LOTI EATS | QUAGLINO’S
With restaurants constantly opening (and closing) in London, it can be easy to overlook the places that have stood the test of time. And Quaglino’s in Mayfair has quite the history; having first been opened by Italian restaurateur Giovanni Quaglino in 1929, it was closed and then relaunched by Sir Terence Conran in 1993 before being taken over by D&D in 2014. Now that new Executive Head Chef Nuno Goncalves (previously of The Waterside Inn, Galvin at Windows and Aqua Shard) is in charge, with a new menu, we thought it was about time we paid a visit.
D&D certainly know how to put a restaurant interior together and Quaglino’s is no exception, with the feature staircase leading down to a plush dining room around an impressive central bar. It is a big space though so we’d recommend going later in the week or on one of their live music nights if you want a buzzing atmosphere.
As you might expect from a restaurant that’s been going for so long, the menu leans towards classic rather than boundary-pushing food. We started with a very silky celeriac veloute with truffle cream and wild mushrooms, and a smooth chicken liver parfait with blobs of burnt apple gel to cut through the richness.
It was more tried-and-tested flavour combos with the mains; a roast fillet of Loch Duart salmon with braised chicory and cauliflower, given a lift with some curry spicing, and an ox cheek bourguignon with pomme mousseline, though it was so rich and sticky that it became a bit overwhelming. That meant we could only manage to split a Valrhona chocolate fondant with cappuccino ice cream – another classic and as oozy in the middle as you would hope – between two.
So whilst it may not match the excitement of other restaurants in town Quaglino’s does give you quality ingredients cooked and plated well, with a shot of glamour on top. And with a set weekday menu of three courses plus a glass of fizz for £33, it proves you can get good value in Mayfair too.
16 Bury St, London SW1Y 6AJ