By Koray Hussein
Just in case you didn’t catch my initial review of the Bloomsbury branch of Vingt-Quatre (which you will find below) I thought I’d give you guys a brief update which I think manages to sum up my feelings towards the place in one tidy little visit.
I’d found myself at VQ due to a pretty horrific night at a club. The music was about as enjoyable as giving birth to a fully grown John Goodman and the place was so crowded that I found myself literally pressed up against a wall for most of the night.
Now I’m known throughout my circle of friends for hating clubs anyway and if I had known exactly where we were heading then I would have almost certainly spent the night at home instead but seeing as I was assured that it wasn’t really a club I thought I’d go along and see what the place was like…
Shit. That’s what it was like. It was shit.
I lasted about an hour and a half before I turned to one of my friends, told him to give me a bell when they were done in this dreadful place and left.
After walking around for a few minutes I found myself face to face with my old friend VQ. It was nearing 1am and my options were dwindling so I went in, dropped my friends a text to tell them where to meet me and grabbed a latte.
The coffee was surprisingly nice for such a late hour, with a nice richish taste and went down easy. But it wasn’t until my friends finished up at Club Bullshit and joined me at VQ that I ordered any food.
I went for a hot dog (as did my friends) and was (again) pleasantly surprised with the quality of the dog. Maybe it’s all those years of eating cinema hot dogs that contain about as much meat as a tree but after the first bite you could tell that this thing was of a pretty decent quality… but it was let down by the burnt bun and the incredibly stringy fried onions… Like, ridiculously stringy. It’s a shame since if the chef in the back had paid a little more attention to what he was doing then this could have been a really enjoyable meal. Instead the meal was really inconsistent with pros (the actual hot dog) always swiftly followed by a (burnt, flaky bun and onions made out of shoelaces) con.
The coffee was nice and so was the service (thanks Cristine!) but sadly the actual food was kind of a let down… But seeing as this is VQ there’s a very good chance that the next time I order a hotdog that the bun and onions will be perfect and the hot dog will be made out of chalk. Because that’s VQ.
Originally Posted 09/12/14
By Koray Hussein
Vingt-Quatre (better known as VQ) is a Fulham Road staple and is well known for their round the clock breakfasts, burgers and steaks.
I was first introduced to VQ a little over a year ago when I was out with a few friends deep into the a.m’s and feeling some food. I pulled out my phone and did a quick Google search to see if there were any decent 24 hour eateries near us and VQ, with it’s numerous positive reviews, stood out like a sore thumb. We thought “What the hell?” and gave it a shot… and bloody loved it.
VQ is a place that I’ve been wanting to review for quite some time now but have chosen not to for one simple reason… inconsistency.
When I first visited The Quatre it was actually their Chelsea branch over on Fulham Road… but seeing as I’ve been to their newer, Bloomsbury branch a lot more, I figured I’d go ahead and base my review on my many visits there.
Now you may be thinking that this is kind of unfair on other places we’ve reviewed as they get based off of one single visit and I’m about to write a review on a place that I’ve visited more times than my nan but that’s why we do updated posts like our Orange Buffalo and BRGR.CO reviews. All you’re getting here is a hell of a lot of updated posts condensed into one single post… Did that make sense? I think I’ve confused myself.
Anyway, back to the inconsistency problem. It’s no secret that my love fora good English breakfast is bordering on an addiction, all you need to do is read my reviews of The Breakfast Club and Toast to see just how much I adore a good old greasy fry up… And with my first few visits to VQ (both the Chelsea and Bloomsbury branches) I was sure that I’d found the very best breakfast in London. Hell, even Gordan “I tell people their fillet mignon tastes like shit!” Ramsey said so. Their bacon was crispy, the sausage was thick and flavourful and the eggs were cooked to perfection. Sure the “single” option may have been slightly stingy but what do you expect in Central London?
I was so sure that these guys did the best breakfast that when a friend from America came over with her sister, asking where the best place to grab an English breakfast was, I cockily told them that I knew just the place… But it didn’t live up to my previous experiences. It wasn’t terrible, but it was nowhere near the standard that they’d reached before.
Even worse, on (I think) my fourth or fifth visit it went even further downhill. The beans, which were equal parts “dog breath” warm and “you ex-girlfriend’s heart” cold, were clearly microwaved. The bacon looked like it’d just taken a swim through a pool of grease and the sausage looked about as appetising as Susan Boyle. It all left me really confused and not too sure I wanted to revisit… But I did. And it was glorious. But the time after that? Meh… The time after that? Amazing… After that? Dreadful. I mean honestly. What’s a man to think?!
I’m really not sure what to say about VQ. I loved this place so damn much after my first few visits but I can’t recommend it anymore… I mean, I could, and whoever visits could love it… But they could hate me for the rest of their life if it’s as godawful as I know it can be.
At the end of the day, I’ve got to say steer clear of VQ… Unless you don’t mind taking a risk. There’s a chance you’ll have the very best breakfast you’ve ever had, but there’s also a chance you’ll have a very strong urge to punch the chef.