From the outset, you can see that 35 New Cavendish is cultivated and refined drinking and dining establishment: the deep blue hue, the logo that resembles a royal emblem, the generous use of natural daylight and overall sense of quiet sophistication as you enter the building. On the ground floor is a happening bar area where guests can enjoy fine wines and spirits alongside small plate dishes whilst upstairs is a smart yet relaxed dining room where you can fully appreciate their new head chef, Douglas Santi’s gorgeous menu.
First thing to note on their updated menu is now everything is £20 or less which makes visiting 35 New Cavendish a far more approachable affair compared to when it was a private member’s club. Yes even their spicy lobster tagliolini is not over £20.
They have a menu which caters for hungry guests at any time of the day. I particularly enjoyed their classic simple dishes like avocado and poached egg on toast. It isn’t a complicated dish but just about using well-sourced ingredients. They use smaller amount of eggs so that you don’t feel overly bloated at the start of your day. The lobster and avocado brioche was just as fresh and appetising.
More healthy options are on offer for lunch times and evening meals. Their quinoa, prawns tabbouleh was one such highlight; with the prawn meat firm and well marinated, the quinoa and tabbouleh adding extra texture and flavour to the dish.
If you want more substantial dishes, there is no better choice the Douglas Santi’s signature dish, the 100 layers lasagne, which is a family recipe passed down from his grandmother. Firstly, it does indeed have 100 layers, we counted every layer and the dish is much lighter than you would expect. It tastes fluffy and delicate, whilst the meat is of the highest quality, as they use renowned butcher, Aubrey Allen who is the supplier of HRH Queen Elizabeth.
They have a very decent range of mid-level wines too to be paired with their food. The Tormaresca Chardonnay is golden and fruity and a great representation of wine from the Puglia region, whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Rita, Maipo has curiously strong notes of leather and tobacco which went exceedingly well with the rib-eye steak that we tried that was beautifully cooked sous-vide and then on a josper grill to give it a smoky taste.
This is one venue that does smart casual better than most other places; you are treated like royalty but without the attitude associated with a private member’s club.