Historic Soho restaurant and private members' club
Category : Bar, Club
| Cuisine : British
Address : 26-29 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3LL, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.quovadissoho.co.uk
Opening Times : Mon-Fri: (breakfast) 8am-11am; Mon-Sat: (lunch) 12pm-3pm, (dinner) 5.30pm-11pm, (club) 8am-2am
Closest Tube : Tottenham Court Road
It‘s difficult to find the words to describe just how much Quo Vadis remains a London institution. Originally founded in 1926 by Pepino Leoni, it reigns over Dean Street with nearly a century‘s worth of prestige and distinction, passed from one luminary to another until it eventually came under the aegis of Sam and Eddie Hart - two impeccably posh brothers with a penchant for delivering pitch perfect meals. Previous residents of the building include philosopher Karl Marx and sculptor Joseph Nollekens, whilst previous owners include Damien Hirst and Marco Pierre White. Somehow, it hadn‘t really hit its stride until 2008.
Quo Vadis translates from Latin as ‘Where are you going?‘, which is an apt question as the venue invites offers all the contemporary sybarite could want. Sharing ground floor space with Barrafina (another Hart bros venture, along with El Pastor), Quo Vadis can be booked by the public, however the first floor restaurant is exclusively reserved for members. Both spaces comprise of smart white tablecloths and equally smart service, stained glass windows and art deco design, and, most importantly, the culinary exertions of one Jeremy Lee.
Formerly of the Blueprint Café, Mr Lee has carved a name out for himself on television and in gastronomic circles for his big personality, bold style and boldly stylish approach to Great British cuisine. On a Friday afternoon we were lucky enough to experience this first hand, segueing from gin and tonic to chardonnay to pinot noir and through the full gamut of his culinary repertoire. A visit to the restaurant wouldn‘t be complete without a forkful or five of their signature smoked eel sandwich. The oily, exceptional Anguilliformes is offset with a smooth horseradish cream and served between two butter-grilled slabs of sourdough, with a vermillion crescent of pickled onion left on the side like an afterthought. Easily one of London‘s top sandwiches.
This was proceeded by an orgy of langoustines pink and denuded, exposed flesh lubricated with olive oil, chilli and flatleaf parsley. All the dirty work was accomplished in kitchen so we didn‘t have to muddy our hands. After a dish so delicate, we were in the mood for something a touch more homely and earthy, and opted for one of the daily pies. It was beautifully executed with a filling of veal and bacon and a wodge of mash that melted into the suet pastry like ice cream into a soufflé. Maybe a little less refined, but no less satisfying.
However, gratification can be heartily derived from the setting. The members‘ restaurant at Quo Vadis is a great place to kick back and enjoy the fruits of the kitchen‘s labour along with engaging people watching.