Review: Old Queen Street Cafe

There’s an interesting chemistry that can be found in lunchtime dining in Westminster. Perhaps it is the suited men and women meeting over lunch and discussing business that makes it feel like a naughty treat, when in stark contrast, you’re meeting friends for nothing more than a catch up over good food and wine.

Stepping away from the bustling of the 9 to 5 and into Old Queen Street Cafe, I am welcomed into a warmly lit all-day brasserie, situated on the ground floor, which even boasts the floorboards from Winston Churchill’s Old War Office. Located just steps away from Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square, the brasserie is perfectly situated for both locals and tourists looking for a unique and memorable dining experience. As an all day brasserie, customers are also able to enjoy breakfast, lunch, cocktail hour and dinner coupled with brunch on Saturday and Sundays, so the space transforms around its guests’ desires.

Escorted to a large round booth table in the corner of the restaurant, we are encouraged to people watch and despite the formality of our surrounding lunchtime guests, it doesn’t stop them from making their way through the menu, all the way to dessert. Inspired by their dedication to the dining experience, I am tempted even further to make a careful decision on each course. Nothing affirms a good dining experience more than having a menu with so many appealing options. A weekly selection of seasonal specials is also available. Food Director at OQSC and Founder of Lantana explains, “We wanted to celebrate the rich history and traditions of British cooking while also pushing the boundaries and introducing new flavours and techniques. We aim to work with the very best British suppliers ensuring guests are having the best produce these Isles have to offer.”

The menu has been brought to life by Executive Chef Leo De Oliveria Araujo and Head Chef Elliot Spurdle who have carefully crafted a menu that will delight all. British producers have been carefully selected to create the dishes. The smoked salmon is sourced from Smokin’ Brothers, whilst the meat is sourced from O’Shea Butchers. Cobble Lane Cured provides the ingredients for the charcuterie selection and choices of cheese from St James Cheese. These ingredients combine to produce dishes that simply transform on the plate.

Old Queen Street Cafe interior

The Grilled Goat’s Cheese salad with roast pear, orange vinaigrette and walnuts offers a delicious start to the meal. Seared Tuna follows and is served on a bed of fennel, orange, pickled carrots, artichoke and saffron Aioli. For meat eaters, the Bone-in pork chop with celeriac and apple slaw, confit shallots and cider sauce comes highly recommended.

A delightful and manageable slice of Bakewell French Toast brioche cannot be missed for dessert and sits as the top choice on the menu. Its tangy cherry compote, vanilla cream and smooth almond frangipane are excellent, even tempting my lunchtime guests at the table to try a bite. As the plate is passed around the table we enjoy bites of French Toast and a selection of coffees that feature intricate coffee art on top, from a teddy bear to a detailed cat.

Old Queen Street Cafe interior

Opening its doors to all, from the public, politicians and parliamentarians, this is one of London’s newfound gems. Whether it’s a bloody mary with your morning bite or an espresso martini and small plates for your afternoon pick-me-up, they have all the classics covered with a twist.

Old Queen Street Cafe, 6 Old Queen Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9HP  (020 3005 2320