Formal Review – Caius

LOUISE McCARTHY and ANNA REYNOLDS have an odd but pleasant dining experience in Caius

caius cheesecake food Formal soup

We’d been warned that Caius was not a ‘proper’ formal, that the food was dire, and that we should ‘dress casual’. We didn’t know what sounded worse, the food or the idea of going to formal in jeans…

Starter: There were three options for the starter: a tomato and basil soup, pate and toast, or… a glass of apple juice. Sadly, we didn’t realise that there were choices, and so both ended up with the soup, missing out on the apple juice. We did wonder whether it was some kind of tradition, but apparently, it’s just apple juice… The soup was nice, and actually seemed like it had been homemade, instead of being poured out of a carton.

Tomato, the ready salted of soups.

Tomato, the ready salted of soups.

Main course: The main course of a tagine of unidentified meat (we think it was pork) was, despite its ambiguity, actually really nice, although quite fatty. There was plenty of it, and it came with tasty couscous. It wasn’t the most sophisticated main course, and not really up to standard for formal hall, but it was certainly better than your average buttery food.

Dessert: Dessert was amazing, bloody amazing (and the reason that Cauis got three stars rather than two). It was some kind of cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base (we suggest that this may even be better than a ‘buttery biscuit base’). Despite the fact that we had to share a dessert, it truly was a magical experience, and perhaps well worth the £5 by itself!

A work of art: the Jackson Pollock cheesecake

A work of art: the Jackson Pollock cheesecake

Highlight: We just enjoyed how utterly bizarre the experience was. The gowns were blue and just worn over casual clothes and there were baskets of ketchup sachets on the table. It was more like they’d transported our buttery atmosphere into a grand hall. However, once we’d embraced the bizarreness, we accepted that this was just one of those strange ‘Cambridge experiences’ that everyone has to try at least once during their time here.  Certainly at Christ’s formal, we’d have welcomed the opportunity to smother our food in ketchup to hide the fact that it was so bad. Maybe Cauis has got it right after all.

Sophisticated

Sophisticated

Lowlight: The service was not particularly good. We only paid £5.57, so weren’t expecting service equivalent to dinner at the Ritz, but the soup was slammed down on the table, glasses were dropped right on top of someone sitting near us and one of us wasn’t even offered the cheesecake for dessert!  This meant that we ended up sharing it between us, which was just not okay (although it did at least save our waistlines).

Price: £5.57 for a guest ticket.

Stars: 3 out of 5.

Not quite a formal, not quite a buttery meal. We really didn’t know what to make of Caius formal – not as bad as we’d feared, but by no means the best formal on the block.