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Review

Caviar Kaspia

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18-18a Bruton Place W1
(020 7493 2612)

Tucked away in a cobbled street off Berkeley Square, Caviar Kaspia feels like a well kept secret. The understated, slightly tired, décor gives it the air of a private club while the unbridled lust with which the patrons tuck into the main item on the menu – expensive fish eggs in all its forms – make you feel like you’ve stumbled across a meeting of a particularly decadent foodie resistance.

Caviar is something I can take or leave but the wife loves the stuff (which makes Christmas a very expensive event in our place) so she was in her element with Kaspia’s highly informative menu that offers everything from 50g of Salmon Caviar for £10.50 to 125g of Beluga 000 for £440. The waiting staff – friendly and efficient – were keen to encourage her interest, offering a little taste of French Osietra, the first and only caviar to be successfully farmed outside Russia and Iran. The verdict was favourable but, sadly, her tastes still tend towards the expensive.

Of course, the menu isn’t all about sturgeon by-products, with recently appointed chef William Cooper demonstrating a certain flair for moderately indulgent modern European food. Scallops with creamed leeks and smoked salmon with caviar vinaigrette (£13.50) were fresh and fat, while Ravioli of Lobster, fondue of tomato with bacon and basil (£10.25) was clearly assembled with quality ingredients and a gratifying knowledge of complementary flavours.

Loin of Venison with creamed savoy cabbage and bacon, sauce poivron was tender and flavoursome if expensive at £23.50. But then this is a place best enjoyed at somebody else’s expense as proven by 50g of Iranian Sevruga, served with blinis and crème fraiche, which weighed in at a mighty £75.40 (and you have to admire the chutzpah of the 40p).

Bottom line then, is it worth it? A resounding yes for caviar fans but a more hesitant nod for the rest of us.