The Cadogan Arms is a pub and restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea. A large brick fireplace takes centre stage underneath what looks like a bison head and the walls are decorated with antlers.
We paired our meal with a bottle of the ETM Rosé which was fruity and pleasantly acidic. The friendly waitress suggested that starters could be ordered from the bar menu and I decided to go for the Chilli Salt Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce. My companion stuck to the dinner menu and went for the Roast Half Quail with Chargrilled Apricot, Foie Gras and Chicken Liquor.
The squid was lightly battered tempura style and deliciously soft. I quite happily would order this the next time I was in the bar. The quail wasn’t wow. Although moist, the seasoning was quite mundane and something one could easily rustle up at home. The foie gras was equally unimpressive and a little too bitter. The dish was well presented however tasted good but not great.
My companion chose the Half Scottish Lobster with Garlic & Parsley Butter served with Chunky Hand Cut Chips for her main. It was beautifully fresh and a decent size for the price. This was the summer special and the deal (which includes a glass of wine) ends up cheaper that their Longhorn Burger. My companion had to admit the lobster was better than those served at The Big Easy down the road but unfortunately it had not been cracked in the right place.
My main of Peterhead Cod Fillet with Smoked Pancetta and Pea Fregola and Sorrel Cream was interesting… in a good way. The generous portion of cod was perfectly cooked with a herby crumb topping. The fregola was a little too chewy for my liking – not so much al dente as ALL dente!
Moving on to dessert, I couldn’t resist the Cherry Pie with Almond Ice Cream, cooked in a blini pan for added interest. The pastry was beautifully crisp and the delicious cherry filling had just the right sweetness to balance the rich juicy fruit. Unfortunately my companion was not as impressed with her choice of Hot Chocolate Fondant with Chocolate Soil. The fondant was overcooked, biscuity and visibly dry however the melting centre was just right. The recipe obviously needs tweaking. Chocolate soil was a slightly salty concoction of what looked like cake crumbs. Perhaps an accident in the kitchen made good?! Rather than going for the equally accidental sounding Cornflake Milk Sorbet, my companion chose to pair the dessert with Lavender & Raspberry Ripple ice cream, a lovely summery marriage of fragrant lavender and fruity raspberry puree.
Overall the menu was hit and miss – every hit seemed to be followed by a disappointing miss. Our advice would be to go for the lobster special or forego dinner in favour of a selection of the moreish bar snacks.
See the review score below for more on our Cadogan Arms experience.