Tottenham Court Road Gem: Test Driving London’s New Mediterranean Restaurant With Rooftop Views

Like many before me, I’ve lost countless hours to the streets near Tottenham Court Road. I blame Primark and Zara where one harmless trip in pursuit of some hair bobbins and a tank top turns into missing chunks of time and a rather large hole where your Lloyd’s savings account used to be. For those familiar with the extreme sport that is shopping, you’ll agree it’s thirsty and hungry work. Around this neck of the woods, there’s always Dalloway Terrace (their installations remain some of the prettiest in London) and The Coral Room, if you’re after a boozy pick-me-up. There haven’t been many new openings in the area as of late, so when Cavo - a restaurant promising views, an open-air rooftop and Mediterranean cuisine was announced, I got booked in to test its suitability for a post-shopping sit down.

Cavo London Rooftop | DesignMyNight

Taste of Cavo brings you a sea of signature dishes for £70.

My meal at Cavo sadly didn’t start with a burning hole in my pocket and dozens of brown paper bags; I had a friend bail on me at the last minute (you know who you are), but my boyfriend stepped in and managed to be at the venue for our 7.30pm reservation. Popping out of the elevator like a toy in a pinball machine, we walked past the alfresco roof terrace, and followed the front of house through a glass walkway to find ourselves rolling into a sizable L-shaped restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows. There in all its glory (excluding those shambolic candy stores) stood the start of one of the most famous streets in the world. 

If there’s one thing Cavo has (apart from the views), it’s lots of space. From cosy booths for small groups to candlelit tables for two that can be pushed together for banquet-style feasting, no party size is too big, or too small. We were shown to one of the grey booths, and although it wasn’t an eagle-eyed view of Tottenham Court Road, we did have a clear visual of the restaurant before us. Earthy colours were drawn from artificial olive trees, leafy green plants, exposed aluminium pipes and wooden furniture, depicting a clean cut and modern space.  

Cavo London Restaurant Tottenham Court Road | DesignMyNight

The Mediterranean restaurant in London offers views of one of the most famous streets in the world. 

On to the food. We dined from the Taste of Cavo menu (£70) with an accompanying wine pairing, which took stressing over what to order off the table. Like a horse out of the stable, it was clear this was going to be a quick culinary experience. Three plates were in front of us like lightning, as were two cocktails. My partner opted for a bergamot and strawberry mocktail (£6) while I nursed an ice-cold Aegean negroni (£15) - Cavo’s twist on the classic swirled with Raki and oregano oil. First up were the fine de Claire oysters, bigne ou Moules Chous pastry and baccala, which is described on the menu as ‘salted cod mousse, crispy sourdough’.

The oysters came equipped with overwhelming portions of mignonette, burnt garlic and citronette. I constantly see people on Insta posting about their Borough Market adventures, flaunting mussels in pearl-coloured shells but no matter how many times I try or what bells and whistles I add, I still feel like I’m taking part in a very middle class bush tucker trial. The baccala was much more up my street. Buttery wisps of salted cod’s mousse rested on a wafer-thin slice of sourdough and the bigne ou moules choux pastry was like a mini slider but instead of your usual patty, we were surprised by a juicy and slightly spicy mussel. 

These small bites were base camp for the next round of plates that arrived. A frisbee-sized bowl came out with coquilles Saint Jacques au champagne, which translates to pan-fried scallops, with Champagne, butter emulsion and a hint of chilli. Cutting the scallops was the equivalent to slicing a knife through soft, warm butter. The sauce pooling around the shellfish was so good, I contemplated drinking it like soup; but table manners got the better of me. The tagliolini with wild 36-month-aged parmesan was spindled like artwork, and turned out to be one of our favourite dishes of the evening. Long belts of pasta were woven together with a cheesy sauce into a neat nest. Our glasses were empty at this point, and we had some trouble scouting someone to give us our accompanying wine pairing, which sadly failed to match our courses. 

Cavo Rooftop Bar London | DesignMyNight

Head to the rooftop bar for everything from classic cocktails to sweet, dessert wine.

Continuing to run a tight ship, the kitchen sent out our final savoury plates. The Josper Pluma Iberico steak was cooked medium, served on a bed of silky mashed potatoes and cruso. The lightly poached lobster tail with butter and orange zest tomato water was arguably the most daring plate when it came to flavour. The tomato water was punchier than I had expected and it brought a certain je ne sais quoi to an otherwise very light dish. The carbs kept coming too, with golden oregano-sprinkled Greek chips. Closing in on the final leg, we ended the Taste of Cavo menu with the restaurant’s Basque cheesecake and two glasses of sweet red wine. An easy one to get right in the kitchen, they pulled off dessert without hesitation. The dense texture and the zing from the fresh summer fruit worked flawlessly together.

The DesignMyNight Digest 

So, is Cavo worthy of nursing your feet after a day of pounding the streets below? I’m going to answer yes. And if you’re interested, it’s worth the trip without the excuse of a shopping spree too. I’m not usually a fan of tasting menus but the kitchen has selected some of their best dishes and I promise you there’s no need to warrant a trip to McDonald’s afterwards; the portions are more than enough to leave you feeling satisfied. Sadly, the service was a slight letdown by not timing the wine pairing with our courses. From what I could see, it was a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen. But I wouldn’t let that put me off returning. Especially when they make a mean negroni and the autumn sale not too far away in the distance…

  💰 The damage: £70 for Cavo's set menu and cocktails from £15.

  📍  The location: The Now Building, Outernet, Denmark St, London WC2H 0LA.

  👌 Perfect for: Post-shopping drinks and food. It's one for date night too.

 ⭐ Need to know: The rooftop terrace closes around 9pm so it's best to book an early visit.


Craving more? Check out all the restaurants near Tottenham Court Road here, and for more inspo, sign up to our weekly newsletter.