I don’t like change. I love hanging onto things. My career has for the most part been freelance, so anything that I can latch onto I will. My trusty leather jacket I eked out for nearly 8 years, gyms shoes that have seen fashion come, go and return and my favourite restaurant Le Caprice that has always been in vogue.
Nearly 25 years ago my parents took a fluffy haired, fatter version of me (sadly I have grown little, but fingers crossed, you never know) to this glizzy joint in town called Le Caprice and I loved it.
We have been going regularly for years. It’s where we meet for birthdays, new babies or when my brother decides to swing into London from Hong Kong and it’s even where we all got pissed and asked a rather bemused Renee Zellweger to come for lunch ( when I saw we, I really mean my mum – sorry!).
Like my leather jacket, Le Caprice is a classic that fits me well. The food is always fantastic, the vibe chilled and the service is the best in town. Jesus (the group director) is a dear friend and his team has seen me grown from podgy boy to long haired teen and into the not so tall writer that I am now. I feel totally at home there and will be going until an old grey loosh.
In all the years I have been dining at Le Caprice, I have not ever been on a Sunday night. They do live jazz and it’s just about one of the nicest spots to have a weekend debrief.
On a barmy October night, we sat at the bar with glasses of fizz and tucked into another magnificent meal. Fresh mushroom tortellini showered in a wispy blanket of truffle and a thick slick of cream sauce was sublime. Salmon sashimi was light and refreshing and came with a kazami wasabi – a lighter version of the nose tingly paste that had an almost pesto like consistency and a lovely warm hum.
I ordered one of the specials, a marbled beef shortrib with a sticky jus, mashed potatoes and baby carrots. A Caprice classic that was rich and delicious. Cod with nduja and berlotti beans was a massive slab of a thing, milky white and in perfect contract to the fiery nduja.
Squad goals at Le caprice include not asking actresses home and always saving room for desserts. For years they have done a chocolate fondant and it has for years been the best in London. It still is, but the recent addition to a chefy swirl of salted caramel has trumped their earlier efforts. We inhaled it in seconds.
Le Caprice – 20 Arlington St, London SW1A 1RJ
Words – John Gregory-Smith