I do love Italians and Italian food. As a people they are flamboyant and charming and their food with its simplicity at times is the same.
QP LDN, previously named Quattro Passi has been around since 2014, yet recently went through a change and revamp. The menu was updated as well as the introduction of its new late-night bar and lounge located beneath the restaurant, QP Lounge.
Situated in the heart of Mayfair on Dover Street next to the Victoria Beckham and Christian Louboutin boutiques, QP LDN is the sister restaurant to the two Michelin-starred Quattro Passi in Nerano, Italy - widely considered to be the Amalfi coast’s top restaurant. Top billing and a reason for my excitement to be invited to this restaurant.
QP LDN focuses its menu and prides itself on keeping true to Amalfi and the ingredients are flown in from Italy. This quality is why this restaurant is very popular to many famous people such as Prince Andrew, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Kofi Annan, Valentino, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Grant and Anne Hathaway. On the night, Laura and I were there, they were filming Made in Chelsea in the lounge too. I didn't see anyone and to be honest, I probably would not have recognised anyone either.
Laura and I got to QP quite early; we enjoy our early nights. We were actually there before the kitchen staff, so went to the bar and ordered ourselves some cocktails. I went for a Tequila based cocktail which was zingy and tasty and packed a little sidekick (not punch).
Whilst we sipped on our drinks, we could see the team going through their prep for a big evening. This was an intriguing look into the restaurant world and probably a really important part of the whole process. For me it is a dining occasion for them it is their livelihood, business and hopefully passion.
I was not too prepared for this trip and when the menu was handed over, the options all looked good. I didn't know where to start. To avoid any FOMO or confusion we asked the waiter to recommend food for us.
Italian food from the Amalfi had me thinking of a holiday there and not much else. However, when the waiter went over the options and what we should have I was won over.
What we had is:
A sharing starter of duck with banana purée.
Two anti-pastas of linguine with zucchini and one with crab
For main course I had a rack of lamb and Laura had the freshly flown fish from the Mediterranean, which was a fillet of line caught Sea Bass with Zucchini cream and Mediterranean sauce).
The food at QP was really good and I do definitely want to go back.
Italian food focuses on making simple ingredients good and this is done here but then elevated. Even from the bread selection to the desserts, subtle differences go a long way.
The bread basket or tray was focused on focaccia and crispy bread sticks. The seasoning on the focaccia and the use of certain herbs got our senses tingling straight away. The salt and the rosemary put an aroma in the air and with the nice ambience, this created a lovely romantic feel.
The roast duck which we had as a starter was cooked perfectly and then the elegance and change came frome the banana purée. This dish was definitely a surprise and to be honest one of the last dishes I would expect on an Italian menu. However, it was an interesting surprise and a different way to start the night, banana and duck isn't the best combo. ( this is now off the menu).
The duck was our first starter and then we went greedy and shared two more starters. I blame the Italian menu, which for all of us foodies is a godsend. You get anti-pasta and then more pasta, almost like two main courses. Hooray
We had asked for the waiters recommendation and he suggested their linguine with zucchini and almost their spaghetti with crab. We wanted. It's but had also just eaten duck. The waiter then blew our mind with a crazy and amazing idea, split the two starters into two and we could then have both. Genius. Therefore one starter with the best of both pastas.
The linguine and the spaghetti were both delightful. The Zucchini dish was our preferred one and I think this was due to the Parmesan sauce. Creamy and light but with the fried zucchini bringing the pasta together.
The crab came with a tomato sauce and a nice freshness of the Amalfi coast. Mamma Mia whadda way to eat Pasta! Sorry about that. Fresh crab and a tasty tomato sauce, win. Fried zucchini with Parmesan, win. These two anti-pastas were lovely and shows the importance of listening to the experts.
The main course continued the theme of the evening, with good food present. The menu at QP is seasonal and on this evening the lamb cooked medium rare, came with a parsnip purée and red cabbage. It was a really good dish with juicy meat, sweet and tangy veg all served beautifully together.
lauras fish was equally nice, although she felt it was a bit too fishy. This usually means it is not that fresh, which was a surprise and disappointing. However, I tried some and disagreed. Maybe it is the pregnancy.
The final dish, The Tiramisu, was a great way to end a delightful and eventful evening. A subtle change was evident here with a crispy base added to the layers of cream and coffee. Smooth, crunch, cream and bite. Being Italian the Tiramisu was nice and rich and left is both feeling well indulged and on the way to a good coma. QP, well done.
Good good dining at its best is simple. QP offers Amalfi coast goodness in the heart of the west end. Being in Mayfair means you do pay that bit extra for quality but I feel it is worth the experience. Maybe not a frequent location but definitely a special occasion type of place.