The partner in crime and I were invited to try the new 1929 Menu at Quaglino's and we were certainly spoiled rotten!
The Hutch Club 1929 menu, which includes six West Mersea Rock Oysters and a glass of champagne to commemorate when Quaglino's first opened its doors to a beautiful, decadent society crowd in 1929.
This July, they are hiding a South Sea Ronirose pearl worth £2,000 in an oyster for one lucky diner to find. This takes inspiration from Barbara Cartland, who once found a pearl in her oyster while dining in the 1930s!! How lucky was she?!
Sadly we didn't find the pearl but the food was out of this world, and certainly made up for it!
The six oysters were served with shallot vinegar that was divine, and being my first oyster experience I was a little nervous! After the first mouthful the nerves were gone, and I soon devoured all the oysters! My partner in crime was practically licking the shells clean he liked them so much!
Second course was the Hutch Crab & Lobster Burger, which I would put in my top 3 burgers of all time! I have never tried Lobster either, and I enjoyed this so much! The chips were perfectly cooked and the sauce was amazing.
I will certainly be returning with my parents who are serious seafood lovers! What a great meal we had!
Quaglino's is a restaurant with an identity crisis. Italian name, French and English menu, a 1920s Art Deco inspired bar area and grand room that you descend into from equally grand stair. The main restaurant area has a dancehall feel to it, but also something a bit 90s about the decor too, easily remedied, perhaps, with a change to the lighting.
Our waitress was charming and humourous.the sommelier, however not so much. Although we didn't use him to choose our wine, a Barolo. when we asked his opinion of the wine he said "structured and tannic" throwaway labels that don't really give you much insight into what you're about to drink. I found the wine a bit minerally and metallic, not a flattering taste for red wine. Had it been open for a while before serving I think it would have been much more quaffable
We both had the baked scallops to start, one with ham, one without for me. They were delicious, light and melt in the mouth soft, just as they should be.
For main, I had the Dover Sole with Jersey Royal Potatoes. The fish was amazing and the potatoes prepared perfectly, moist and sweet. My friend had the Rib Eye with potato puree. He said the steak was adequate and we both agreed the potato was bland. So much so I doubt it had even been seasoned.
Neither of us were inspired by the desert menu.
Here's the thing, I do really like Quaglino's. I can imagine it's a great venue for a large party. But, it's not of the standard for the prices on it;s menu. So, in the words of so many school teachers, it "must try harder" .
I couldn't find fault in this place. A relatively low-key glass entrance you go downstairs to the reception where you start off the evening with some drinks at what feels like a high end bar/drinking area. £9 for a G&T, about right for this sort of establishment. Down a central staircase that makes you feel like you're on the Titanic and it opens up to a vast eating area, one of the largest in London. The food is exceptional, foi gras and sea bass, with a chocolate brownie washed down with Chablis. High quality food, good atmosphere for a Thursday and not over the top expensive. One of my favourites, would recommend to anyone.
The venue is impressive, a huge room in the ground, not given away by the quite humble entrance door.
The service is very nice, as you should expect in such a nice venue.
The menu is very innovative, and though the portions are rather small, the food is very tasty.
I also like to judge a restaurant by the quality of its bathroom, and Quaglino's is a very nice place to spend a few minutes of the evening :) .
Buon apetito !
This place has many facets to it. So to do justice to this review let me take a stab.
The interior is subtle yet very grand. It is very spacious vertically and very well laid out. The staff was very helpful and polite. Customer service woooowww being in UK was suprisingly wonderful.
They had good wine selections. I prefered their reds.
Their stake tartar with quail eggs was lovely.
Their Crembule was wonderful.
I did not care too much for their citron desert.
I think it is a place which you can make very intimate for a date or take a big group in like we did and have a good party.
Check it out ...
I really liked this place. It might have been a bit over-priced (especially the drinks) for quality but I felt like I stepped into a 1930s film and only needed someone 'singing boogie woogie bugle boy' to make me feel completely on a time trip.
Quaglino's is a Mayfair/Pall Mall restaurant a la old style dance hall and when I was there they had a man playing the piano with another playing a cello/bass, really nice. I also enjoyed that some people were really dressed up (there were a few people in tuxs!) and then people in jeans and winter boots. I don't know if they do , but to make this place a real hot spot it should offer dinner and dancing nights, would be fun to get all dolled up like a jitter bug and get my grove on.
Food was okay, not bad by any means but also nothing particularly memorable either although it was presented nicely... maybe I just really enjoyed the vibe but I'm sure I'll be back again, perhaps in particular when I have older relatives visit me as I'm sure they will enjoy the meal in memory lane.
