An evening at The Savoy is always a bit of a treat, particularly at Kaspar’s, after all, The Savoy is one of London’s iconic landmark hotels and the only hotel in London where taxis drive into the left ‘Savoy Court’ the “wrong way”, i.e. they enter on the right-hand side of the road rather than on the left-hand side.
This tradition dates back over 100 years and is partly to do with the fact that when being chauffeured in a horse-drawn carriage, the lady or dignitary would traditionally sit behind the driver. This meant that the chauffeur or hotel’s doorman was able to open the door without walking around the carriage (or car). The lady could then simply alight from the carriage and walk straight into the hotel.
But back to the present day and the reason I was at The Savoy last month was to try out the new menu at the superb Kaspar’s seafood restaurant and oyster bar (named after The Savoy’s famous cat) with its delightful Art Deco ambience and theatrical design reminiscent of the decadent Twenties and Thirties. The atmosphere at Kaspar’s is however very relaxed, so you can dress up or down as the mood suits you.
The new menu is centred around the notion of not being bound by the seasons, unlike many menus at other restaurants, but by being inspired by the seasons, marking a new direction for the restaurant. It also means that the relationship and provenance with suppliers are at the heart of all the new dishes.
The inspiration for the menu and direction comes from the relatively new team led by restaurant manager Richard Newell, Head Chef Igor Kabatsikov and Sous Chef Brandon Clemens who have selected the some of the finest produce farmed, caught and picked in the UK, pairing them with exuberant flavours thus creating a revolving menu of contemporary dishes that originate from both the land and sea in an attempt to capture the natural landscape, which I believe they have done exceedingly well.
For example, the Dover Sole originates from Cornwall whilst the Lobster is from Harris and the oysters come from Maldon. The delicious king crab I tried, is from the Bering Sea and the Ribeye crosses the Irish Sea from Cork.
Seated at Kaspar’s elegant and striking centrepiece bar, we start our evening with a glass of bubbly and the ‘Best of the Seas’ from the Seafood Counter, which includes a selection of British Oysters and Mussels, Keltic Seafare Scallops and Bering Sea King Crab, some Scottish West Coast Langoustines and Mediterranean Prawns (which were huge) and some delicious Cornish Crab with Avruga Caviar.
The ‘Principle Dishes’ offer all the protein you need from their choice of seafood and meat and my neighbour told me that her choice of the Newlyn Dover Sole was out of this world. On the other hand, my Blackened Loch Duart Salmon is an eye opener, topped with an amazing wild garlic, Wye Valley asparagus and a Cornish crab nage, which looks like a garden out of the Chelsea Flower Show!
The meat eaters amongst you will not be disappointed with the choice of Trill Dairy Spring Lamb, Irish Black Angus Beef Filet, Irish Black Angus Striploin or Red Hereford Rib-eye.
Do make sure you leave enough room for the mouth-watering selection of desserts. We shared a small selection on a plate, sampling the ‘Ewe’s Milk’ which is Chamomille, Toasted Brioche and white chocolate, ‘Malt’, which is a barley infused Crème Brülée with sourdough ice cream and ‘Baba’ made with a raspberry granita, Limoncello and whipped mascarpone. They also offer a selection of handmade ice creams and sorbets, not to mention a rather ingenious Guariguette Strawberries popsicle and ‘Salted Caramel’ made with vanilla cream, caramelised puff pastry and crystallised pecans.
Irrespective of the fact that a well-known British actor was also dining at Kaspar’s on the same evening as us, this is a down-to-earth excellent seafood restaurant that offers top quality ingredients coupled with exemplary service in an elegant, relaxed and inviting setting. I am already looking forward to my next visit!
Kaspar’s at The Savoy, The Strand, London, WC2R 0EU, England
Tel: +44 (0)20 7420 2111
Kaspar’s is located in The Savoy Hotel on The Strand. The closest Tube and Mainline Station is Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines) a two to three-minute walk away on the same side of the street. The restaurant is 0pen Monday to Sunday with the Breakfast Menu available from 7:00am to 11:00am; the Dining menu from midday to 11:00pm and Set Menu available from midday to 6:30pm.
Type of Restaurant: Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar
Insider Tip: If there are one or two of you, try to sit at the central at the centrepiece bar if you can.
Price Band: Expensive
Reviewer’s Rating: 10/10
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Kaspar’s at The Savoy and by Simon Burrell