Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill
Tel: 020 7420 2111
Since the Savoy reopened in 2010 it has become more popular that ever. The tired River Restaurant has been completely revamped and has recently opened as Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill. Named after the cat that is used to complement a party of thirteen to avoid bad luck. He certainly seems to bring good luck to the Savoy and not only with food. This Saturday (6th July) they are holding a special lunch with children’s author Michael Morpurgo. Why not enjoy a three-course meal at the same time? It’s sure to create a high demand so make your booking now. When I ate there recently I was impressed with the swish and swagger of the place, but still casual enough to relax in. The staff are impeccable and the food on the whole exemplary.
We kicked off with pan-roasted diver scallops, which were clean and fresh with a tomato verbena jam that added depth and acidity. M chose chilled tomato gazpacho, which is served at the table. A nice touch, as you get to see what sits on the bottom, tomatoes and garlic pawns. This was a triumph and felt refreshing and rich at the same time.
With the astounding success of his story War Horse in book, film and on stage Michael Morpurgo is the go to children’s author of today. He will be reading extracts from his children’s book Kaspar Prince of Cats this Saturday it’s based on the original Savoy cat so it seems a fitting location.
The bistro food is in the plushest of surroundings; the transformation into Art Deco space full of marble and geometric floor patterns is beautiful. Laurence our Canadian waiter was a font of knowledge informing us about various ingredients when asked. My beef bourguignon with creamy mash was one of the best I have ever tasted. The depth and colour of the stew was rich and it was full of flavour, the beef melted in the mouth gorgeously. M’s Hereford fillet of beef was equally pleasing, it came with a classic peppercorn sauce. The confit of wild mushrooms worked especially well but the spouting garlic and chilli fried broccoli lacked flavour and seemed too timid.
There are other distractions at the Savoy, a trip to the American Bar is a must their cocktails are legendary. The reconfigured space is festooned with black and white photographs of the rich and famous, many of them have been guests. My favourite is a study of a louche looking Richard Harris reclining on a sofa with a chilled bottle of Champagne in the foreground. It seems to capture the spirit of the place perfectly and they have a beautiful chocolate shop in the foyer selling hand made tennis balls amongst other delicacies, it is Wimbledon after all.
Desserts at Kaspar’s are a real treat. The pastry chefs excel at their art. M had apple tart Tatin. It was very good with a slice of dried apple sitting on top of the clotted cream ice cream that was so thin you could see through it. I chose cheese, not because the desserts didn’t look good but because the cheese menu looked so enticing. Grouped in five sections with names like ‘delicate and delightful’ and ‘crusty and elegant’ who could resist, not me. I’m pleased I didn’t resist as they take their cheese seriously here and it shows. The Isle of Mull mature Cheddar was crunchy and rich with a long taste. The plate also had section of honeycomb from a hive. I have never tried the two together, a revelation – delightful contrast between the sweet and the sour. And as a little extra at the end we were given chocolate lemon grass lollipops, delightful.
So Kaspar’s receives my purr of approval. It is a classy act that knows exactly what it is. If you are after high quality seafood and a grill but without the noise of say, Balthazar or Galvin Bistro de Luxe then Kasper’s is for you. You might even leave feeling you are the cat that got the cream, we did.