The Atmosphere Trumps The Food At Super-Glamorous Quaglino's Brunch
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London has so many brunch options, we could try one a week and still not be anywhere near sampling them all. However, we've never had one quite as glamorous as the offering at Quaglino's in St. James's.
The rather understated entrance leads us downstairs into a cavernous and opulent Art Deco space, which harks back to when Quaglino's first opened in 1929. We're seated near the stage which means the second half of our meal is accompanied by Speakeasy — a fantastic band that plays a mix of classics and modern music, with a swing makeover.
Many of our fellow diners have dressed up in 1920s and 1930s outfits, adding to the ebullient atmosphere. As far as ambience is concerned this place gets top marks — but what about the food?
As it's just before midday, it's still reasonable to call it breakfast, so we kick off with some eggs. The smoked salmon with scrambled eggs is solid but our more adventurous fellow diner opts for the haddock and gruyere omelette — disappointingly, both the fish and cheese are lacking in flavour and this subtle dish could easily be improved with a spicy kick or a stronger tasting cheese.
The chicken breast is a filling dish with no surprises to make it stand out from other chicken dishes elsewhere. The salmon has been curried and is accompanied by coriander, making for something of an Indian flavour — but it's only half committed, resulting in a sensation of Western and Eastern influences fighting each other rather than working in harmony — it's a dish that isn't sure what it wants to be.
Dessert is the strongest element of our meal — the crème brûlée is delicious. The combination of white chocolate, lemon, pine nuts and a date & Earl Grey puree sounds like too many ingredients on paper. However, they all work beautifully together and we end our meal on a sweet high note.
Ultimately people come to Quaglino's for the atmosphere foremost, and we'll be back on that score. As far as the Saturday brunch menu is concerned, it's very filling but it needs some improvement to match the quality of the setting.
This meal is from the Saturday brunch menu at Quaglino's. It's £35 for three courses, plus an additional £23 to add bottomless prosecco.
A new a la carte menu at Quaglino's launched in January, featuring many of the dishes from the brunch menu. View the evening menu here.
Last Updated 27 February 2019