Restaurant review: Q Grill in Chalk Farm
PUBLISHED: 14:55 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:55 15 September 2015
I need to be honest - the thought of dining at a 'grill restaurant' conjured up visions of my parents taking me to a Bernie Inn as a child in the 1980s.
Q GRill’s details
29-33 Chalk Farm Road
Call 020 7267 2678
Starters from £3.50
Mains from £10.50
Desserts from £1.50
There is also a quick brunch and a lunch menu available.
That will give you some guidance to roughly how old I am and how long it’s been since I’ve visited a restaurant that specialises in grills.
Owned by Des McDonald, who is also the proprietor of On the Roof with Vintage Salt, a rooftop restaurant at Selfridges, and the Holborn Dining Room, Q Grill has seamlessly continued the tasteful décor and high standards of food offered at its sister eateries.
All the dishes use the best seasonal and locally sourced ingredients and cooked using a charcoal pit grill, oven and house smoker.
So when I looked at the menu of Q Grill in Chalk Farm I kicked and cursed myself for not returning to a specialist Grill restaurant before now.
The interior has high ceilings, tasteful lighting, an open-plan layout and while it’s furniture gives it a slight ‘canteen’ feeling the whole ambience of the place keeps you in check that your meal will be anything but like that served up by a ‘dinner lady’.
The menu indiscriminately features BBQ dishes from all over the world which is great as I’m not going abroad on holiday this year so this is the closest I’ll get to ‘globe-trotting’!
For our starters we were advised to try the spiced cornbread waffle with Maple whipped butter, even though I must confess I thought it sounded like a dessert and presumed therefore that I wouldn’t like it.
How wrong was I? The waffle was like delicious sweetish bread and the generous lashings of the creamy butter almost had me needing a bib it was that mouth-watering.
I was immensely greedy for more but of course I knew I had many dishes to go including our other starters of baked butternut squash hummus which is served with charred feta and flat bread.
As a devout hummus fan I was excited at the thought of one made with butternut squash instead of the traditional chick peas. I was right to be excited Q grill need to get those out into deli-counters across the city.
Our third starter of Maryland crab cake with old bay creamed horseradish was just as tasty and dare I say this but big enough to be a min for someone with a small appetite.
While we waited for our mains we enjoy one of the varieties of cocktails from their impressive drinks menu.
My pet hate is cocktails that are just ice, ice and more ice.
No complaints with my gin cobbler - generous servings of spirits and fresh ingredients.
For our mains we were lured by sticky pig cheeks which were served with grits.
What’s grits you ask? It’s a Native American dish made from corn that is akin to polenta.
The full flavour of the fleshy cheeks worked well with the more subtle taste of the grits.
It was something different and definitely worth trying as are the chargrilled tiger prawns served with pickled chilli butter and blackened lime.
The prawns, served in their shells, were succulent and marinated delicately before being griddled.
There was no contest on my favourite dish of the meal – the baked macaroni pie with smoked cheddar and broccoli.
Never has there been such a pioneering way of serving macaroni cheese.
Don’t let the word ‘pie’ fool you there was no pasty just delicious perfectly cooked pieces of macaroni and broccoli in a solidified cheese sauce.
Macaroni cheese will never be the same again.
Q Grill serves up very generous portions so we decided to share a bowl of sorbet to cleanse of palette but I hear the Peanut butter cookie stack is to die for.
Despite being in the central of a tourism hotspot Q grill value their customers, something that some restaurants in the area fail to do.
Just like the food and premises the service was excellent and I think I’ll now frequent more grills in he future.