Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill is named after The Savoy’s most famous ‘fictional’ four legged feline Kaspar who has become ingrained into the hotels history. For 90 years or so The Savoy has offered dining parties of thirteen the company of Kaspar the Cat. Now, Kaspar’s is a place for the Prince of Cats to play host.
As there were just two of us we weren’t hosted by Kaspar sadly. Legend has it that in 1898, the diamond magnate Woolf Joel held a dinner party for 14 guests at the London hotel. One of the diners was unable to attend, leaving the number of guests as an unlucky 13, and another diner predicted that whoever first left the table would soon die. The first to leave was Joel, who was shot dead a few weeks later in Johannesburg. After this, the hotel offered to seat a member its staff at tables of 13 to ward off bad luck. Finally, in 1926, the designer Basil Ionides sculpted a 3-foot high art-deco black cat called Kaspar, which is used as the 14th guest. Kaspar is given a full place setting, a napkin is tied around his neck, and he is served each course. Winston Churchill liked Ionides’ Kaspar so much that he insisted that the sculpture join his parties of any size when dining at the Savoy.
In 2013, to celebrate this, Jonty Hurwitz, formally an artist in residence at The Savoy – was commissioned to create a new sculpture of Kaspar the Cat. Hurwitz created a chrome and resin anamorphic sculpture of Kaspar, titled “The 14 Guest” – which can be found at the entrance to the restaurant, Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill.
Legend aside, there is much more to this opulent Art Deco restaurant than its famous mascot. Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill is quite possibly one of the most exciting restaurant launches in The Savoy’s 124 year old illustrious history. The restaurant exudes luxury the moment you walk in, the panoramic views of the River Thames and London landmarks create an informal yet luxury dining experience and the elegant Twenties-style setting evokes The Savoy’s rich and glamorous past – we could not wait to start our dining experience.
We started our evening with bubbles of course (it’s only apt), and nibbled on delicious homemade bread as we decided on our starters; we opted for half a dozen delicious West Mersea rock oysters and Yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado, which was divinely smooth and light in texture and taste. Upon recommendation we also tried the Wild sea bass ceviche with seared octopus, mango & cucumber jelly – this was truly a delight, the various different flavours and textures really complemented each other and this was in fact my personal favourite of the three (hard though it was to choose). My friend was taken with the oysters “fresh and delicious, perfect” she exclaimed.
Moving swiftly from the beautiful starters, sticking with the seafood theme (Kaspar’s is a seafood restaurant after all) we choose a lobster themidore which was melt in your mouth, sublimely good – just the right amount of cream so not to over power. My friend went for the Yellowfin tuna steak which was ‘one of the best she had‘ she said. To accompany we had yummy, crunchy sweet potato fries, sautéed spinach and garlic chilli fried sprouting broccoli, all of which were just perfect.
Despite being too full to move, we were persuaded to try dessert and ended our meal with some heavenly dessert wine ( a light and fragrant muscat), sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce, banana compote and a mango passion fruit pavlova.
An experience at The Savoy and Kaspar’s is indulgent and sophisticated, the decor is beautifully elegant but the experience is very relaxed, we thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience from the moment we walked in. It was truly a treat, the staff were friendly and attentive, making some great recommendations for wines and food. We can’t wait for our next trip, we’re even considering rounding up the troops to make 13 so Kaspar can join… WHO’S IN??
Set courses costs from £25 for two.
Dinner for two from the all day menu is likely to cost around £200 for three courses.
Monday – Sunday All day dining, breakfast menu available from 7am – 11am, lunch menu available from 12pm – 2.30pm, pre-theatre menu available from 4.30 – 6.30pm, post-theatre Menu available from 10-11pm and last orders: 11pm
To book a table please call +44 (0) 20 7420 2111