Staff at Le Caprice make a great fuss of their regulars, remembering foibles and preferences, but even if you’re not a known face (or a celebrity), you’ll still be cosseted. After decades in the trade, the Caprice sustains the sort of buzz the ‘West End’ is supposed to mean, with its flash clientele, art deco-ish black and chrome fittings and David Bailey photos.
The classic brasserie-style menus emphasise the reliably enjoyable rather than culinary adventures, but a restaurant like this doesn’t stay popular without the kitchen being on the ball. Fragrant roast duck and pomelo salad with spiced cashews made a lively semi-oriental starter; grilled sand soles with capers were cooked to perfection, the top-quality fish falling softly off the bone. Salmon fish cake with sorrel sauce and buttered spinach is a menu stalwart, but specials (such as sautéed Isle of Man queenie scallops with wild garlic and chilli) add variety as well as seasonality.
Prices are predictably on the lofty side, though good-value pre- and post-theatre menus offer a way of sampling the experience for a lower outlay. Parent group Caprice Holdings’s stable of upmarket restaurants also includes J Sheekey, Scott’s and the Ivy.