Kaspar’s restaurant

Covent Garden, The Savoy, London

Back in 1898 at the Savoy there were 13 guests booked for dinner. The host of the party, a South African mining magnate, was shot and killed a few days later. In a masterstroke of Victorian PR, the hotel made a story of it and said never again would 13 guests dine together. From that point forward, when it received bookings of that number, a carved statue of a cat called Kaspar would be given the 14th chair. Whether you’re triskaidekaphobic or not, it’s a nice yarn and one of the earliest examples of marketing spin on record. Kaspar’s name was given to the restaurant after its relaunch in 2013 and one would think he’d be happy with the menu. Fish – cold, cured and cooked – is at its core. Scallops come with a beetroot risotto and a tart citrus ice, smoked salmon tartare is sunset orange (with no hint of dye) and pan-roasted sea bass has a crayfish chowder that lets the quality of the fish shine through. Slightly off-piste, a quality Wiener schnitzel is served with pickled cucumber and perfectly crisp fries.

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