I was told from my friend that this restaurant is really iconic in London. It's been around for many years but looks pretty modern and posh. We came in December so there's silver christmas trees all around which made the ambience really feel like the holidays.
although it seems pretty swanky, the prices were decent. i ordered fish and chips because i was playing tourist, but it was actually really good. the batter was crispy, which did it for me. the tables are a bit close together so it's hard to squeeze in and out, but not a big deal.
overall, really nice place, i'd take someone here if they were visiting.
When I stepped in, I wasn't expecting to be embraced by a generously proportioned subterranean lounge. The cavernous hall was a merge between James Bond and the blitz era, complete with pianist. It was slightly empty when we got in (8pm), but then it fast began filling up. Men in suits sipping lemon drops, ladies in gowns tucking into steaks, and some of the tired post shopping lot. There was a tonne of people watching to be had.
I particularly enjoyed the service. I couldn't fault it at all. Polite, and courteous with drinks (including tap water) magically filling up almost all by themselves as the staff floated around.
But as for the important stuff... the food was pleasant overall. My starter was somewhat headachey, there were just too many flavours. Honey, smoked meats, syrupy red pepper, plus a briney seafood flavoured salad. It was just confusing. I just hope they didn't run out of salad, and lift a handful of garnish from the fish counter.
The list of mains wasn't very inspiring. The whole menu was somewhat gastropubby and somewhat away from the fine dining experience they are trying to create. I went with grilled bass and beans. Which really was just grilled fish and homemade baked beans. Plus two pieces of arugula. Some of the baked beans were burned, but I overlooked that as the whole thing tasted rather nice together.
Dessert was incredibly generously. I had a HUGE slab of sticky toffee which made up in burnt treacleness for all the moistness and fruit it was lacking.
Overall... I think they need new chefs and menus. The food is acceptable, but the incredible venue deserves more.
My friend is throwing a party in a few weeks and she wants to impress her guests with a couple of creative cocktails rather than a limp gin and tonic. Which is why we signed up for Quaglino's Cocktail Club (£20 including two complimentary cocktails), where you can learn cocktail knowledge from mixologist Branislav Ivanic.
The talented Ivanic introduced our group to the basic bar tending tools before distributing some fresh, quality ingredients (the core of any stellar cocktail) and demonstrating a number of special, summery tipples.
Then it was our turn to be let loose behind the bar. With Ivanic's help, I learnt how to make a mean vodka martini and bloody mary, although my bottle juggling stunts left a lot to be desired. Tom Cruise in Cocktail, I am not.
Still at the end of the 90 minute session, I was well on my way to becoming a cocktail connoisseur. Whether I will be able to remember the recipes for my next soiree is another matter: expect to have poured plenty of booze down your throat by the time the night is through.
To make a booking, call Georgia on 020 7484 2005
I came here with friends for an evening standard dinner (I think it was 20 or 25 GBP) 3 courses with a glass of wine.
The ambiance is weird....it is like being transformed to the late 90s.
We sat down at the bar before our dinner and there was a DJ and live violin duo that was unbearably loud. and very very weird in the music. We thought that once we left the bar area that it would be tolerable, but the music was so loud all night we couldn't have a dinner conversation.
The space is big and airy and sort of cool but sort of passe and the big staircase down is a bit surreal.
The food was just ok--smoked salmon belini starter was ordinary, roast chicken was on the dry side. The dessert however was really good--a cold chocolate fondant with lavender ice cream.
I wouldn't go back.....
I came here for dinner with a friend and a fab £10 Evening standard voucher. The voucher guaranteed two course for £10 but you could of course order more if you wanted. We started off at the bar for a quick cocktail. At £9 a pop, they weren't cheap. But they had a lemon drop martini on the menu and it was pretty damn good.
Well that was before the waiter dropped the tray containing our drinks while escorting us to our table. My lemony goodness died a tragic death on the white marble floor and my friends drink also suffered a bit of spillage. We were assured that we would get new ones made right away.
Flash forward to our drinks arriving at the table. I have a new drink in a shiny new glass while my friend's drink is untouched. Despite spilling a quarter of the contents out of the glass, they didn't make her a new one. We asked why and were told that nothing actually spilled out of her drink and that the amount missing was what she drank.
Frustrated, annoyed and not wanting to start an argument in the middle of the resturant, we let it go. Only after we reminded them that there may be broken glass floating around.
Minus 1 star for you.
