The Cadogan Arms, a Chelsea favourite, recently underwent an autumnal revamp. With lovingly restored interiors and a new head chef at the helm I went to check out their updated menu.
The decor is somehow both imposing and cosy, with stags adoring the walls and an open brick fireplace; you would be forgiven for thinking that you were in a Sussex pub, when in fact you’ve walked in from the affluent King’s Road.
After being seated we were recommended to try two different wines, a refreshing Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and a sweeter Pecorino wine from Abruzzo, Italy. The Marlborough happened to go particularly well with our first starter, Isle of Man scallops, crisp chicken wings and salsify, with the crisp notes complimenting the scallops and cutting through the rich fattiness of the chicken. We went with a vegetarian option to start as well, enjoying sweetly roasted Jerusalem artichokes and parsley crumb.
We chose from the specials menu for our mains, liking the sound of both the lamb with boulangère potatoes and sprouting broccoli, and the seafood linguine with brown shrimp, queen scallops and chilli. The pasta was made with plenty of egg yolk – rich, yellow and scattered with coriander cress, it was beautifully vibrant. To complement the lamb I was recommended another great glass of wine in the form of Les Tannes, a Syrah from France, which enhanced the flavour of the succulent lamb without overpowering it.
As soon I saw salted caramel ice cream and Valrhona chocolate pavé on the menu I knew it would be pointless for me to resist dessert, especially as it came with a recommended espresso martini. The pavé was rich, dense with dark chocolate and served with a chocolate crumb. The aforementioned ice cream was so good that I asked for a second scoop.
We also tried the Bakewell tart, which had thin pastry, a sweet almond filling and a healthy helping of clotted cream on the side. I had this with my favourite digestif of Frangelico on ice, and the combination was delicious.
I was pleased to see that even on a very wet and drizzly Wednesday the place was almost full. I presume that the new and improved menu, with its emphasis on British seasonal produce, has had something to do with that. Happily, they have created something gastronomical and refined for the future, whilst also keeping their identity as a friendly local pub.
The Cadogan Arms
298 King’s Road