A pre-dinner cocktail in the bar is the perfect way to begin any evening at Quaglinos. Surveying the sumptuous surroundings from this vantage point let’s you really appreciate the elegance and style of this iconic venue. We sip the delicious ‘Vitamin Sea’ Hendricks based seaweed cocktail served in a large shell on a bed of ice and a non-alcoholic ‘Solero’ with Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits.
Coming to Quaglinos is always a treat but tonight with rising star Okiem gracing the famous 1920s stage, we walk down the centrepiece staircase with high anticipation. The only live music venue in Mayfair, Quaglinos has a well-deserved reputation for drawing the finest musical talent with Will Young, Jocelyn Brown and Paul Young all recent performers.
With our starters of oak salmon rillette, horseradish crème fraiche, blinis and even more appetising wild garlic & pea velouté with soft quail egg we welcome the pianist and composer with his impressive string orchestra to the stage.
The intense ‘Purple Sky’ - from debut album ‘Xiro’ - greets the merry dinner’s and it’s immediately clear that Okiem is not a man of small measures or ambitions. The driving soundscape transports you to far reaching echelons of the mind, part turmoil, part tranquillity allowing you to slip either side.
Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ follows as does Jeff Buckley’s glorious ‘Hallelujah’ and a catalogue of other pop moments perfectly translated to piano with the enchanting accompaniment of the Infinity Orchestra. Okiem is clearly comfortable in both classical and pop worlds and explains he has played piano with Boy George, Leona Lewis and Music News favourite Tinie Tempah, before realising his personal ambition and composing his own work.
Introducing the self-composed soundscape ‘Mercy’ Okiem suggests closing our eyes during the song, explaining that at his gigs he sometimes blindfolds the audience for this particular track to let the mind wander. Luckily no blindfolds are produced or we may have struggled with the main course. The braised rabbit leg beignet, fine herb pomme puree, mustard sauce, purple sprouting broccoli was simply divine. As was the roast fillet of Loch Duarte salmon, braised chicory, cauliflower puree, curry spices & coriander. By the time the treacle tart, clotted cream & fresh raspberries and the exquisite white chocolate & lemon brulee, date & Earl Grey puree, pine nuts sorbet arrived we were ready for the finale.
More crowd-pleasing pop medley’s ensued with Justin Beiber’s Esposito and Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ warmly received but it was Okiem’s own compositions which really blazed the trail tonight. He is currently working on his second album, in the meantime search out his debut ‘Xiro’ (pronounced zero) and check out the forthcoming musical attractions coming to Quaglinos here
Another five-star night at Quaglinos with five-star musical accompaniment, a treat for all the senses.