New Mediterranean restaurant concept CAVO has opened its doors in Central London, in the fabulous new Outernet building in Tottenham Court Road (which is currently hosting a pretty cool digital art installation, The Spaces In-Between).
It's a huge, elegantly sweeping space, softened by greenery but making a feature of the structural elements of the building. It's cleverly designed, giving the feeling of acres of space between tables and a sensation of calm and relaxation.
We started with a board of Iberico de Belota - a very generous serving of 36-month aged Iberico ham with that gorgeously intense, nutty flavour that melts and coats the inside of your mouth in the most luxurious way, immediately transporting you to a local tapas bar in a hot and dusty Spanish side street. Bread and a good olive oil alongside a chilled glass of Albariño made for a very promising start.
We very much enjoyed this unassuming but delicious starter version of Briam, a classic Greek dish of roasted vegetables including aubergine, potato, courgette and tomato, topped with a feta mousse. It was really well-cooked: confidently seasoned (which is rarer than you might think), the vegetables soft enough to cut through with a spoon but still holding their shape and texture, with just enough creamy feta mousse to lift and balance the dish.
The Clam Linguine was also good; beautifully-cooked pasta and more clams than it may appear, as most are out of their shells (although I confess I rather like that clattery confusion), it won over my dining companion, who was new to the dish. One of my favourites.
Next we went for the Josper Roasted Vegetables with Rye & Leaves with two mains from the grill. First, the Trio of Prawns with Greek Chips and Salad; a simple dish leaves nowhere to hide and we were a bit divided on this one. Two of the prawns were lacking texture (perhaps a whisper too long on the grill?) and the chips were a mixture of crispy and soft - often on the same slice - but well flavoured.
This picture of the Tagliata is once it had been unearthed from the tangled topping and bold flavours of rocket, parmesan and tomatoes. Juicy, blushing and full of flavour, this is a perfect example of when less is more; I'd forgotten how much I like this dish.
For dessert we shared a baked cheesecake with a berry compote, a pretty-as-a-picture dish that rounded off the meal beautifully.
It's a pretty cool tableside view, about as central Central London as you can get, which makes Cavo's laid-back ambience all the more valuable as a retreat from retail overkill. There is an outdoor terrace for the summer about to open, which will be a fabulous summer spot.
Pop this one in your notes; it's an oasis in one of the busiest parts of town and I have a feeling it is going to become one of those IYKYK hideaways.
[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]
Deputy Editor, Chatting Food London: Amanda David
Amanda David is a freelance food writer specialising in London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events. She is the Events Editor for London Cheapo and a regular contributor to Palate Magazine.
Follow Amanda at: