five review from Fay Maschler I thought it worthy of a visit for Saturday lunch.

As Ms Maschler gets paid for her work and I don't, I will let her paint the picture for you whilst I give my views on the food.

Its here

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We have not eaten Jeremy Lee's food for some many years and from memory enjoyed it. We have walked past Quo Vadis loads on our fairly frequent dining forays into Soho not really wanting to eat there, until now.

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The restaurant was about half full when we arrived and we took a seat with a good view of the room. Service was a little slow at first. One of the Hart brothers (Eddie) was at the bar but did not appear to be taking an active part in the proceedings.

I was surprised as to how basic the menu was, and struggled to connect immediately with any dish other than " Todays pie ". My wife fealt the same so we spent a little longer than normal to choose.

The Teal that Fay had, was annoyingly not on the menu, I can't ever remember eating it so it would have been a first.

Smoked eel and horseradish sandwich was though, and I hoped it was as decent as was described.

It was.

Even though this is just a simple composition eating eel is only going to be once in a blue moon thing for most of us, and eating eel of this quality an even rarer occurance.

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Squid, fennel, and puntarella was a composition which sounded better than it delivered, don't get me wrong it was fine, it just did not excite. It was refreshing though.

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Bread was just about ok, I did not bother to take a photo as it was offered in half slice form from a basket, "white or brown".

Its a crumb of comfort to bite on a bit of shot, at least you know that what is in the pot ended its life in its natural environment. The Pheasant, duck, and mallard pie contained at least two birds from the wild. When I asked our waitress what the "other" duck was (as in not the mallard duck) she said that she would check.

It was a domestic bird.

That really did not make that much difference taste wise, it just made for more of the meat to be pale as opposed to the darker wild bird meat.

The glazed pastry lid glistened in the overhead light, suitably burnished it really looked the part.

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Big chunks of wonderful meat, no hint of dryness. Excellent gravy perhaps a bit thin but nevertheless bursting full of goodness. Worth every penny, a dish well executed. This was served with mash and we took a side order of carrots and cabbage which contained an unannounced but welcome sprout.

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After much debate my wife chose the butchers steak, onglet which was served suitably rare. On the plate was watercress, horseradish cream and a couple of pickled walnuts.

Not at all bad, chewy yes, but its not fillet or sirloin it did have flavour though. The chips that came with it were just ok, a bit on the soft side truth be told.

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We shared a dessert, almond tart, caramelised pears and vanilla ice cream.

This was supremely enjoyable. The tart had honey running through it which made it moist and moreish

A good end and proving that nobody leaves Jeremy Lee's clutches feeling hungry as portion sizes were generous indeed.

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Well on the whole, not bad. Fine dining this is not, its basic food done well. The daily changing menu will appeal to the regulars and the price point is user friendly.

We paid £91 for two starters, two mains, one side dish and one dessert, a bottle of wine and a jug of tap water and service charge. Over £30 of that bill was on the wine so if you are teatotal the bill reduces dramatically.

Worth a visit if your in the area.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Personally I do not trust Maschler's reviews any more. Between the ones she clearly scribbles off on the train home and the ones that regally patronise somewhere where she was feted and adored, they don't seem to offer much.

And then there's her commercial operations which surely must make even the least cynical of us cock an enquiring eyebrow.

But she clearly has no intention of leaving the Standard unless feet first, which is a shame for the readers even though they don't have to pay to read her.

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