Quo Vadis

Posted on Tuesday, 27th April 2010

When Quo Vadis reopened in 2008 following a buyout and revamp by the famous restaurateur brothers, Sam and Eddie Hart (their other restaurants include Fino and Barrafina), it was virtually impossible to get a reservation. That distinction now belongs to Dean Street Townhouse, where despite numerous attempts to secure a booking, I have only ever been offered 6pm or 10pm timeslots. Two years on, and its much easier to get a table at Quo Vadis, so with any luck, in about two years time, I might actually get to have the pleasure of dining at Dean Street Townhouse.

Quo Vadis first opened its doors in 1926, and at one point it had the distinction of being Karl Marx’s workplace. Before the Hart Brothers took over the restaurant, it was part of the empire of Marco Pierre White, the chef who once held three Michelin stars but has fallen so spectacularly from grace that he is now a spokesman for Bernard Matthews.

The Edwardian building that is Quo Vadis has maintained much of its original charm. Art deco mirrors and elaborate art works, including a Damien Hirst, grace the walls. The furnishings are comfortable and elegant.

A starter of octopus, chorizo and artichoke salad (£8.50) was generously filled with the bite-sized pieces of soft octopus, hearty chorizo and tender artichoke. The dressing was light and pleasing, and overall, this was a lovely salad.

Octopus, chorizo and artichoke salad

Octopus, chorizo and artichoke salad

A lobster spaghetti (£17.50) came with a tomato based sauce which had been enriched with pernod that was a little too heavy. A lighter version would have worked better with the delicacy of the lobster meat. The shellfish was tasty, but the portion size small. The pasta was cooked to perfection with an al dente bite to it.

Lobster spaghetti

Lobster spaghetti

Rabbit pie with carrots and curly kale (£18.90) came with a crispy, light puff pastry topping. The pie was filled with tender pieces of meat and a lovely rich sauce that made this dish extremely satisfying. The accompanying curly kale had been cooked in chicken stock to remove any bitterness. Nicely cooked, it was however over seasoned.

Rabbit pie with carrots & curly kale

Rabbit pie with carrots & curly kale

56 day Longhorn beef sirloin (£23) was very tender and cooked to the requested medium rare. The beef came with two sauce options, a hollandaise and a jus. I selected the jus which was robust with flavour. A side of triple cooked chips (£4.50) had a dark, rather than a golden brown colour suggesting they had been overcooked. They were also lacking crunchiness.

56 day Longhorn beef sirloin

56 day Longhorn beef sirloin

A dessert of apple millefeuille and caramel parfait (£6.50) also contained some lovely puff pastry. The gently caramelised apples worked well with the parfait.

Apple millefeuille & caramel parfait

Apple millefeuille & caramel parfait

A praline chocolate bar (£7.50) showed real skill. The scrumptious praline filling was accentuated by a hazelnut base and a chocolate coating. Only the accompanying caramelised banana disappointed a little as its caramel coating was burnt, giving a bitter taste.

Praline chocolate bar & caramelised banana

Praline chocolate bar & caramelised banana

Although some dishes were more exciting than others – the pie enticed more than the steak with its robust flavours – this was a very well executed meal overall. Service, while not unpleasant, was a little tardy at times. There was no salt in the shaker, I was not given a water bowl for the lobster spaghetti (you must use your hands to extract the flesh), and on occasions, bits and bobs weren’t cleared from our table after each course.

These minor points aside, this meal was an enjoyable experience. The price charged seems fair for the quality of food, and Quo Vadis makes for a decent destination in Soho land.

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Summary information

Food rating: [xrr rating=3.5/5]
Service rating: [xrr rating=3.5/5]

Price range: Three courses from £24 to £50. Excludes drinks and service.
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Website: http://www.quovadissoho.co.uk/

Quo Vadis on Urbanspoon

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3 Responses to “Quo Vadis”

  1. Gourmet Chick Says...

    Have been keen to go to Quo Vadis for ages and despite the service failures you experienced I am still keen to get there.

  2. A Girl Has to Eat Says...

    Hi Gourmet, I think it’s definitely worth a try. Overall a nice experience.

  3. Nice Restaurants photos Soho | Restaurants and Hotels Says...

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