Our next disappointment came when we ordered the salmon ceviche as a starter. What we got was chopped smoked salmon with no trace of lemon, lime or any citrus flavour of any kind. Note to chef: Smoked salmon /= ceviche.
Minus 1 star.
The saving grace was our main meal with was the roast beef. IT. WAS. AMAZING. The beef was really tender and flavourful. I would higlhy recommend it.
That along with the gorgeous atmosphere make it a nice place to have dinner. Just don't order the "ceviche" and wait until you get to your table before ordering a drink!
Once very fasionable in the late 80's and 90's....Quags now has to trade on the quality of it's food and all I can say is that the best piece of beef and the best piece of lamb I have ever eaten have both been in Quags.
Not overpriced, good service and stunning interiorwell worth a visit
I went to Quaglino's to celebrate a friend's birthday and we had a lovely time. The venue itself is rather stunning to look at and makes clever use of light to make you forget the fact that you are dining underground. The bar is typically elegant for this part of town - plus you get a great view of the rest of the people dining in the restaurant below you.
The food was very good, but portions were on the small size for the one guy in our group. I had the pea soup and gilt head bream, both of which were tasty and filling. The star of the show, however, was the Eton Mess for dessert which was utterly divine and tasted ridiculously indulgent.
As it was my friend's birthday we had brought him a cake - we were then a bit horrified to discover that Quaglino's charges a 'cakage' fee of £2.50 per slice! What the -?! I have never come across such a ridiculous policy in my life. Apparently it is because they can provide their own cakes in such cases. Still, the staff were polite enough to put our cake on a plate and bring it over with some candles. We then celebrated and had it put back in its box to avoid the afore-mentioned cake tax.
Overall, Quaglino's was a lovely venue for a meal with friends - the staff were charming and attentive and the venue had a great buzz about it. Just a pity about the silly cake policy!
Go there if you can get someone to take you - food is very good but not brilliant, atmosphere is smart but a little on the corporate side. I lunched here yesterday as the guest of a supplier - decent lunch; nice soup, a main of chicken and what must be their signature mash - potatoes so creamy they must've been 90% butter and tasting the same as when I first dined here 16 years ago; absolutely delicious, but eye-wateringly unhealthy.
There seems to be a lunch offer on at the moment - hunt one of these down. A fairly small glass of (very good) wine at £5.30 ups the price, and there are dozens of other places to go in London where food is better, cheaper, and the atmosphere a bit more upbeat; the place was maybe 1/3 full at lunchtime yesterday, which is probably right for the third week in Jan (and pre pay-day) but in a space as large as Quaglinos, it felt a little deserted.
One thing that is worth noting though is that they don't charge extra for room hire - you can use their decent private room if you've a certain number, and it won't cost you more.
Lovely decor, very impressive inside. We had a nice time sipping cocktails in the bar before descending the staircase, with an air of Gone With the Wind, down to our table. The service was prompt and the food was good. Nothing truly outstanding but fine quality.
The down side was the feeling we got of being somewhat out of place. As a table of 20-somethings if felt as though the waiting staff viewed us as young and uneducated so were slightly patronising. We had an older party next to us who kept jamming their chairs back into our table and complaining very loudly about how much space we were taking up. Rather irritatingly they were on the end of the row of tables so could easily have spread out to gain more space but instead opted to moan and sigh very dramatically. Not the restaurants fault I realise but I don;t enjoy eating in an atmosphere where I don't feel comfortable or welcome so I won't be going there again.
My star rating is based on my most recent visit, from previous experience I would have expected better, but just to let you know that it isn't always great.
In short we had to wait almost an hour for our mains. We were going on somewhere else so after 20 minutes we said we were ready for it but kept getting apology after apology until it eventually arrived and I had a very sorry bit of dried up fish which really wasn't what I would have hoped for. Admittedly the staff were very good about it, two free glasses of wine and a bottle of water, but some things you just don't expect.
To cap it all, when we eventually arrived at where we were going, our friends a had left and we had paid £20 to get in unecessarrilly.
An all round disappointment on this occasion but it won't stop me going back. The restaurant itself is a great place (don't sit near the toilets though!).
Expensive (hey, you're in London right?) but lovely restaurant serving excellent food. The decor is nice, the service is excellent and the food is delicious. I particularly recommend the goats cheese tart to start. The drinks are second-mortgage worthy but well mixed and do well to get you merry.
This is one of my favourite places to eat out in London so it goes without saying that I highly recommend it.
