This is an exceptional summer in London. We are, at the moment, enjoying a heatwave and it’s the Royal Academy’s celebrated Summer Exhibition. It’s rather special this year as it’s the 250th year of this wonderful and sometimes controversial event. And one can make a day of it by having a delightful lunch at Le Caprice before one visits.
Le Caprice is the restaurant which Princess Diana called her favourite, and it first opened its discreet doors in 1947. This is my kind of restaurant, with a timeless quality which seems impossible to replicate. It’s small and intimate. The bar dominates the entrance. The service is classic, and the food is first class.
Excellent value for money
We enjoyed a meal and a glass of wine at Le Caprice with their RA250 Summer Exhibition Dining Package, and it proved to be excellent value for money. I started with the Mixed Sashimi, with ponzu dressing and kizami wasabi, which was a rather surprising menu item but perfect on this sweltering day. That wasabi had kick! A beautiful presentation and even chopsticks for added authenticity. My guest ordered the seasonal Pickled and Raw Beetroot Salad with goat’s cheese and multi-seed granola crisps. This was a mild and fresh dish with architecture provided by those grainy shards.
I chose Le Caprice’s signature Chicken alla Milanese with rocket salad and lemon for my main course. This must surely be the most popular dish on the Set Menu. It was a chicken breast with bone, perfectly breaded and presented with half a lemon in its traditional muslin wrapper. One might wonder why this reviewer is waxing so enthusiastically lyrical over a bit of poultry. It’s just that this dish was so correct, so proper and so very delicious. Food doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be right.
My guest ordered Pan-fried Sea Bream, with shrimp butter and fragrant herbs. This is another memorable yet deceptively simple dish. It was exactly as described on the bill of fare and was a plate-filling beauty. That shrimp butter added so much, although the white flesh had excellent flavour. A confidently-executed dish which will appeal to any lover of seafood.
Truly a food-lover’s oasis
We were content with our two courses although there are also desserts on offer on the set menu. I am stunned by the reasonable price for food of such evident quality, and served in these elegant surroundings. Le Caprice is truly a food-lover’s oasis. One might go on the first occasion to immerse oneself in some glitzy restaurant heritage, but one will return for its marvellous plates, great location, and ambiance. It put this restaurant lover into a rare comfort zone of met culinary expectations partnered with pecuniary joy. This is a gem which can expect a dinner booking from me in the near future. If Le Caprice’s set menu is so good then what delights might an evening hold?
The RA250 package (priced at £39 excluding service and cover charge) is available from Tuesday, 12th June until Sunday, 19th August 2018, and restaurant bookings are available Monday to Friday 2pm to 6pm.
Monday to Friday: Open all day from 12 noon – 11.30pm
Saturday: Open all day from 11.30am – 11.30pm
Sunday: Open all day from 11.30am – 11pm
Phone: 020 7629 2239
20 Arlington Street