For our recent anniversary, I left it to my boyfriend (of seven years, if you were wondering) to choose a restaurant. My only stipulation was that it had to be somewhere nice.
He kept it a surprise right up to the last minute and I was pleased to find out that he had chosen seafood restaurant Cadiz on George Street. I. Love. Seafood.
It was a quiet Tuesday evening but the restaurant was comfortably busy without being overly so; the patrons mostly couples.
The setting is stylish, contemporary and slick with black and white photographs, leather seats, and muted grey tones. The staff were excellent from start to finish and the consummate professionals.
The Spanish influenced menu is well varied with the options of going for traditional starters and main courses or for smaller sharing plates. We decided to get two of the small plates to share as a starter and opted for the squid and pork skewers
The pork skewers were expertly spiced with layers of flavour that kept you going back for more; they were accompanied by a paprika aioli which was nice but didn’t have much of the garlic you’d expect from an aioli. They were very moreish and cooked perfectly.
The squid, which was strips of calamari, was lightly crispy on the outside and so soft on the inside. There really is nothing worse than overcooked squid so I was pleased to find that these seafood experts didn’t let themselves down. The test of time is always a good one when it comes to squid – if you can take your time to eat the (very generous) serving and still enjoy each one as much as the last, as the temperature cools and they don’t automatically revert to chewy.
Side bar: I love that they serve their lemon wedges in little linen parcels. Genius.
For our main courses, we opted for the large plates with my boyfriend going for his seafood staple – mussels and I went for the scallops and monkfish.
“Mejillones – Salsa al Vino Blanco”
The mussels were steamed with white wine, cream and shallots and were served with skinny fries. I’m more a fan of the cooking liquid than the mussels themselves normally but these were so lovely – fresh and again perfectly cooked. The sauce I think could have been a little creamier as it was more of a broth than a sauce and we like the decadence of a rich creamy sauce. That said, my boyfriend happily devoured the lot. For quality and freshness, though, these were some of the best mussels we’ve tried.
“Rape y Vieiras”
Monkfish is easily one of my favourite types of fish and it’s such a treat as it’s not often on menus. These were cooked en papillote – in parchment paper – with scallops, soy sauce, ginger and spring onion and served with “riz pilaf”. The monkfish pieces and scallops were alternated steamed in the parchment with a little delicious puddle in the centre of the ginger, soy and spring onion mixture. The fish was delicately infused with the flavourings of the mixture (which should be put in jars and sold as I could eat it for days). The rice didn’t really marry up with either its description or with its plate partners; it was more like Spanish rice which doesn’t really go with the Asian flavours of the fish. Which was a shame as it let the dish down**. The scallops and monkfish were perfectly cooked (you seeing a pattern here yet?!) so the rice can be forgiven. It is perhaps something for them to consider in future that another accompaniment would be better suited to the fish.
Overall, our evening was lovely – in a spacious restaurant which equally feels intimate with delicious food. And for two courses each plus a drink each, it was around the £60 mark which was very reasonable given the quality of the ingredients and level of cooking from the chefs. It’s definitely one I’ll recommend to people and one for sure that I look forward to returning to already.
** Cadiz have since contacted me to say they are reviewing their menu in the New Year and will take my comments on board. It’s always great when restaurants take feedback on.
the wee food blogger