The Cavendish review: European cuisine in a members club-style restaurant comes to trendy Marylebone
Thanks to the recent addition of celeb-magnet Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone is the hottest part of central London right now, with diners and drinkers being lured across the Oxford and Regent Street borders from their usual enclaves of Mayfair and Fitzrovia. I confess, I don’t know Marylebone as well as the aforementioned areas, but that’s all set to change with the growing amount of top eating and drinking venues.
Earlier this month, I was invited to the soft launch of The Cavendish, the latest new culinary destination in W1. Located upstairs with its accompanying bar on the ground floor, The Cavendish feels like a vintage members’ club with a mixture of plush leather booths and sleek wooden armchairs. My friend and I were shown to a cosy table in the corner so were privy to all the action and got a chance to look at some of the dishes enjoyed by our fellow diners.
Overseen by Spanish chef Alfonso Lillo Fas, the menu takes its inspiration from predominantly Italian, Spanish and French cuisine. It features a ‘Raw Bar’ for fans of Ceviche, Caviar, Oysters and the like. The menu is predominantly red meat and fish, so vegetarians may struggle. For those who wish, the knowledgeable waiters can match your wine to your dish. However, as we ordered our wine before deciding on our food, I opted for a glass of SV Dillons Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which was fruity and refreshing.
To start, I ordered the Scallops with Smoked Cauliflower Purée, served with Pickled Baby Courgette and Fig Balsamic. The scallops were cooked perfectly – not too chewy, and the mix of ingredients really worked well together. My companion opted for the Yellowfin Tuna Tartar, which was given a kick by the accompanying Wasabi, which she loved.
For mains, I was unprepared for the sheer size of my Pan-Fried Dover Sole. The waiter brought it on the bone so I could survey the presentation, before stripping it for me to eat. It was cooked to perfection with the lemon and saffron sauce really sinking into the white meat and bringing out a lovely flavour. It was served with creamy desiree potatoes and spinach, which are two of my favourite vegetables so I was pretty happy. My friend was in a more carnivorous mood and opted for the Fillet Steak served with Watercress and Béarnaise Sauce, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She ordered sides of Green Beans and Zucchini Fries – the latter being heralded as absolutely delicious and quite unique as a sides option in restaurants.
Although I must confess I struggled to eat sll of my large portion of Dover Sole (despite how gorgeous it was), I did find a tiny bit of room for dessert. As I was pretty full, I opted for the lighter of the options – the Caramel Panna Cotta. Without exaggerating, it was absolutely heavenly. It was served on a bed of chocolate sauce with edible flowers with a slice of white chocolate as a topping. It was light, creamy and very moreish.
Throughout the meal, we were served by attentive and knowledgeable waiters, who provided old-fashioned service. Our glasses of water were always topped up and we were given all the information we needed when querying the dishes. The setting was comfortable and relaxing and it would certainly fit either a business dinner or romantic meal. If you wish to carry on the evening, you can always head to the bar downstairs to sample the extensive drinks menu. Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable meal and the setting and service gave a feeling of subtle luxury.
- The Cavendish, 35 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone, W1G 9TR. Nearest tube: Bond Street. Tel: 020 7487 3030. For more information, visit the The Cavendish website.
Disclaimer: Metro Girl was a guest of The Cavendish for this review.
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