Hot Spot: Arros QD, Fitzrovia, London

A punchy paella palace in the heart of the capital - does it live up to the social media hype?

The story

According to the social-media fuss, Arros QD is a glamorous, unmissable new "palace of paella". In the middle of Fitzrovia, the £4.3m development is host to a theatrical open kitchen with a six-metre wood-fired stove.

The reality

It certainly has the glamour factor – at a price. A two-person paella starts at £38 for Valencian rabbit and chicken, rising to £50 for cuttlefish and prawn, and £90 for lobster. You have to think this is down to the fine ingredients and world-class chefs.

Signature dish

Paella is the signature dish, but we opted for grilled cauliflower, monkfish brocheta, pulled pork buns, tomato salad, soft-shell crab, warm celeriac salad and roast potatoes. We drank Menetou Salon Sauvignon Blanc and kept mainly to the starters (which are substancetial) and a glass of wine... or two.

The damage

Our meal came to £253 for three people. Not cheap, but the food was really good – and while it didn’t seem to cater for vegans at first glance, the attentive staff soon pointed out viable options.

Dining experience ***

The acoustics made it difficult to hear each other at times, but overall a good lunch – partly because we chose well from the a` la carte menu. I highly recommend sitting at the kitchen counter for a really great experience.

Chances of a last-minute booking ***

Booking seems the only way to get a table, but you may get lucky.

Client wow factor ****

They may wonder if they are paying you too much if you can afford to take them there regularly, but as a one-off, it is a great experience and will leave a good impression.

Overall ****

The hype had raised expectations higher than the temperature of the fires, which it didn’t quite live up to. It was, however, a good overall experience with great food.

Arros QD, 64 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8NQ, 020 3883 3525

Reviewed by Sarah Shilling, chief marketing officer, Unlimited Group

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