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Classic seafood, lawn games, cocktails and craft beer at the Applebee’s Fish summer pop-up at South Bank

Applebees Fish launches its four month summer pop-up on the South Bank in June

The capital may be inland, but us city slickers can still enjoy a slice of ‘London-on-sea’ by the River Thames. When it comes to the British seaside, many of us associate it with the quintessential fish and chips. This summer, Applebee’s Fish are bringing a special pop-up to the banks of the river. Over four months, the Applebee’s Fish pop-up will offer delicious seafood, a champagne and oyster bar, craft beer and cocktails, entertainment and a games sandpit. Launching on 14 June 2019, Applesbee’s will be located on the South Bank next to the Underbelly Festival.

With views of the capital’s skyline and the river, visitors will be able to check out the expansive space, incorporating a casual drinking and dining area, along with space to play. Imagine a pergola made of rope and wood, with plants, deckchairs and the scent of fresh seafood.

Embrace the summer with alfresco lawn games

On the menu will be typical seaside favourites such as the iconic British meal fish and chips, featuring sustainably-sourced cod with a light beer batter. Or if you’re looking for something else, try panko prawns on a cucumber, coriander and mint salad finished with homemade kimchi mayonnaise; seabass ceviche; tuna & salmon tartare and the classic chip butty. For a treat, enjoy rock oysters, supplied by Mersea Island’s Richard Hayward at Borough Market. Guests can knock back an oyster with a shot of Bloody Mary, Champagne and shallot; or tequila with chili and lime.

Meanwhile, when you’re feeling thirsty, there will be a range of drinks available, including Champagne, craft beers from the Harbour Brewery in Cornwall and cocktails including Aperol Spritz and Negroni. Wine lovers can enjoy Goring Sparkling Wine from the South Downs or Champagne Collet from the continent.

Applebee’s Fish is a family-run fish restaurant in Borough Market dating back to 1998. Originally set up as a fish stall, it soon evolved into a popular restaurant. They pride themselves on providing top quality fresh and sustainable fish.

  • Applebee’s Fish pop-up will be located on Queen’s Walk (under Hungerford Bridge), Lambeth, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. Open 14 June – 15 September 2019. For more information, visit the Applebees Fish website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in August, click here.

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Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill review: A huge menu and a friendly cat in Art Deco surroundings

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Isle of Skye half-lobster

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The centrepiece of Kaspar’s is the ornate bar with icicle-style decorations

The Savoy is one of London’s most iconic hotels, synonymous with luxury and style. Having previously visiting the stunning Beaufort Bar in the hotel, I have long been eager to sample some food in one of the restaurants. Fortunately, for my recent birthday, my sister booked a table at Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill in the hotel as a surprise.

The name of the restaurant stems back to the hotel’s iconic cat Kaspar. The cat’s origins started during a fateful meal back in 1898, when South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel hosted a meal for 14 people at The Savoy. After one guest dropped out at the last minute, another diner declared it was unlucky to eat at a table for 13 and death would fall upon the first person to leave. Joel wasn’t superstitious and dismissed the notion and was the first to leave, only to be shot dead weeks later in Johannesburg. In the following years, any time there was a table of 13 at The Savoy, an extra guest was arranged by management to make up the numbers to 14. With members of staff often joining diners at the table, this often proved unpopular so in 1926, architect Basil Ionides created an art deco sculpture of a cat named Kaspar. Since then, Kaspar has joined many a group of 13 diners at The Savoy, wearing a napkin around his neck. In 2013, The Savoy‘s River Room restaurant was re-imagined as Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill.

My party of four dined at Kaspar’s on a Saturday evening in August. Unfortunately we were far from the river view, but had a nice table and booth situated in the north west corner so had an expansive view across the restaurant. Kaspar’s was decked out in stunning Art Deco interiors, with icicle-style sculptures surrounding the ornate bar, which has high stools should you prefer some informal dining. However, we were definitely being formal on this occasion.

