On the ground floor of the Euston Square Hotel (next to Euston Square station), VQ Euston is the fifth restaurant to open under the VQ restaurant umbrella. Similar to the other locations, the concept is all-day dining with opening hours running from 7am to 2am, seven days a week.
Building on the monochromatic design scheme of the original VQ Chelsea and Fulham Road locations, designers Busby Webb have used dark walnut and burgundy tones in this location, with accents of timber and leather. The overall décor is dark in a chic and cosy way, which is particularly inviting on a cold winter’s evening.
Taking our seat at the bar, we start off with the cocktail menu, where each item is inspired by the local area. We opt for two of the signatures: Somers Town and Boudicca (£9.95 each). Somers Town (the historical title of the area) is a Pisco-style mixture of camomile, pineapple and grapefruit. The cocktail is deliciously cleansing, with fresh fruity flavours. On the other hand, Boudicca (folklore suggests that British Celtic Iceni tribe Queen Boudicca, is buried under platforms 9/10 at Kings’ Cross station – the Harry Potter parallel is not lost on me!) is a grown up’s ice cream float with Jack Daniels, Amaretto, Baileys, Frangelico, vanilla ice cream and banana. A lovely, sweet concoction, which should not be underestimated.
As this is my second visit to a VQ establishment, we skip the starters and settle on mains: Chicken and Waffle (£10.95) and Chicken Kiev (£11.95). Both plates arrive fairly quickly but take just long enough for it to be clear that they are cooked to order. The Kiev would benefit from slightly more garlic butter, but overall the dish is tasty. What’s particularly interesting, is the addition of pomegranate seeds to the accompanying salad, which serve as a lovely burst of fresh flavour in an otherwise earthy dish.
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The chicken and waffle is, of course, a reimagining of Duck and Waffle’s signature dish with no surprises, but the changes to the dish are to its benefit. The cut of meat (chicken thigh) is a great choice, adding much more flavour than I would have expected should the choice have been chicken breast. The meat is buttermilk coated and fried, achieving a lovely crispy crust with well cooked succulent meat on the inside. The waffle could have been a little fresher, but care has clearly been taken when balancing the size of the waffle to the amount of meat and maple syrup. This a strong, well-executed dish.
What really makes this a great experience though, is the staff. They know their dishes, are on hand to make recommendations and are as attentive as you need them to be, without hovering over us for the entire meal. While I cannot say that the food delivered any surprises, I admit that I hadn’t necessarily expected it to. VQ is a venue to be visited when in need of well-cooked food with no hidden surprises: relatively low-thrill but worth your buck, whatever the time of day (or night).
VQ Euston can be found at Euston Square Hotel, 152-156 North Gower Street, London, NW1 2LU.