Back away from the kebab – VQ Restaurants have reinvented 24-hour dining to show that, while it does do a mean burger, dining in the wee small hours doesn’t have to mean unhealthy fast food
‘I think people love it because it has become something of an institution now,’ says founder of VQ, Simon Prideaux. ‘There are other late night venues, but it’s incredibly difficult to get the licences.’ In turn, it’s hard for people to fall across the good 24-hour ones.
Starting its life as Up All Night, the Chelsea venue (there are also branches in Bloomsbury and Notting Hill) seems like the perfect place for the creativity and excitement of the current and modern VQ. But it’s not all about those who have been out partying as you might expect from a 24-hour venue. VQ seeks to help those on their own team too.
That is, it’s popular and convenient for those in the hospitality trade, who might work unsocial hours and don’t want to compromise on quality. It also provides a great place for solo diners, something that London is moving forward with.
As a team ourselves, visiting the restaurant from The Resident, I’d say we were predominantly all seduced by the burger offerings, which were perfectly cooked and satisfied us all after a long day at work.
With the option of a lamb burger complete with feta, rocket, pomegranate, aioli, red onion and cumin jam, or the poached eggs, avocado and chilli jam from the 24-hour breakfast menu, this isn’t fast food.
Instead, VQ is very much a quality restaurant at heart – just one that serves good food all night long. How about a grilled half lobster with French fries at 2am? Or BBQ baby back ribs?
‘We are very much a restaurant, who offers an extremely convenient and much needed service,’ says Prideaux.
‘We hope to ensure that there is consistency and quality in what we do and we have taken our time to develop the menu over the years.’ With an inclusive philosophy and ability to adapt around the clock, VQ offers the ultimate in customer convenience.
Something that was certainly convenient for a team that includes a fair few self-confessed sweet tooths was the dessert menu. The warm chocolate brownie was a hit, and at £5.50, it is worth it. With the Chelsea site the leader of the pack in essence, its success has allowed VQ to start branching out and rolling out the brand elsewhere.
Everything seems on fast forward; Prideaux and his team noticed a gap in the market, threw their passions into filling it and are excited about continuing to ramp up the thrill around good quality 24-hour dining.
There always seems to be a nod to the future with VQ. Next up, another hotel restaurant in the near future. Sit tight, because VQ doesn’t tend to hang around in the present and is always searching for the next way to develop the concept.
325 Fulham Road SW10 9QL; 020 7376 7224; vqrestaurants.com