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Green pea soup with seafood dumping

One thing on the wine list which thrilled me was to see they had half-bottles and carafes alongside the typical glasses or bottles. I order carafes all the time when I go abroad, but I think London restaurants seriously need to step up and offer more carafes on their menus. We were a party of four, but we were split into two camps when it came to what wine we preferred. I wasn’t in the mood for drinking much so my sister and I shared a carafe of Anjou Rosé, Domaine des Cedres for £16.00, which was light and fruity and just what we needed.

The Savoy

Kaspar’s is located at the iconic Savoy Hotel

The food menu was pretty extensive and our patient waiter did have to return a few times as we took so long to decide. Eventually I plumped for the Green Pea Soup with Seafood Dumpling (£9) which was a lovely consistency. The dumpling was an unusual flavour combination with the soup, which worked well. My mother, rather controversially, opted for the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait served with Grilled Sourdough Bread and Cumberland sauce (£15), but said she loved it.

For my main, I was pretty torn for choice but finally settled on the Isle Of Sky Lobster, with the option to buy half or whole. I went for the former (£22), which was served with garlic butter and lemon so you will need to order sides, such as Buttered Spinach or Cornish New Potatoes. The lobster was soft and easy to get into and tasted gorgeous with lashings of melted butter on. I also tried my sister’s Seafood Linguine, a simple, but tasty dish which is apparently quite popular for Kaspar’s diners.

Tragically, we were all pretty full and didn’t have room for dessert but had a little sugar fix with complimentary raspberry and dark chocolate lollipops. Overall, the food and drink were brilliant – there was a wide range of dishes to appease all taste. The venue was sophisticated and the service was incredibly friendly and attentive. Can recommend as a nice venue to treat yourself, or perhaps a pre-theatre meal as its located right next to The Savoy Theatre.

  • Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill is located in The Savoy, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 0EU. Nearest stations: Embankment, Charing Cross or Temple. For more information, visit the Kaspar’s website.
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Sweet treat: We just about found room for the chocolate and raspberry lollipops

For Metro Girl’s review of the Beaufort Bar in The Savoy, click here.

To find out about the monument to composer Arthur Sullivan in Embankment Gardens behind the hotel and his ties to The Savoy, click here.

For more of Metro Girl’s restaurant reviews, click here.

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Angler review: Top class seafood in The City in this newly-crowned Michelin starred restaurant

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Good presentation: slow cooked duck leg, plum sauce, water chestnuts and bok choi

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Apéritif: Torino Spritz – Kamm & Sons, Cocchi Torino, Blackcurrant, Hibiscus and Prosecco

I must confess I rarely go into the City of London for dinner – it tends to be a daytime destination for me. However, there is now at least one venue that will be drawing me back to the Square Mile once the sun has gone down. Angler, a seafood restaurant at the South Place Hotel, is a new addition to the D&D London group and opened in 2012. Last week, it was announced the eaterie had been awarded a Michelin star… and no wonder.

A group of four of us dined at Angler a month ago for my birthday – I had given my sister the brief that I wanted a restaurant with a view and she knows I love seafood so the venue was a complete surprise. Entering the South Place Hotel near Moorgate, we were whisked up to the 7th floor where the Angler restaurant sat alongside its alfresco terrace bar. The dining area was situated behind aluminium screens, with a stunning design feature of a silver flecked, mirrored ceiling by Grace & Webb. We were shown to a large circular table right by the floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the room lots of light and views of the Gherkin, Heron Tower and Tower 42.

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Fishy: Oysters to start, followed by steamed Cornish cod with soft herbs, smoked salmon, tomato salad and summer vegetables

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Sweet tooth: Chocolate fondant with cherry yoghurt

Although most of my party ordered from the set menu (£25 for two courses, £30 for three), I ordered my starter from the main menu. I ordered a small portion of three Colchester rocks oysters, served with rye bread, shallot vinegar, Tabasco and lemon, although a bigger portion is available for a main. The condiments certainly complemented the dish, which I enjoyed, but it is certainly an acquired taste as I know many people who don’t like them. For my main, I returned to the set menu and ordered the steamed Cornish cod with soft herbs, smoked salmon, tomato salad and summer vegetables. The cod was steamed to perfection, came apart easily with my fork and was melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Despite the many layers of the dish, it was filling, but not too heavy and it wasn’t long before my plate was clean. My godmother ordered the slow cooked duck leg, plum sauce, water chestnuts and bok choi, which she thoroughly enjoyed. The presentation was brilliant, with the duck surrounded by a swirl of plum sauce droplets. We completed our main course with sides of green beans and heritage potatoes. To finish with, my sister and I shared a gorgeous chocolate fondant and cherry yoghurt ice cream, which was a surprising combination that worked well together.

