The revamped Quality Chop House (QCH) could’ve been two restaurants, a wine bar and a dining room, each serves a different menu. Don’t just go for the dining room because it’s bookable, check which menu you prefer first. I went for the walk-in wine bar this time because it had more choices than the set lunch/dinner menu served in the dining room. The wine bar was surprisingly cosy, very bistro like with only a few tables. People were very casual, some came in just to have a glass of wine, sole diners came in for a main dish and left, larger groups (4/5 people) easily got a table. If I lived close to Farringdon, QCH would be a great local restaurant.
Food wise, the bar menu was written on the blackboard (not particular easy to read, had to ask them to read the dessert menu for us) and the dishes reminded me a lot of St John Bread and Wine's simple style. Not even divided into starters or mains, just a list of dishes listed in the order from snack to main sizes, which you can order to share or individually. I liked how balanced the menu was, a good combination of veggie and meat dishes, such as purple sprouting broccoli, lentils as well as middle white terrine, confit guinea fowl leg and the more expensive Longhorn Chateaubriand at £60 for 2.
Flavour wise, the meat dishes had more flavour than the veggie ones. The snack sized brisket was really flavoursome with golden crispy wrapping and the confit guinea fowl leg was tender, beautifully matched with squash. But the broccoli was just broccoli and the lentils were rather bland (or maybe I’m too used to chorizo in lentils!). Desserts were British classics and the rhubarb trifle had all the colourful layers, each delicious and not overly sweet.
Purple sprouting broccoli
Braised lentils with squash and creme fraiche
Confit guinea fowl with squash
Proper tea set
Verdict - 4/5
Food (comfortable British food) - eating at the wine bar of Quality Chop House was a lot like dining at St John Bread and Wine, simple British food that I’d happily visit if I’m a Farringdon local. The meat dishes were better than the veggie ones I tried but since the menu changes on a daily basis, I need to try more dishes to decide. Also need to come back for the set lunch/dinner menu.
Ambience (local bistro style) - very casual and cosy place to dine, like a neighbourhood bistro. Make sure to book for the main dining room but the bar is easy to get a table, especially before 8pm on a week day.
Cost (30pp) - fairly reasonably priced with decent wine choices below £10 by glass. The set menu in the dining room is £35pp.
Tube: Farringdon / Chancery Lane
94 Farringdon Rd
London EC1R 3EA
020 7278 1452