With a lively atmosphere in a light and elegant setting, Kaspar’s is the perfect spot for relaxed riverside lunches, early evening drinks and bites and leisurely evening meals. Named after The Savoy’s most famous four legged feline, Kaspar’s keeps alive the wonderful history brought to the hotel almost 100 years ago.
Kaspar, the three foot high cat was sculpted in 1926 by British Basil Lonides to stave off bad luck, following the death of South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel in 1898. The story has it that Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for fourteen guests and one cancelled at the last minute. The dinner continued, but one superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the unlucky table of thirteen. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later he was shot dead in Johannesburg. To avoid a repeat performance and damaging its reputation, The Savoy offered a member of staff to sit amongst tables of thirteen thereafter. Unable to discuss private matters or feel at ease, thia proved to be unpopular with guests and thus, in a stroke of genius, Kaspar was born.
For almost 90 years The Savoy has been more than happy to oblige parties of thirteen with Kaspar’s company, whereby he joins in with napkin around the neck and a full place setting to ‘enjoy’ every course. Winston Churchill, who adored Kaspar, insisted that the cat join him with his The Other Club meetings, a political dining club Churchill founded in 1911, and to this date the hotel’s most famous four-legged resident has never missed a meeting. Kaspar continues to join tables of thirteen and is happy to attend additional smaller or larger parties. Booking in advance is essential.
Located in the heart of The Savoy, with views of the River Thames, Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill offers an informal yet luxury dining experience, in a beautiful art deco setting. Open all day, seven days a week, Kaspar’s flawlessly moves from breakfast through to lunch and dinner, also offering a dedicated pre and post-theatre menu.
Building on the rich history of dining at The Savoy, Kaspar’s theatrical design is inspired by the decadence of the Twenties and Thirties, a time when the hotel bustled with dinner, dancing and glamorous guests. Cut-glass mirroring, silver leaf ceiling and chequer-board marble floors frame the centre bar, flanked by Murano glass columns and pendant glass light fittings to complete the look.
Executive Chef, Holger Jackisch, has created a menu that focuses on locally sourced seafood; beautifully prepared and elegantly presented. Having worked at the hotel in 1999 as executive sous chef, Jackisch returned in June 2015 to lead The Savoy’s culinary team across the hotel’s restaurants and bars, now with over a decade’s experience garnered in the Middle East and Russia.
Diners at Kaspar’s can choose from an array of fresh, smoked and cured fish platters, scallops, rock oysters, lobster and succulent meats from the grill.
As one of the Capital’s finest seafood restaurants, it is fitting that a show stopping seafood bar takes centre stage, where shellfish and smoked and cured fish is prepared and displayed.
Not long after we arrived at our table we were shown a fabulous and inspired albeit concise cocktail menu but were told that the barman would happily whip up anything we wanted. I chose the Kasparette, a light refreshing aperitif with elderflower and citrus flavours topped with champagne. My dining companion chose the Old Fashioned, a cocktail menu classic.
The bread basket was also served promptly which was beautifully fresh and served with a little something for everyone from balsamic vinegar to creme fraiche.
And as my new health kick for this month dictates my obligatory and very yummy fresh lemon and ginger tea… the best thing is getting the whole team addicted to warm revitalizing drinks even though the weather is starting to get warmer.
Kaspar’s offers an exquisite selection of various Scottish smoked salmon, traditional gravlax, star anise cured salmon, whole smoked eel, hot smoked sable fish, beetroot cured halibut, citrus cured wild seabass and peppered monkfish.
I chose the pan roasted scallops with the unusual and new twist on the Kaspar’s menu of being served with an earthy beetroot risotto, a side step away from their original cauliflower pairing.
But for a twist on a classic dish and a culinary display at your table we suggest ordering the lobster bisque served with espelette and fresh lobster – pure heaven.
The soup is poured right in front of your eyes…
A recent addition to the menu is the freshest selection of sushi and sashimi, including Nigiri, Hosomaki, Uramaki, Futomaki, Tuna tataki and Hamachi. So we had to whet our appetite with a quick foray into the Japaenese delights.
We chose the Spider Roll…
And the Prawn Tempura with delightful explosions of mango in each bite…
Their fish offering was so amazing we resisted the urge to order the lamb which having passed to our neighbouring table looked delightful and instead ordered the cured fish platter. I strongly recommend the cooked sable fish and the star anise salmon. Divine.
My dining companion ordered the Dover Sole, which was a generous portion and beautifully succulent, simply but elegantly presented with muslin-wrapped lemon.
Not that any sides were needed and the spinach looked a fabulous pairing but who could resist the utterly tempting sweet potato fries.
The dessert menu features clever innovations on classic desserts such as Apple Crème Brûlée or Peach Melba sensation alongside an extraordinary cheese selection.
Yumminess on a plate…
And if that isn’t enough, there were lime chocolate petit fours to round off our delicious and delightful dining experience.
Kaspar’s is definitely a restaurant that should be on everyone’s list whether you’re a lover of seafood or just looking for your next delicious dinner in the heart of London’s Theatreland surrounded the dazzling Art Deco elegance of The Savoy. We can’t wait to pay them another visit!
Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill
The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R OEU
020 7420 2111