Camden – saying it conjures the image of hipsters (beards, piercings, tattoos), vintage clothing (including far too many checked shirts) and money (looking slightly rough and rugged apparently takes a lot of cash). If anyone has been intrigued and Facebook stalked me, you will know that I do not have this image – when people think of me they think of bad dancing and vodka. The punchline is I don’t really venture into Camden that often. I enjoy it, but I do feel as if I’m not hipster enough to be there. Today’s Bangin’ Bargain was, therefore, a revelation.
Q Grill in Camden is something of a rare find. It’s reasonably priced, it’s fashionable and, when I went, it wasn’t impossibly busy. It is the type of place that probably gets absolutely packed but this is the upshot – Q Grill does the best lunch menu. But we’ll get back to that later. I first need to tell you about how the place feels. It’s industrial, a Brooklyn loft in the heart of Camden, but it doesn’t feel aggressive or empty. Nothing about Q Grill is invasive; it really feels somehow cosy (I don’t know how that mixes with the industrial design but it does). One wall houses the bar and the other an eclectic mix of artwork and booths that look so inviting its worth going with a few people to get one.
The table I was seated at had a great view of the kitchen. My mum taught me that the best places have open kitchens – Q Grill has one, and it’s also great to food watch. Not that I was able to once my starter arrived. The portions are huge, the exact right amount over a standard portion and under two servings; essentially, they’re the greedy person’s portions. Guilty. To start I had the sticky hen wings. I love a good barbeque sauce and I wasn’t let down – it’s rich and sweet and everything you want a barbeque sauce to be. There’s a sense of resentment every time I have to wash my hands after having chicken wings. I did want the dish to last forever, even though by the third massive wing I was feeling my starter allocated appetite beginning to flag.
Not that it lasted very long – the plate was whipped away by the very attentive, and not bad on the eye, waiters. Q Grill know that their portions are big, not in a bad way, so they also know that people might need a few minutes break. Sitting where we were, it was a blessing. As my stomach started to grumble again, I could see everyone else’s food going out and I wanted mine. And then it appeared – fried buttermilk corn fed chicken with a mountain of chips. This is not a restaurant designed for those on a diet. It’s mother/comfort food portions and it is beautiful.
Price: The lunch menu is £10 for one course, £14 for two (Lunch is a term that can be stretched as it ends at 4pm)
Yay or nay: Oh god, I need portions like that back in my life. Yay.