In improving Covent Garden, a dining-and-entertainment venue where the food is better than par for the course; and a handy lunchtime rendezvous too.

Sometimes even the smoothly oiled Harden’s inspection programme derails. As the subject of this piece is a cabaret venue, we had obviously intended to visit in the evening. Serendipity, however, had other ideas, and brought us to Covent Garden in the middle of the day, anxiously in need of somewhere new to review. So here it is.

We arrived to find a restaurant that had obviously been designed to look its best by night. It was pretty much empty too, tending to confirm our fear that cabaret food is dodgy at the best of times, and that this was possibly not one of those times.

Persevering, however, we were cheerily greeted and promptly served from a lunch menu – à la carte, but with some lighter options – from which we sampled such delights as flatbread, crabcakes, chips and salad.

As we ate, the place filled up considerably, and we could see why: the food here may not have any great ambition, but it’s all surprisingly well done. Nothing we tried could be described as anything less than very tasty, and at around £20 a head, who’s to complain?

Sadly, though, we never got to see that big white table turned into a catwalk for the performers – we imagine the performances vary sufficiently from night to night that our views on them really aren’t worth having anyway.

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