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Restaurant review: The Cavendish, London

Katie Gatens
14 November 2016

Polished pub grub is perfected and still going strong two years on at this Marylebone upmarket restaurant

THE LOWDOWN:
There aren’t a lot of boozers in London that can offer up a sparkling service as well as genuinely delicious and artful fine-dining dishes. But The Cavendish, just a ten-minute walk from bustling Oxford Street (and therefore perfect for a mid-afternoon shopping pitstop), breaks the mould. Outside, diners huddle in blankets on padded olive green cushions at the pavement tables – it’s more ‘Parisian’ than ‘pub’. Walking through the bar full of the rowdy after-work type of men in white shirts, top button undone and clutching pints, you ascend the twisting staircase to the calm, candlelit restaurant upstairs.

Up here, crisp white tablecloths and softened blue leather booths hint at a more grown up atmosphere and the din of the punters below is almost inaudible. It’s still a relaxed, informal vibe but attentive waiters delivering service that is not far off Michelin standard, really make the evening.

From the restaurant's new menu of seasonal British fare we order scallops to start, which are perfectly nice but a little dry. The tuna however comes served three ways and is a show-stopper on a large flat white plate like a work of edible art on a canvas. For mains we opt to share the rib eye steak and triple fried chips, although the 100-layer lasagne certainly tempts us and proves a talking point. We later get food envy when the table next to ours orders it. But there are no regrets and put simply, the steak is a winner. Perfectly juicy on the inside, chargrilled on the outside, it arrives at the table on a wooden board for me and my friend to fight over. If it wasn’t for the dessert of deconstructed butter toffee and pecan praline cheesecake we would never have made up.

Going back downstairs – the pub is still buzzing. It’s so different from the calm and ordered service and we’re almost tempted to stay for a nightcap that could turn into two or three more.

THE GOOD:
The service was impeccable. 

THE NOT SO GOOD:
Toilets are two floors down and staircases are narrow with waiters navigating up and down with food and drink constantly.

THE VERDICT:
Get ready to rethink pub food as you know it – this raises the bar.  

BOOK IT:  
The Cavendish, 35 New Cavendish St, W1G 9TR (+4420 7487 3030; 35newcavendish.co.uk)