Lunch by the sea at Quaglino’s in Mouille Point

So today it’s time for a relaxing lunch on the Platinum Mile. The seafront strip that is Mouille Point is mainly apartments with a couple of restaurants and coffee bars. We headed for new addition Quaglino’s which is about halfway down.

The space is contemporary and light-filled with glass sliding doors in front that were open today to let in some sea air. Love a bit of sea air, just a shame there isn’t a terrace to sit on and to really enjoy the freshness and the views.

There’s a section headed Pintxos International and Fried Bites, most of which have (sml) after their titles. Before reading the menu closely we’d decided that stood for small, medium, large and we could choose one of these in any portion size. But no, it stands for small! A slight initial confusion sent us back to our decision making.

Deciding that sml must equate to starters, that’s what we ordered them as…as starter portions go, these are very generous. The deep fried chicken legs served with spicy Korean sauce were absolutely delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such good looking chicken legs – nice and plump and juicy with a tasty, slightly sticky sauce. Always happy to get a dish like this in a restaurant as it looked and tasted like one that had taken a lot of time to prepare. Served with a pile of rocket and a decent dressing, it would have done me as a main on a sunny summer day.

Luscious chicken legs with plenty of tasty meat

The blue cheese and butternut bitterballen were beautifully creamy and cheesy with a nice crunch, as you’d expect. Again, there was plenty of this dish – six large balls topped with caramelised onions. They are a traditional Dutch dish, normally meat-based with a creamy roux battered and deep fried, so like a Spanish croquette, I guess. They’re rich little babies, two would do for me as a starter.

Up close to the cheesy bitterballen

For mains, the ever-present pork belly had to be tried (how many menus don’t offer it these days?). It was slow-cooked, served with baby beetroot, smoked butternut puree and baby potatoes. The pork was perfect, rich, soft and packed with just the right amount of piggy flavour and I absolutely loved the butternut puree. There was also another puree – I think tomato based – on the plate which the dish really didn’t need.

Pork belly and smoked butternut puree makes for a wonderful combination

The fillet of beef  tartare came with capers and a mustard dressing, topped with rocket and a raw egg yolk. The meat was rich and tender and the dressing was dotted with slices of fried garlic which went beautifully.

A tartare with a great mix of flavours and textures

This was one of those meals that I enjoyed more in retrospect than I did at the time. I think the reason for that is  we chose four pretty rich dishes and all the portions were so generous that they became a bit intimidating to eat – even though they were all delicious offerings. But hey, we chose what to order, no wonder I spend so much time pondering menus before making decisions. I’d go straight to mains next time or possibly share a couple of starters. Or rather select something lighter like a salad or fish dish.

Also, the restaurant was very quiet at lunchtime – we were the only people there for a lot of our meal. This did mean that we got attentive service and a good break between starters and mains when we asked for it.

It’s open for breakfast, so maybe it’s a livelier option then. The menu looks very interesting with healthy options and different-sounding dishes like deep fried eggs with sauteed chorizo and potatoes. Or a 100g sirloin, poached duck egg, sauteed potatoes and roasted cherry tomatoes. You could also pop in for coffee or cocktails (not a breakfast time, obviously) – so it’s a versatile kind of place.

The view from our table towards the sea

Quaglino’s is at the corner of Beach Road and Rothesay Place in Mouille Point.

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