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“Small but beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of La Cage Imaginaire

La Cage Imaginaire
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Ranked #1,588 of 22,373 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $69
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
319 reviews
267 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
“Small but beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2013

The restaurant is a 35 seater in what looks like someone's dining room in a large house in Hampstead. (This is what it actually is). The menu is small but perfectly formed! I had some delicious scallops served with a rocket salad sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. Delicious. My main course was rack of lamb, the most tender and fresh I have had for years. You could see it was freshly cooked.The dessert was a tarte tatin. I had to wait for this for 20 minutes because, again, it was freshly cooked but when it came, the waiting was well worth it. Again, delicious. My wife also had the scallops but had fish as a main course. She loved it. Criticisms? The restaurant was full and, what with having low ceilings in the room, the noise from fellow diners was deafening! You could hardly hear a conversation on your own table! Also, the waiting staff was unbelievably inexperienced. Polite? Yes! Knowledgable? No! The restaurant neds a better Front of House. I loved the atmosphere. Above all, I love the food. We'll be back but , hopefully, they'll have been able to solve the noise problem and managed to employ better waiting staff.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Feff35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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219 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    68
    27
    9
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
159 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Very Small,Good Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013

First time here with another couple, it's tiny, literally someone's front room , luckily it was only half full so there was space and not too much noise so conversation was conducted without yelling at each other, very civilised! We had two courses, part of a set price, Coq Au Vin followed by a Brûlée with pistachio washed down with a very nice wine, enjoyable!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Paul A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Fabulous food in a charming venue but... there should be no "but."”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

La Cage Imaginaire feels like a Could Have Been Brilliant place. It's small, charmingly done up, set in an excellent location and serves very good food. At 2 courses for £19.95 or 3 courses for £22.95 this makes the value quite good.

They have, however, over cramped the space with too many tables. I've been here four times and done everything; banged my arm on the chair by the door, my hip on another chair and my legs many times on the table legs - and I am quite a slim person. There are 10 tables and 35 seats in a space that is about 4 by 9 meters, including the entryway - and only 3 of these tables are spaced enough for its occupants. The photo makes the place look large - it isn't and it's worse once half the tables are seated, and a nightmare when the place is packed. It may seem ideal for a romantic date but as soon as you clock the tables on both sides to you can hear you perfectly, it's not romantic at all.

As a party of 4 we were sat at a round table near a very empty (larger) rectangular table. We ordered our starters, mains and wine within 10 minutes of being seated. The olives and butter arrived - no bread. We ate the olives and chatted. Our starters arrived - no bread. I asked for bread. It's being baked, said the blonde waitress. Moments later, the very empty (larger) rectangular table beside the kitchen entry was then occupied by 2 people (who had not reserved) led there by this same blonde waitress who then popped into the kitchen and almost immediately came back out to supply them their olives, butter ...and their bread. I flagged down the second waitress, a brunette, and asked for bread. She looked surprised but did not return. We finished our starters and the blonde waitress I'd first asked came back out with yet another basket of bread for the couple sat at the table for 3 (see photo) who were sat just after us. We chatted some more. The blonde waitress came for the now empty starter plates and I asked her again for our bread. She gave me an irritated look and said, "Yes, they are being ---yes." I pointedly turned and looked at the table next to us with the couple at a table for four. With. Their. Bread. She pursed her lips as she made off with our empty starter plates ...and also our bread plates and butter knives! At least she left the butter. The bread basket finally arrived but we had to use the table top and our fish knives. Our end bill came to £141 which for that amount, venue at half capacity with 2 waitresses, could have been a better experience.

The food was very good, make no mistake, but Le Cellier du Midi on Heath Street (3 mins walk from this place) is just as brilliant with a similar 2 or 3 course offer, better seating and faultless service ~ with great value side dishes. What a shame! My partner and I live 6 minutes away near East Heath Road and the other couple we were with just moved in a few doors down from this restaurant. But while the other couple may return, I most certainly prefer not.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alexandra C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leuven, Belgium
Level Contributor
42 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Always pleased”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

I am Belgian but stay regularly at a relative in Hampstead , la cage imaginaire is only a very short walk and when I am a in Hampstead for a week or so..I have minimun once a dinner there, I have never been disappointed on the contrary, it is the real good French/Belgian kitchen every time again at a more than reasonable price.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank edlih1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
97 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great food and great service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

I was a bit worried having read mixed reviews about this restaurant - but as with most reviews, you have to experience it yourself to get a good picture. I chose this restaurant as my husband always wanted to go and since it was his birthday, I booked it as a surprise. The food was really good - right portions, very good products (steak, fish) and well prepared. Very tasty. I rarely have three course but I did because all was very good (and very good value for money too). Staff was very attentive and helpful (friendly and wanting to help - without being fussy). I would go back anytime.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank SomerscalesLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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