January 23, 2022

Lunch at The Savoy – Kaspar’s seafood restaurant

The Savoy has just opened a new seafood restaurant called Kaspar’s, named after the famous Basil Ionides sculpture of a black cat that has lived in the hotel since 1927. Art deco inspired, the restaurant is designed by Robert Angell and provides a luxurious yet informal setting for the menu created by head chef James Pare.

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The central oyster bar at Kaspar’s, The Savoy

Kaspar would approve of Pare’s menu, including as it does all sorts of fish and fruits-de-mer. Pan-roasted diver scallops, Siberian gold caviar, Jersey rock oysters all feature, as do selections from the grill including Hereford fillet of beef, organic spatchcock chicken and lamb cutlets.

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We started with a selection of smoked and cured fish platters from the bar. Both London and Wild smoked salmons, which differ in texture and colour – along with smoked eel, which I had never tasted before and discovered was meaty and reminiscent of mackerel. There was also citrus cured sea bass, gravlax and star anise cured salmon, although my favourite was the peppered monkfish which is the sort of thing you taste and think I could live on this…

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The fish was accompanied by home made breadsticks and sour dough bread. It was followed by a plate of caramelised goat’s cheese salad with seasonal leaves and walnut dressing. This was a piquant little number with nuts and a round of sweet, soft cheese almost hidden under the edible foliage.

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The main course was a Thai green seafood curry with Jasmine rice. This comes highly recommended. Correction: make that very highly recommended. Aesthetically James Pare had done a great job with the red tomatoes bursting out of the green sauce and the cashews lolling around like deliberate brush-strokes in an abstract painting. Featuring scallops, prawns, mussels and clams the Thai sauce was gentle and the individual pieces of fish and seafood retained their identity and texture.  Cashews sat atop generous portions of salmon and Atlantic cod and gave an added bite to the dish.

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Peach Melba was invented at The Savoy by Auguste Escoffier in 1892, so it was great to taste a 21st century interpretation for dessert. Kaspar’s is serving a peach melba ice cream sandwich, which is James Pare’s frozen take on the classic dish. Precise layers of vanilla and peach parfait are paired with raspberry sauce and an almond cookie exterior. A sweet, modern version of Escoffier’s dish that was invented for the Australian soprano Nellie Melba over a hundred years ago.

The Savoy has historical links everywhere – Kaspar himself relates to a superstition that has been part of the Savoy since 1898. You can read about his origins here. This new restaurant is open all day for meals but you can also enjoy the cocktails and wine list without eating. Kaspar has a martini named after him, a twist on the timeless classic. Frozen vodka or gin is mixed with a small spray of vermouth and finished with a twist of lemon. The wines range from an Italian Pinot Grigio to a rather more costly Chateau Lafite Rotheschild, and there is also a good selection of champagnes.

Kaspar’s allows you to kick back to the 1920’s and enjoy a stylish and elegant restaurant experience. Whether you go for the decor or the food you won’t be disappointed.

Visit Kaspar’s or view the complete menu here.

The Flaneur was a guest of The Savoy.

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