You’ve probably already heard of Q Grill, the new ‘it’ restaurant in Chalk Farm. Everyone’s talking about it, and I have visited twice in the last 7 days – ergo, it’s worth taking notice of.
Just down from the Roundhouse events space and Chalk Farm underground station, on a street that’s otherwise pretty meh, Q Grill is a great find.
The interior is very much my style – lots of raw timber and industrial lighting, a long New York-style bar, Chesterfield-esque booths and an open kitchen.
The menu is spot on too. First: drinks. The cocktail menu is heavy on the bourbon and tequila – the Queens Rocks cocktail (£8.50) is similar enough to an Old Fashioned to keep me happy, and on my first visit to Q Grill I drank more than my fair share… The beer and ale selection is also (apparently) very good – fridges and fridges of interesting bottles. So what food does all this bourbon and beer go with?
Barbecue (hence the ‘Q’ in Q Grill) – traditional smokehouse BBQ straight out of Memphis, BBQ is 100% the cuisine of the moment. Ribs, burgers, fried chicken, steaks, loin, all cooked in full view in the smoking open kitchen, which houses a charcoal pit grill, oven and house smoker.
I had the Flat Iron Steak (£10) on both visits. A good hunk of meat, full of flavour on the outside and tender on the inside, carefully sliced and presented with a watercress salad, anchovy butter and chips. Chris ordered half a chicken (£11.50) (apparently this was the “healthy option”), which he proceeded to devour with lashings of the house barbecue sauce. We shared a side of Scrumpy fried onions (glorified onion rings) and market vegetables (glorified broccoli), and drank more bourbon…
My more recent visit was marginally less boozy, catching up with childhood girlfriends who I’ve known since the age of three. More Queens Rocks, more Flat Iron Steak for me… Sophie ordered a towering Q Burger (£12.50), and Chloe the fried chicken with blue cheese sauce (£13.50). Having witnessed these, I reckon it’s a close call between the steak and the fried chicken for best dish…
Oh and then there’s dessert (~£7). Chocolate fondant, pecan & bourbon pie, coke floats, toffee apple crumble, banoffee cheesecake, and our choice: Nutty Coupe – a sundae of peanut butter ice cream, topped with chopped nuts, popcorn and chocolate sauce (I see “peanut butter” on the menu, and my mind is made up!). It was yummy – a good balance between sweet and salty – though I did get minor food envy over Soph’s chocolate fondant.
Twice in a week – that’s really saying something!
Yep, Q Grill is good – it’s a very trendy space, and the menu and drinks are good. As far as barbecue goes though, it doesn’t win the crown for best in London for me… For one, there’s no pulled pork on the menu – what’s that about?! But the main thing that Q Grill falls down on is service. It’s been slow both times I’ve visited, and the waiters never seem to know the menu very well (our waiter this time looked like Joey Essex which is never a good start…!) Having been open a few months now, there’s really no excuse for that.
Not cheap, but not OTT. Pretty standard BBQ pricing (though I’ve never understood why barbecue is always a bit toppy…?)
29-33 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