-Good value for money (15GBP for a two course dinner)
-Good wine selection
-Loud (especially the bar area)
-Venue a bit dated (very 90's)
-The food is bland an un-imaginative (I ordered salmon and duck). The salmon was decent, the dressing was very bland and tasteless. The duck was very average: the meat not of a great quality and a tad overcooked.
I was here last night with 6 friends.
When you arrive you are shown to the bar packed with lots of people, a pianist and a saxophonist and several waitresses and a cigarette girl and it is far from pleasent but once you move down stairs to your table the atmosphere changes for the better.
The music is now just right and the noise levels are fine. You can chat across your table without being over heard or us overhearing other tables.
We all skipped the starters and four of us had chateuabriand and it was not melt in the mouth perfect but still very good. Others had burger, fish and chips and rump steak. All reported to be pleased with their food.
The staff are attentive and friendly and but for the continual topping up of our wine glasses would have been excellent.
Too full for desert as none of us found them very interesting.
£350 for the 7 of us without a tip but that did include numerous beers and 5 bottles of wine.
This is part of the D&D group who do pre theatre menus at a fixed price - if I go here again I will try that.
Overall a pleasant enough evening but no pazzaz and the dining room is massive so no intimacy - I wouldn't bring a date here.
Mediocre food, oppressively loud (with a mariachi band at full tilt all night!), unwelcoming front of house staff, expensive. Better to try Gordon' Ramsey's Boxwood cafe which has a similar design (ex-dance hall downstairs) but is smaller, more intimate with better food.
I was in London for a vendor conference and they hosted an event at Quaglino's. The facility was perfect for the occasion and the meal was great. I don't know if this arranged by the host or provided by Quaglino's but the evening included a travelling spontaneous poet (pick the words and he will create a poem on the spot) and a table side magician - fun evening.
Great food great service. Very friendly atmosphere.
I had a date with a guy that took me here. Very nice decor, the staircase evoked a sort of old school glamour feel to it - all I was thinking was that I hoped I didn't trip up whilst walking down in my 4 inch heels! The food was fairly good, the only disappointment was the dessert (go to Eight over Eight - their chocolate cake and green-tea ice-cream was to die for!).
Reviews complementing the food are accurate, but this is more than just a restaurant. There is an elegant (perhaps, even, slightly swanky) bar overlooking the dining area, with well-made cocktails and, on occasion, a live pianist. I find this is a good place to drink with friends to talk as it is not too noisy. The drinks are expensive, but one is not left feeling short-changed.
Great food and great service in a very buzzing atmosphere. The menu is straightforward by the standards of a lot of modern places, the wines are lovely, and they have a phenomenally good selection of old Calvados. Their seafood selection is also very impressive, although unusually I didn't try it!
fab restaurant, really swanky - has a guy playing piano at the top of the stairs and aldy singing jazz! the staircase itself is smazing, something to make an entrance on!
Food is luxurious and desserts are divine.
Lovely decor, very impressive inside. You can enjoy cocktails in the bar before risking the staircase if you can hold your liquor. Strong sense of eating below street level. We were there pre Christmas and boy was it busy and fairly boisterous; It would not have been good for a romantic meal that night. The service was prompt and the food was good. Other restaurants have taken this ones matle over now with nothing truly outstanding but fine quality. Makeover is required
This excellent, smart restaurant serves a variety of Mediterranean dishes. It has a nice atmosphere despite being a very big restaurant. Not ideal for those looking for a small place, but certainly worth a visit.
Food is not what i would expect from a restaurant of this standard, Noisy poor service and overpriced actually think 3 stars is generous but am comparing to similar priced establishments in this area
so over its back? not sure. its a storied place alright, and worth a first visit if only to tread some of the early steps of London's culinary renaissance, now led by better known media faces than Conran. anyway, have had fun here in the past, so if you're in the hood, give it a try.
First went here back in the eighties and a few times since. Went again recently with an old friend and, it is what it is, and they do it so well. Theatrical, bustling, friendly, lively, dramatic, good value, very good food and a lovely wine list. And you can still pretend to be a media whore as you process down the staircase after a cocktail at the bar. It has never disappointed, keep on keeping on.
Great service. I can always put up with average food and good service but the other way around makes me unhappy. Both is obviosuly best though. Food is above average and service is excellent. Wine waiter did a marvellous job and we all had the most amazing hangover the next day.
Food was lovely, jazz singer in the background. Champers and oster bar was a nice touch. Just becareful not to fall down the stairs after one too many.
You can definitely do better. We ate there on a non-busy Friday in March and the service was poor, the food was mis-timed and the all steaks were over cooked. Nothing special about this place except for the decor. Food and service are miss-able.
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