Following the success of it's Place de Madeleine sister in Paris, this Caviar Kaspia restaurant (with its adjoining shop) is one of those places that is dedicated to the enjoyment of the finer things in life. With it's timeless décor, elegant atmosphere and knowledgeable, long-serving staff make this the ideal place to enjoy the pleasures of fine caviar and a quite staggering variety of vodka. It fits in nicely with the New Bond Street stylish shopping experience.
Kaspia is hidden among the Mews off Berkeley Square but frequented by the rich and famous. Customers entertained include royalty such as Her Majesty the Queen and the much loved and missed Lady Di. Most of the staff have been with the restaurant for 14 years, so the service is consistent and the people well informed. This has also led to the Kaspia staff becoming like an extended family to many of its customers who they've known since they were young children.
My companion Adam (a caviar novice) and I arrived early on a Tuesday evening, we were introduced to the elegant restaurant with seating for 50 or so, and a smallish bar area offering an excellent array of beers and spirits that would impress anybody.
Stephane Vohl - the general manager - talked us through the range of caviars, describing their quality and appearance, and where the different brands came from. Stephane's detailed knowledge and Caviar Kaspia's involvement in a range of CITES environmental initiatives, made for an impressive start to the evening.
Note: CITES initiatives seek to ensure the survival of the sturgeon and its delicious eggs.
Luis the barman started us off with some Kristal vodka served at the perfect temperature along with a Russian beer. The difference between high quality vodka and the everyday products most commonly available was immediately apparent.
We sampled an assortment of 3 caviars (French Aquitaine, Osietre, Sevruga) accompanied by Stolichnaya Limon vodka. Served on a bed of crushed ice, the caviar comes in small pots with mother of pearl serving spoons. This is the perfect way to experience Caviar. A blini served with melted butter provided the accompaniment to the Caviar.
I was particularly interested to see Adam's reaction to his first taste of good quality caviar. Neither of us were disappointed. We started with the Aquitaine, which was tasty with a good salty flavor, Osietra - less salty than the Aquitaine; with a fresher sharper edge-of-the sea taste was thoroughly good. The Sevruga he described as 'bliss', more delicately flavored than the others, something to taste with your eyes closed. The caviar was a definite hit; It would be extremely easy however to just tuck in with the spoons and revel in the enjoyment.
Head chef William Cooper comes directly from the 2 Michelin Star, Tante Claire. Take a look at the recipe for Smoked Sturgeon Soup to get a better sense for William Cooper's magical touch.
For our main course Adam had a John Dory with Ravioli of Artichokes Barigoue with crustacean vinaigrette and I had the Dover Sole with Buerre Noisette of Shrimps and Capers, which was served with a second beautiful lemon vodka. The John Dory, cooked with a crispy edge to the fish mixed perfectly with the Ravioli and vinaigrette - an instant hit with Adam. The Dover Sole was also perfectly cooked; flaking away at the knife and melting away in the mouth due to the mix of Shrimps and Capers.
For desert, I opted for the Strawberries and Wisinowka (Cherry) vodka, which whilst a little too sweet for me, was an excellent companion to the fresh Strawberries. This ended the perfect meal, finishing the evening with cleansing affect on the palate. Adam was a little more adventurous and reveled in the delivery of a well-presented trifle covered in thick double cream, with layers of fruit that looked too good to eat and a Likier Rozany (Rose).
Caviar Kaspia represents an Aladdin's cave in London. Not only providing an excellent range of Caviar and over 40 stunning vodkas, but also an excellent menu of other dishes that would hold their own in any restaurant. Ian Reid as Kaspia's Sales Manager brings to it and the Caviar boutique an impressive background, being formerly of Harrods and of Bentleys Oyster Bar. The boutique provides the entry way to the restaurant, is open to customers while also supplying top local restaurants and offering mail order. Caviar Kaspia is certainly a place that must be visited.Try this sample recipe
Tel: 0207 493 2612
Fax: 0207 408 1627
Boutique: 0207 493 9393
|Lunch||Monday - Saturday||12:00 - 15:00|
|Dinner||Monday - Saturday||19:00 - 23:30|
John Gabriel & Adam Nelis, June 2002
KASPIA restaurant, Paris (not Reviewed by NiteDine)
17, Place de la Madeleine
75 008 PARIS
Phone : + 33 126.96.36.199.32
Fax : + 33 1.42.65.03.41