Dining in London: Quo Vadis

by artfuldiner on October 25, 2010

in Breaking News, Culinary Criticism, London, Opinion, Review, Wining and Dining

Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean Street, London, W1D 3LL, www.quovadissoho.co.uk


Just a few steps away from the zoo-like atmosphere of bustling Oxford Street, Quo Vadis serves up modern British cuisine in sophisticated yet exceedingly comfortable surroundings. Some restaurants put you at ease the moment you cross the threshold, and Quo Vadis is certainly one of them. Originally founded in 1926, the building was restored to its former glory by Sam and Eddie Hart, also proprietors of Spanish restaurants Fino and Barrafina, and reopened in June 2008.


quo-vadis-endive-saladMy wife began with an extraordinarily beautiful endive salad with Strathdon Blue (an intensely flavorful blue cheese hailing from northern Scotland) and candied walnuts. The leaves of endive were arranged in rather casual tiers, with each end of greenery containing a crumble of the blue and the entire affair topped with grilled crostini. My beetroot tart resided on a thin, perfectly textured crust and was topped with a dollop of St. Tola, a soft, moist, unpasteurized goat cheese produced in Ireland.


When it came to entrées, matters piscatorial took center stage. My wife couldn’t wait to try the fish and chips… and she wasn’t at all disappointed. The breading was perfectly crisp, the white-fleshed cod marvelously moist and bursting with its own unique flavor. The chips were golden brown on the outside, light and puffy at the core. This is a relatively simple dish, but one that – we’ve learned from bitter experience – is all too easily mucked up. The rendition here was benchmark.


quo-vaids-john-doryMy John Dory consisted of two pan roasted filets set on a seabed of baby lettuces and sprinkled with English peas. The finishing touch was a seductive white wine and butter sauce. Superb in every respect. A side of mashed potatoes – my ultimate comfort food – was rich and buttery.


In lieu of dessert, we concluded our evening at table with a wonderful selection of English cheeses. Topping the list was Adrahan, a semi-soft cheese similar to the French Epoisses. It is, in the language of the vernacular, a “stinky” cheese… but quite delicious. I’ve always felt that cheese, rather than a cloyingly sweet dessert, is the most suitable conclusion to an evening at table.


The visit to Quo Vadis was one of our most satisfying dining experiences in London. If you’re on the hunt of traditional British cuisine prepared with innovative touches, this restaurant is definitely worth a try.


Bon Appétit!



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