Search on ElizabethOnFood to find restaurant reviews, Michelin guides and more...

Quo Vadis - service not included?

Rating: 83.
Rating index:
Extraordinary (96-100)
Outstanding (93-95)
Very good to Excellent (89-92)
Above average to Good (86-88)
Below Average to Average (80-85)
Avoid (below 80)
More info >

The first time I heard of Jeremy Lee was many years ago when a London friend of mine took me to the Blueprint Café for lunch. I visited that restaurant a number of times afterwards, but not in recent years. Jeremy Lee was the head-chef of the Blueprint Café from 1995 until 2011. The second time I heard of mr. Lee was in the 2007 Great British Menu series. Jeremy Lee represented Scotland. He won the Scottish heat and the recipe for his starter, crab cakes, is still on of my favourite crab cake recipes. 

In December 2011 is was announced that Jeremy Lee was to leave the Blueprint Café to join Sam and Eddie Hart's Quo Vadis in Soho, London. Sam and Eddie Hart took over Quo Vadis in June 2008. The Hart brothers also own two other London restaurants, Barrafina and Fino.

Quo Vadis is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. The menu changes daily and offers a small but adequate selection of appetisers, starters, mains and puddings. I had dinner at Quo Vadis with my husband and a friend on Friday 20 January 2012.

After a warm welcome by Sam Hart we were seated and handed the menus and the wine list. When we had decided on the food we chose the somewhat mysteriously designated "Savennières Les Vieux Clos Coulée de Serrant 2009, N. Joly" to go with our starters. Knowing that Nicolas Joly produces both the famous Clos de la Coulée de Serrant as well as straight AOC Savennières, we specifically asked the sommelier which wine it was to make sure that there wouldn't be a mix-up. The sommelier confirmed that this was the actual Clos de la Coulée de Serrant and so were more than happy to order it (pricing seemed very reasonable). However, when the wine arrived at the table it had already been decanted and it turned out that is was a straight Savennières after all. We were none too pleased but decided to go with the wine anyway. We had also ordered a red wine, Schioppettino 2004 from Bressan. The bottle was opened, we decided that it did not need decanting and the bottle was placed in the window sill.

Anyway on to the food.

Our starter was one of Jeremy Lee's signature dishes, the smoked eel and horseradish sandwich. Lovely toasted sourdough, nicely charred, thick pieces of fatty smoked eel and horseradish cream, served with pickled red onions. Nice heat from the horseradish. An enjoyable but simple sandwich that went well with the pickled onions.

By this time we still hadn't been offered any bread, even though bread was served at the tables surrounding us as soon as people were seated. When the bread plates were cleared after we had finished our starters, we asked if we might get some bread after all and it arrived promptly.

For the main course I had opted for the whole grilled mackerel with cucumber and dill salad. Hubby had the loin of Middlewhite pork and our friend had the grilled rack of lamb. All the dishes were well-cooked. My mackerel was soft and moist and both the lamb and pork were tender and juicy, although our friend thought the lamb was rather greasy. Good seasoning. With my mackerel came a cucumber and dill salad. Thick pieces of cucumber served with a powerful mustard and dill dressing. I had ordered an orange and fennel salad on the side.
The lamb was served with a potato tart; braised beans and green sauce were served with the pork. Altogether straightforward but tasty dishes that all could have done with a drop of sauce or jus. With my mackerel I had the Savennières. When the mains were served, no one bothered to bring glasses for the red wine we had ordered before, let alone serve it. Again we had to ask.

Time for puddings. The three of us shared two (i) lemon posset with rhubarb and (ii) shortcake with goat's curd, marmelade and lemon curd. Two lovely puddings. Nice light and creamy posset, lovely acidity from the rhubarb. Good buttery shortcake which went great with the goat's curd and zingy lemon curd. Nice bitters from the marmalade. There was some confusion about the dessert wine and we did not have any in the end.

The food at Quo Vadis is competently cooked but simple. This simplicity is reflected in the prices but personally I would prefer to pay a few pounds more for a bit more elegance. There seems to be a mismatch between the modest food and the elegant ambiance. Some of the dishes seem unbalanced to me, with or without accompaniments. Front of house were very friendly but I guess ours was an unfortunate experience. When we were presented with the bill, the discretionary 12.5% service charge had been taken off.

Quo Vadis on Urbanspoon

Posted 24-01-2012


My Restaurants

StreetXO (2016)
Hedone (2012/2016)
Kitty Fisher's (2015/2016)
Taberna do Mercado (2015/2016)
The Clove Club (2015/2016)
Bonhams Restaurant (2015)
Noble Rot (2015/2016)
Frenchie Covent Garden (2016)
Elystan Street (2016)
Park Chinois (2016)
Luca (2016)
Holborn Dining Room (2016)
Kiln (2016)
My Restaurants

The Fat Duck (05/11/12/13/15/16)
The Beehive, White Waltham (2016)
Andre Garrett at Cliveden (2016)
l'Enclume, Cartmel (2015)
Midsummer House (2012/2014)
Hind's Head (2011/2012/2016)
Northcote Manor (2010/2015)
The Royal Oak (2011/2012/2016)
The Curlew, Bodiam (2013)
Nathan Outlaw (2011/2013)
Paul Ainsworth at No 6 (2011/2013)
Gidleigh Park (2008/2011/2013)
The Sportsman (2012)
My Restaurants

Pure C, Cadzand (2017)
De Lindehof, Nuenen (2015/2017)
Arles, Amsterdam (2017)
Breda, Amsterdam (2016/2017)
Auberge Jean & Marie, Amsterdam (16/17)
Zarzo, Eindhoven (2017)
Tribeca, Heeze (2016)
Bord'eau, Amsterdam (12/13/14/15/16)
De Leest, Vaassen (08/12/14/16)
De Librije (07/09/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17)
Moon, Amsterdam (2017)
Librije's Zusje, Amsterdam (2014/2015/2016)
Aan de Poel, Amstelveen (11/13/14/15/16/17)
My Restaurants

Atelier, Munich (2017)
Gustav, Frankfurt (2016)
Lafleur, Frankfurt (2016)
Villa Rotschild, Konigstein im Taunus (2016)
Geisels Werneckhof, Munich (2017)
Esszimmer, Munich (2017)
Gut Larchenhof, Pulheim (2016)
La Vie, Osnabruck (2011/2016)
Schwarzenstein, Geissenheim (2017)
Schloss Berg (2010/2013/2016)
Aqua (2013/2016)
Schanz, Piesport (2016)
Becker's, Trier (2016)
My Restaurants

El Celler de Can Roca, Girona (2012/2017)
Dos Palillos, Barcelona (2017)
Lasarte, Barcelona (2012/2017)
Eleven Madison Park, NYC (2016)
The Jane, Antwerp (2016/2017)
Hoja Santa, Barcelona (2017)
Blue Hill at Stone Barns (2016)
Espai Kru, Barcelona (2017)
Disfrutar, Barcelona (2017)
Dos Pebrots, Barcelona (2017)
Le Bernardin, NYC (2016)
Geranium, Copenhagen (2016)
My Restaurants

Le Cinq, Paris (2016)
l'Ambroisie, Paris (2016)
Mirazur, Menton (2016)
Neige d'Ete, Paris (2016)
l'Oustau de Baumaneire, France (2016)
Maison Bras, France (2016)
Hexagone, Paris (2016)
Le Vague d'Or, St Tropez (2016)
Champeaux, Paris (2016)
Le Petit Nice, Marseille (2016)
Regis et Jacques Marcon (2016)
Ledoyen (2014)
l'Assiette Champenoise (2014)

©2024 Elizabeth On Food