C London: Opinion unrevised

Four years may have passed since my last visit to C London, but it seems little has changed: here, we are definitively in the world of moneyed Mayfair where the well-heeled and wannabee celebrities still come to dine. The food is excellent; the service somewhat less so. For mere mortals, prices remain eye-watering and undoubtedly better value (and experiences) can be found elsewhere. C London is still packing in the punters, so if nothing else, the cachet value of dining here remains undiminished after many years. The room is beautiful – think classic art deco homage – even if the tables are slightly too close together and acoustics leave something to be desired. Our food was superlative: on this occasion, I sampled five different starters (shared across our group) and enjoyed one of the best fish-based mains I have had for some time. There was excellence in presentation and taste sensation across our opening dishes. Stand-outs were the artichoke and avocado salad with shaved parmesan and tuna tartare: both simple dishes, but executed superbly and prepared with top-quality ingredients. For the main, I opted for ‘seppie in tecia:’ a deeply flavoursome, almost meaty, serving of pan-fried cuttlefish served in a black ink sauce on a bed of polenta. It was so good, I would happily have eaten more. The C London experience does, of course, come at a cost: it is a struggle to find a starter for less than £20, while several mains approach £50. Even without wine (where few bottles are available for under £50), the bill quickly adds up. For this price, I certainly don’t expect somewhat supercilious and often indifferent service. Yet this is what we witnessed on this occasion (and on every other I have been here). Surely, diners should not expect to feel that they are privileged to be eating at C-London. The restaurant’s good, but it’s still only one option among the competing many.