This summer Quaglino’s launches “the Hutch club”, a glamorous pop up cocktail and Jazz bar as a tribute to the restaurant's righteous and indulgent reputation. The venue opened its doors in 1929 by the flamboyant host, Giovani Quaglino and to play to homage to this, one lucky July diner will walk away with more than just a full tummy- a South Sea Ronirose pearl found in an oyster.
Obviously, this is one lottery the Handbook had to be part of, so last Friday, we head down to Quaglino’s to sample the Hutch club menu.
On arrival, we were greeted by a friendly waitress who showed us to the decedant bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. The welcoming reception we received set the service bar high and we weren’t let down- all of the Quagino’s staff were charming and faultless throughout.
To accompany our drinks – popcorn!? Not one’s standard expected nibble. In contrast with the stale cardboard flavor that one can expect on an Orange Wednesday, the Hutch Club’s popcorn tasted of Gin and tonic and was curated by gourmet popcorn connoisseurs Joe and Seph’s.
A grand staircase leads down to an impressive dining area where the sumptuous décor is in keeping with Quaglino’s iconic Mayfair location. The open arrangement explains why the venue has a “see and be seen” reputation, there is certainly nowhere to hide here. It felt a little like we were goldfish in an extremely glamorous tank!
The Hutch club menu invites diners to sample a taste of Quaglino’s 1920’s history accompanied with a chilled glass of champagne. To begin, six Mersea Rock Oysters. They were beautifully prepared although perhaps a little too ambitious to have as a starter and probably would have been better shared between two. The oysters were followed by the Hutch lobster and Crab burger. The words “lobster” and “burger” are two that I would never have placed next to each other before; surely a clash? I was mistaken- a match made in underwater heaven. Served with a fabulously light sauce and a portion of fine fries, this crustacean burger made a light summery replacement for the BBQ’d original.
For pudding we were spoilt for choice but opted for a light sorbet option. Three scoops of heaven that perfectly cleansed the pallet!
So if you’re looking for a sophisticated mix of brasserie classics to enjoy in an iconic and timeless location, Quaglino’s is the place for you. The Hutch Club bar is a summer hotspot that mustn’t be missed. Our only disappointment was not finding the £2000 pearl!