With the introduction of the Night Tube, London is on its way to becoming a city that never sleeps. With our weekend curfews being extended, our appetites are now allowed to stay strong into the night. Sadly in so many places, only the appetites fuelled by alcohol are catered for past midnight, and unless you really like kebabs or dirty chicken wings, there just isn’t much to choose from in the way of actual decent food. Until now. Introducing VQ, the 24 hour restaurant recently opened in Notting Hill, conveniently close to one of London’s Night Tube stops.
A stone’s throw from Notting Hill Gate, VQ (which stands for Vingt-Quatre, because that’s 24 in French, dontcha know) is a vibrant restaurant offering an all day and night eating and drinking concept alongside relaxed and friendly service. The decor is cool. I mean really cool. There’s a hint of chic nightclub thanks to the brightly coloured back wall which lights up and moves in an hypnotic sequence, like the gentle flickering of a fire, while the other walls host a series of quotes; wise words about the movement of day into night-time.
The Food and Drinks:
With the option to dine at any hour of the day, VQ caters for every possible food craving you might have. My favourite food is breakfast food and luckily for me there is an all day breakfast menu which hosts not just breakfast but brunch classics too. As well as these there are burgers, salads, pasta dishes galore and a fun dessert menu with a very tempting selection of classic puds.
To start we chose a few of the small plates. The padron peppers called out to us, as did the breaded butterfly prawns alongside a pot of sweet chili sauce for dipping, and a bowl of the chorizo with sauteed new potatoes and red onion. The padron peppers were hot to the touch but not spicy; rather they had a lovely contrasting sweet and bitter smoky taste, elevated by flakes of salt. The prawns were sweet, juicy and crisp and the chorizo was the star of the course. Incredibly tender chunks of chorizo oozed with oily, rich meaty juices which were all soaked up by the fluffy new potatoes. The flavours were powerful for such a small bowl.
For my main I couldn’t resist looking to the all day breakfast menu and I chose to enjoy the Bubble & Squeak, topped with a poached egg, hollandaise sauce and several strips of crispy, salty bacon. It was everything my brinner (breakfast for dinner) dreams were made of. The bacon was perfect and the hollandaise was creamy and tangy. The poached egg burst with the vibrantly coloured yolk and the bubble and squeak lapped it all up beneath. My friend enjoyed the Mac & Cheese and was served a mountain of it, all combined with a wonderful mix of vegetables. Golden corn was interspersed with the miniature tubes of macaroni, along with cauliflower and broccoli. A clever (and tasty) way to get vegetables into a plate of cheese and carbs!
The alcohol license runs into the wee hours but at certain times if you’d like a glass of the strong stuff you will need to order a meal too. I can recommend the bottle of rose which is beautifully pale and refreshing, and also incredibly well priced, as is pretty much everything on the menu! Few of the mains come in at more than a tenner and even when they do, they’re still a bargain for the quality of cooking and flavours!
VQ is here to save the day (and night) for those who enjoy out-of-sequence dining. The varied menu is perfect for all tastes and budgets. Service is exceptional too, and hats off to our awesome waitress Alyssa who was incredibly friendly, prompt and kept a smile on her face the whole night. It’s such a relief to know that there are options to enjoy good quality clean food long after the other restaurants of London close their doors for the night.