Guest contributor, Raul Sadhwani (London), shares his dining experience at new Westminster institution, Old Queen Street Cafe.
Old Queen Street Cafe (OQS) is a new brasserie located in a quiet pocket of Westminster. Taking inspiration from London’s traditional cafes, OQS is designed to complement the heritage area where it is located. Created by food writer Diana Henry and Shelagh Ryan of Lantana, the menu presents a familiar but unique list of dishes comprised of quality British ingredients. The venue’s upmarket yet casual vibe invites everyone inside its doors for a drink or a bite to eat.
The interior of OQS is comprised of dark oak furniture with large plush integrated booths which frame the dining area. Off-white painted walls adorned with plants, framed drawings and photos fill the rest of the space. These elements combine to create a warm, comfortable and inviting ambience that complements the grandeur of the historical city-scape outside its doors.
The menu, developed by Chef Elliot Spurdle previously of The Wolseley and The Delaunay, is simple and varied. With elevated British classics like a pork chop with celeriac and apple slaw, confit shallots and cider sauce, and some surprises such as octopus with orange gremolata, chorizo and crispy potatoes, all cooked with quality local ingredients at affordable prices. We tried a tasty beetroot carpaccio with horseradish yogurt, beetroot ketchup and toasted seeds and spicy prawns with chives and garlic butter on a slice of sourdough for starters. Followed by a beautifully cooked sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and crunchy chicken schnitzel with a fried egg and pickled fennel and cabbage salad.
OQS is a place for everyone. The dining experience is immediately familiar and accessible to many different types of people. It is refined yet casual and unfussy. You’ll see diners celebrating a family dinner, enjoying date night, attending a work dinner or simply grabbing a drink with friends.
Old Queen Street Cafe is a homey British brasserie with an ambience and menu inspired by its historical context. The integration of its cozy ambience and uniquely simple and affordable menu attracts a wide range of people to its doors and is a welcome addition to Westminster.