LDNReview

photo credit: Sam A Harris

Cadet review image
8.3

Cadet

££££
Hours:SUN
12PM-9:30PM

There’s much to be said about London’s eroding nightlife and, let us be clear, we're not about to claim that a wine bar in Newington Green is the second coming of legendary club Plastic People. But we will say that having somewhere to drink pinot noir and lazily spread mousse de canard at 10pm on a Sunday night is something that London could do with a lot more of. 

On paper, Cadet feels like par for the course. A matchbox-sized, oat-toned, chalk-and-board, walk-in only N16 wine bar that’s big on bottles and small on plates. It all sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. The most significant mould being broken is the one for their impeccable pâté en croûte—an artful slice of chicken, pork belly, ham hock, booze, and herbs. Reinvention may well be the mother of necessity, but Cadet is a reminder that all you ever need is charming hosting and a quickly poured glass of something crisp and fizzy. Cadet isn’t exclusive, it’s exclusively welcoming. That's why couples will bed in at the bar on a Friday night but a new-ish sprog will be up on one of the high tables on Sunday afternoon. They’re experts at giving out warm smiles that make hearts gooey like a slice of their Baron Bigod.

Sam A Harris

Cadet review image

The ‘they’ here is interesting. Cadet is a happy union of two of London’s finest wine buyers in Tom Beattie and Francis Roberts, an ex St. John chef in Jamie Smart, and a charcuterie wizard in George Jephson. Combined they’ve turned what was once one of London’s most aesthetically pleasing chicken shops (RIP Chicken Express) into a breezy, communal corridor that feels like it’s a part of Newington Green’s furniture. 

The harmony of everyone working together—the immaculate wines being poured, the peerless classic French charcuterie, the elegant small plates by candlelight—is part of the place itself. If we lived nearby we’d be coming, book in hand, for a quick glass and a slice of tart, all the time. Regardless of when you come, you'll more than likely be making a night out of Cadet on a regular basis.


Food Rundown

Charcuterie

You can find art and beauty in almost anything, but front and centre in this charcuterie. George Jephson is an expert, no, artist, in meat collages. From terrazzo-like fromage de tête—a cold cut terrine of meat chunks in jelly that makes English brawn look like a simpleton—to that pâté en croûte. From hearty pork, pistachio, and apricot-packed pâté, to rillettes, to mousse de canard. You’ll more than likely only find one or two of these types of dishes on the menu at once—just be sure to order both.

Sam A Harris

Cadet review image

Small Plates

Cadet’s menu only reads eight to 10 dishes long but they're as elegant and simple as the restaurant they’re made in. Expect classic touches like beurre blanc served with a meaty chunk of monkfish or grilled onions with peach and ricotta, and other seasonally-focused dishes. Gentle bowls of coco beans and tomato during the hotter months and heartier plates as things get colder.

Sam A Harris

Cadet review image

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