One of my recurrent themes is that enjoyable dining is not just about the food and wine. Service, ambience, value, location, value all contribute to the experience too. Integral to service and ambience is someone who is properly in charge and for more years that I can remember Jesu has been at the helm of Le Caprice. When Richard Caring took over the Ivy amd le Caprice from Corbin and King, there was some criticism that its special ambience disappeared. Because of the ever present Jesu this is unfair criticism of le Caprice.
It’s high-end dining in terms of quality and price with entrees round £11-15 and mains at £20-25. Knowing my guest and old flame from the advertising industry likes his wine I pushed the boat out with a top class burgundy – it was his birthday after all. I had a shrimp and coconut broth with kaffir lime oil. At first I was not sure if its rather odd flavour worked but the more I ate it the more I enjoyed its subtlety. After that I ordered one of my favourites, baby suckling pig – delicious ! My ordering philosophy is to to choose something that Olly and I would not have at home. I see little point in ordering say a plate of smoked slaloms and plain steak. My friend spoke well of his duck and mango salad and slip sole.
Le Caprice is also strong on atmosphere with that buzz of conversation that never overwhelms. I have reached the age [surely not – Ed] when I can’t take a noisy restaurant. Italians are the worst culprits for competing against the noise level to be heard.
Le Caprice continues to offer a fine all round gastro experience as it has done all my life. Reading as recommended Curtis Call set in the thirties I was interested to learn that Rules, Etoile, Ivy then and now were popular restaurants and I reckon Le Caprice will also be one of those that Daffers in her dotage will be visiting in her zimmer frame!!!