Overall, I have nothing but good to say. The service was absolutely brilliant, the dining room was comfortable and light and the food was delicious and presented beautifully. For the high quality of food, it is pretty good value, especially for The City. I’m not surprised to hear it was awarded a Michelin star, executive chef Tony Fleming and his team thoroughly deserve it.

  • Angler at the South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF. Nearest station: Moorgate. For more information, visit the Angler website.
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The long and light dining area is separated from the bar by aluminium screens

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Look up: The silver flecked, mirrored ceiling, specially designed by Grace & Webb

To read Metro Girl’s other restaurant and pub reviews, click here.

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Lobster, chips and salad for £20! Fine dining on a budget at Burger and Lobster Soho

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Bargain! Lobster, chips and salad for £20

So this place has been open since the summer so I’m a bit slow on the uptake… although I have never professed to be a foodies’ website! I eat out often and when it’s good, I blog about it. So anyway, after months of buzz and hearing good things from friends, I finally went to the Soho branch of Burger and Lobster.

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Cheers! Summer in the City (left) and a Mint Collins

This small chain started off in Mayfair’s Clarges Street, with the second branch opening in Soho in July and the latest to open in Farringdon. The restaurant is unique in it’s incredibly simple menu. One set price of £20, with a choice of either gourmet burger, lobster or lobster roll. As much as I love a burger, finding affordable lobster is near to impossible in London and at £20 is amazing value so I knew I was only going to order one thing.

As the restaurant is still very ‘hot’ on the capital’s dining scene, we expected a wait at the Soho branch. However, there is an extensive bar area with unique cocktails to keep you entertained while you wait. My sister and I visited on a rainy Monday night in November and were told 40 minutes waiting for a table, but then it was actually only 20 minutes when we were seated which wasn’t bad at all.

While we waited, we pulled up a seat at the bar and ordered a Mint Collins (Havana Club rum, lime, unrefined sugar syrup, mint and soda) and a Summer in the City (Absolut Citron, strawberries, pomegranate, elderflower and rose) at £9.50 each. While the Mint Collins was very reminiscent of a refreshing Mojito, the Summer of the City was a fruity delight, a welcome reminder of summer on a dismal cold winter night.

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Bustling: The busy restaurant has a large bar area serving cocktails, beer and wine while you wait

The restaurant itself is a natural, diner-style setting, with natural wood panelling, red seating and exposed brick. The lighting was fairly low, which gave the space a relaxed, nighttime feel. After being shown to our seats, we were given a choice of lobster, burger or lobster roll. As these are the only things on the menu, there is no actual paper menu to peruse, just look at the other diners’ dishes for inspiration. The waiters give you the options of grilled or steamed lobster and a choice of sauce. As we can eat a burger any time, we both opted for the lobster, grilled with garlic butter. The lobster was served with a sustainable portion of chips and salad. You were also given the option of a plastic bib, although it wasn’t half as messy as we expected because the lobster had been cracked in places to make it easier to get into.

Overall, the lobster was delicious and amazing value at £20. The garlic butter sauce drizzled over the lobster was very tasty indeed. We found the service friendly and fast, both at the bar and restaurant. Am now tempted to try the Mayfair and Farringdon branch, but the Soho one was definitely a winner for me.

  • Burger and Lobster Soho, 36 Dean Street, London W1D 4PS. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Oxford Circus.
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New addition to the Soho dining scene: Burger & Lobster in Dean Street

Burger & Lobster on Urbanspoon

For contents of all Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, visit our reviews page.