Axis, WC2B 4RH
- 020 7300 0300
- 1 Aldwych, WC2B 4RH
- closed Mon; noon-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm Tue-Fri; 5pm-10:30pm Sat; closed Sun
Restaurant at the One Aldwych hotel on Aldwych.
Kake and bob visited on a Monday evening in October 2007. We got there early for our table booking, so started with a couple of cocktails in the upstairs bar. The cocktail menu was fairly standard, and the cocktails were quite expensive at a tenner each, though I have a feeling they had quite a lot of alcohol in. I asked if they could do me a gin fizz, but it seems they'll only do what's on the menu. The bar overlooks the main dining room, and bar snacks are available, though we were brought dishes of nuts for free (and they kept bringing them as long as we kept emptying the dish).
In the dining room, Kake started with scallops with a cauliflower puree (£12.50); the scallops were very good, nicely browned and not at all watery, and the cauliflower puree was rich and tasty. Main course was salmon with baby watercress, samphire, and barley (£18); again good, with everything cooked just right. The salmon was cooked through yet not overcooked in the slightest, and the skin was good and crispy. The barley was great, cooked soft but not mushy, flavoured with stock, and not wholefoody at all.
When we visited here previously, in 2003, the service was notably good; this time round it was just adequate. The only explicit mistake was that they brought us the wrong wine (a cheaper Rioja than the one we'd asked for), but in general the service didn't excel to the extent that it would be worth mentioning.
It is not cheap here, but Top Table do an offer that would be worth taking advantage of. Overall, I don't think I'd go back at full price. I chose to come here over the other good restaurants in London because the service was so good last time; this time round I don't feel the experience was worth the substantial amount of money we paid.
They used to have live jazz most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but we're not sure if this is still the case. They have a private screening room offering "dinner and a classic movie" on Friday and Saturday nights.
Note that it's closed on Mondays and Sundays.