During these long, cold and dark days only one thing can make me feel better, food! Italian food is one of my top 3 cuisines (the other two are Thai and Levantine, though these change depending on my mood!) so I am always happy to dine at an Italian restaurant in London. QP LDN resides on Dover Street in the heart of Mayfair and lucky for me it’s minutes from my office!
QP LDN is under the creative direction of Italian Michelin-starred chef Antonio Mellino and with his two sons Raffaele and Fabrizio, stays true to its roots in authentic Amalfi coast inspired cooking. Antonio is considered to be a master in pasta making, and his freshly made then dried pastas continue to be made on premises by the QP LDN kitchen staff.
I arrived to Connie waiting for me with an Aperol Spritz as big as your head, so before I have even sat down another was ordered for me. Not a bad way to start the evening! Once settled I noticed that 7pm on a Tuesday is clearly not the time to dine here – the rather sleek looking restaurant was quite empty. Though with the right level of music playing it didn’t feel it and as it got later into the night the tables did start filling up around us.
January will never be a detox month for me. It’s already bleak enough, so when the aperitivo and bread arrived I dived straight in! I enjoyed the ricotta filled bites and arancini, and the focaccia was especially good. Whilst sipping on our Aperol we worked our way through the menu deciding what to order. I like dining with Connie because she’s happy to share everything!
The menu at QP LDN is very fish heavy, and after asking the friendly waiter what he would recommend we decided to throw in two meat dishes for balance.
To start we ordered the beef carpaccio with rocket. The beef was beautifully sliced and the rocket nice and peppery but the addition of artichoke did not work for me. It was quite overpowering and some bits tough meaning I ended up just putting the salad to one side so I could enjoy the beef.
If there is tuna tartare on the menu, pretty much 99.9% of the time I will order it. And after all the heavy food over Christmas we agreed pretty instantly this was going to be ordered! The waiter highly recommended the salmon tartare too, so they very kindly provided us with two half portions so we could try both.
The yellowfin tuna tartare came served on cubed avocado – not groundbreaking but done very well it was delicious nonetheless. But the real star was the salmon – I’m so glad we were told to try this! I think it’s always a great idea to ask for advice on what to order from the menu as a dish you may have discarded may be the best thing you order.
The smoked marinated salmon tartare was served on a sliced apple and cucumber salad with nuts and yoghurt sauce. This is a dish I will most definitely be trying to recreate at home. The textures worked so well and the fruit and yoghurt created such a refreshing taste. A really lovely dish.
We couldn’t dine in an Italian restaurant and not order at least one pasta dish! We liked the look of the fresh crab and cherry tomato spaghetti but were told we should try their signature dish of linguine with fired zucchini and parmesan. Knowing there was no way we could consume two pasta dishes they offered to do what they did with our starters and brought us two mini portions.
I enjoyed the light fresh tomato sauce with the crab, it was lovely and sweet and worked well. The linguine was a little too salty for me, I love zucchini in pasta but I couldn’t have eaten a full portion of this.
It was okay though because the next dish to arrive was the perfectly cooked lamb. The rack of lamb was served with a parsnip puree and braised red cabbage. What could have been a heavy dish felt well portioned and balanced. I was surprised to see red cabbage on an Italian menu but I liked the dish.
The evening definitely finished on a high. The warm orange tart with bitter chocolate ice cream was a hug on a plate and ever-so-perfect for a cold January evening. The warm orange almost like custard was smooth and rich. It’s not as if the chocolate and caramel mousse wasn’t rich, but it felt light with the different layers, more like a mousse cake. The tart passion fruit sorbet was the ideal partner. We enjoyed our final course with a glass of Leone de Castris Moscato from Puglia which was a lovely way to end the meal.
Overall I liked our meal at QP LDN, but for me, it didn’t blow me away. I very much enjoyed the beginning and ending but the middle felt like it was missing its sparkle. I did enjoy the crab pasta dish but the signature dish was a little too salty and although the lamb was cooked to perfection, it just didn’t seem to stand out.
It is not cheap to dine at QP LDN and so I think they need to refine their dishes. I definitely think ordering fish is the way to go as this seems to be their speciality. The staff were super attentive and friendly and there is some beautiful artwork on display around the Italian restaurant so it’s definitely not a bad place to dine in Mayfair.
Do you have a favourite Italian restaurant in London?
34 Dover St
*I was a guest of QP LDN, but as always views remain my own including all the orange tart loving.
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