Char-grilled Quail at Song Que

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You notice two things on entering Song Que. Firstly, the Vietnamese cafe is hardly an elegant, haute cuisine establishment with smart design where you might expect one of the best eating experiences in London. Secondly, the place is simply heaving with people, crammed close together around tightly-packed tables.

Having tried this dish, I can appreciate why they’ve all come.

“the place is simply heaving with people”

The quail, grilled and chopped into quarters was crisp and moist without being greasy. It has a fairly light spicing that adds bite, but with attention to not competing with the tender flavour of the bird. It’s definitely a fingers-affair, where I feel no guilt at nibbling round the bones to get every last morsel. Quails aren’t famed for the quantity of the meat on them, so I’d definitely advise one each if you want more than a taste, and it would be a massive shame to waste any by politely picking at the dish with cutlery.

Served with a perfunctory garnish of lettuce, this isn’t going to satisfy someone looking for a perfectly presented dish, or a balanced starter… but I wouldn’t return to the restaurant and fail to order it.

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