London - Quo Vadis @ Soho, an oldie but *not* a goodie
It's been nearly 2 decades since I was last at Quo Vadis, one of the names which many would regard as synonymous with Soho's gourmet scene. Back there again last night, and it's packed as ever. Some dishes we had:
- Kickshaws: crisp, deep-fried pastries with creamy chicken filling. Nice, though it felt fairly pedestrian.
- Seabass, asparagus, aioli and potatoes: Fresh fillets and relatively bland-ish sauce.
- Onglet, asparagus & horseradish: Pepper-encrusted grilled beef, served rare, with asparagus spears and a pickled walnut (interesting) on the side. Chewy meat, very plain.
- Chicken pie and mash: creamy chicken filling, tasted almost like the kickshaw filling. Chicken fillet pieces were nice and tender, but the dish overall was also a bit plain/bland.
- Chips: very fat, thumb-sized pieces served here. Tasted pretty heavy.
I liked the idea of being back at an old Soho dining institution. Just wasn't exactly bowled over by the food, which very much felt like school canteen fare.
26-29 Dean Street
Soho, London W1D 3LL
+44 20 7437 9585
I had a similar experience at a recent meal at the Quality Chop House. A highly anticipated meal at a restaurant with a pedigree and a much lauded new team at the helm. Well reviewed in the papers and the blogosphere, however I struggled to find much of interest on the menu and what I chose was pretty ordinary. Nicely cooked but still very ordinary. Good PR over substance seems to be a contouring trend especially in media savvy London.
We were due to eat at Quo Vadis just after Lee took over, but ended up elsewhere.. can't remember why. I'm surprised the menu and food isn't more exciting and memorable.
We had his menu at the Blueprint Cafe before he left (maybe he rues the day?), and that was a fairly decent meal but fairly ordinary as I recall. Maybe some of these chefs are over-hyped.
From your photos, I wouldn't say the presentation is fine-dining style, but we all know how photos lie. :-)