Whilst most of the bars and restaurants of Soho continue to compete with each other for wackiest concept and shouty décor to attract the local über-cool media crowd, Quo Vadis has been quietly getting on with providing a haven of calm for those of use that don’t talk in indecipherable acronyms and silly jargon. It was a bit of a Soho institution in the 90’s and following an extensive refurbishment in 2008, this iconic Soho restaurant has been bought back to its former glory.
In a bid to recreate the history and grandeur of the great Grill Rooms of London, the ground floor dining room provides an elegant space with traditional leather seating, expensive fabrics and intricate detailing. Quo Vadis also houses a private members club on the second floor which we are told is adorned with a selection of contemporary art works from young British artists including Keith Tyson and Gavin Turk.
The extensive menu reads like a catalogue of seasonal British classics, with the onus clearly on simple techniques to allow the ingredients to do the talking; if you can’t find three courses you like on this menu, you really don’t deserve to eat. Starters were a good Scotch egg, Chanterelles with toast and a wonderfully garlicky plate of Razor clams. With game season just underway during our visit, there was only one thing on my mind for mains – the whole Roast grouse with bread sauce. It really was a truly glorious dish, full of deep gamey aromas and rich, perfectly pink meat. The thick hand-cut chips are also amongst the best I’ve ever had, with a crisp outer which revealed cloud-like fluffy potato. Less successful was the Grilled lobster, which clearly needed a few more minutes under the heat, having been served totally raw in parts. However, this was forgotten with good puddings of a Tart tatin and Strawberries with cream.
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £70
Quo Vadis Soho Ltd
26-29 Dean Street
Tel: +44 (0) 207 437 9585