The new seasonal menu at Kaspar’s At The Savoy is the cat’s whiskers.
From the iconic Art Deco sign over the hotel entrance, to Kaspar, the famous lucky cat statuette (he makes up the numbers at parties of 13), there are reminders everywhere in the hotel of The Savoy’s illustrious past. Kaspar’s At The Savoy draws on that tradition but gives it a delightfully fresh spin. The bar and restaurant décor, with its cut-glass mirrors, decadent silver leaf ceiling and spectacular Murano glass chandelier, is positively Gatsby-esque – the new menu, however, is unapologetically contemporary.
It’s all about provenance – ingredients are “drawn from the sea, raised from fields and foraged from the earth”, with their origins featuring prominently on the menu. Deciding what to order from such a stellar line-up is difficult, so we buy ourselves some time with a glass of Louis Roederer champagne and an amuse bouche or two. Defeated, we ask our waiter for guidance – he recommends the Best of the Seas platter to share. It’s a cornucopia of all things marine: British oysters and mussels, langoustines, Mediterranean prawns, Cornish crab crowned with avruga caviar – wonderfully fresh, and utterly delicious. We also try one of Kaspar’s signature dishes, the Cornish hen crab and native lobster bisque. Another winner – the flavours are rich and deep, but deceptively light on the palate.
I’m so beguiled by the seafood that I order fish as a main course. The pan seared north Atlantic halibut with smoked roe, brassicas and burnt mussel fumet is a harmonious balance of subtle flavours – a contrast to the robust cider-glazed rack of lamb with borlotti beans that my partner orders. We end the meal with an excellent cheese plate and a dessert that combines the sweetest of Guariguette strawberries, ice cream, sorbet and marshmallow – it’s summer in a bowl.
Kaspar’s service is friendly and attentive – our sommelier, Michele, deserves a special shout out. He not only expertly pairs the wines with each course, but also recommends some little-known local Italian wines to try on our upcoming visit to Piedmont. And he is happy to indulge our request to see the original Kaspar statuette. The sleek wooden cat arrives at out table, complete with napkin tied around his neck – a real piece of Savoy Hotel history, and a fitting end to the meal.
Strand, WC2R (020 7420 2111; kaspars.co.uk