La Cage Imaginaire

4.1
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452 Reviews
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£25 and under
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French
La Cage Imaginaire restaurant can be found nestling in Flask Walk, a quaint cobbled street of Flask Walk in Hampstead, North London. This delightful, traditional French restaurant is an excellent choice for your quiet business lunch or intimate setting for a romantic dinner. Imaginative Mediterranean cuisine catering for all tastes together with discreet personal service makes this a dining experience to be remembered.
What 452 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
London
15 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Attentive service and authentic French cooking!

e
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

It was a pleasant lunch with nice food. I had 2 issues however: First, when we arrived at 12 midday, half an hour after the restaurant says that it is open, there were people coming and going fetching and carrying laundry from the back of the restaurant out through the front door. That was bad enough but the door was required to be open for this, on a cold day, and we felt the cold from our table (in fact looking round the restaurant I could not see a single table that would not be affected by this, or we would have asked to be moved). This was not the only time that goods were transported through the restaurant, as there was another delivery that arrived half way through our meal. We felt we were in a passage rather than a restaurant. I imagine there is no back door to the restaurant through which all this transporting of goods could take place, but that is not our problem - we want to come to a restaurant with a nice ambiance. Maybe with this problem, the items could be delivered at another time - a bit of thought might resolve the problem. The other issue was that our puddings were served to us at different times. There was a gap of about 10 minutes between the first 2 and the last 2 puddings coming to our table of 4. Mine, as one of the first, was a hot pudding which exacerbated the situation as I was anxious it would cool down. Neither of these issues are what I would expect from a restaurant of this class.

VP
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very attentive staff and decent food

SM
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

I wouldn't recommend La Cage if they were vegetarian and wanted the set menu as there was only one choice. Pasta and sauce doesn't feel very creative or inventive. That said the sauce had a good flavour. Portion sizes were much too big for me and I felt very uncomfortable waisting food.
The staff and ambience were very pleasant.

ET
London
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a fantastic experience at La Cage. The food is incredible and the staff are lovely and attentive. A very reasonable price especially in Hampstead! It’s a true local gem and well worth going to if you’re in the area!

CM
Manchester
7 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Birthday lunch with friends

AV
London
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Food wss less than average, took 1h for the appetisers to come, atmosphere is very nice

TM
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

As a place to try once, with a charming setting in the heart of Hampstead, La Cage Imaginaire is worth a visit. The restaurant is cramped in its every corner, which clearly makes it a nightmare at busy periods for the waiting staff, and the kitchen struggles at busier times. Being served at the end of a long Saturday evening meant that, for us, our mains and desserts were of variable quality and freshness -- the fresher dishes suggesting that the restaurant at its best is very good indeed. It simply does not have the space it needs to cater for the numbers it aspires to serve.
The menu is varied -- possibly too much so, given the cramped quarters in the kitchen -- and the wine list is impressive.
I would imagine that the restaurant is at its best when it is half-full on a rainy lunchtime -- but that may not be a sustainable business model for the owners, who seem to be trying their best in a restaurant that is simply too small to deliver on its ambitions.

s
London
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience3

It must have been an off day perhaps, as we have had dinner here previously, but Sunday lunch was very poor. The portions sizes were poultry, and the fish dry and overcooked. Our starter, onion soup was poor. Lunch resembled school dinners. We were very disappointed and won't be returning any time soon. Yes, it offers a set-lunch deal, but it's really not worth it. There are much better choices nearby and I would avoid this place in future.

AC
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Had a lovely lunch, but as it’s a small Restaurant, I advise to book. The day we went however, there was only another couple there. The food was lovely, but the Chicken we had was dry. Had a half bottle of wine at £17.50 which was well over the top, but we didn’t want a full bottle. The coffee was well over priced at £3.50 for an Americano which was only just over 1/2 a cup. Would avoid that next time. The House wine was £17.50 a bottle, so it was naughty to only offer very few 1/2 bottles all well overpriced. There was also a 12 1/2 percent service charge, which seems to be becoming normal, so overall the cost was about £78 for a set 3 course with water and coffee, + 1/2 bottle of wine.

S
London
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Genuine French food in a lovely quirky ambience. Unfussy, friendly service. Not overly expensive. What’s not to like? We have been here before and will be here again. Enough veggie options too.

MD
London
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Everything was very good, we had just one criticism, the service was too fast. We wanted an evening out but the service had us done and dusted in 90 minutes. The food was nothing like a fast food restaurant, the table set superb but what was the rush? Give your guests just a few minutes between courses. Efficient is one thing, but it was so fast that we felt you wanted us gone. Unlike many restaurants, this is just a small thing, so easy to fix.

D
London
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food great portions.Very nice staff.Great value for money especially in Hampstead.

K
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I suspect this restaurant will not be everyone’s taste but we thoroughly enjoyed it. It feels like a family run establishment that has been around a while so knows what it is doing. The food was excellent and the service the right balance of attentive yet not interrupting too often. It is not a chain and they have their way of doing things. The menu is an excellent mix and not too big. The wine list has excellent choices at a variety of prices. I would recommend it.

OT
Naples
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience2

The food was excellent. However there were dead flowers on the table in stagnant green water. We asked for them to be removed. Tea pot had chipped lid, and ladies toilet
Basin was dirty. Have been going there for many years, and it certainly looked tired.

C
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I would highly recommend not going to this restaurant! I sent my fillet steak back as it had a large piece of white cartilage running through the steak. I didn’t ask for a replacement just for the cost of it to be removed from my bill. 30 minutes later a new steak turned up. I told them I didn’t want it as the rest of my party had finished and we wished to leave. The manager came over and started to have a go at me in front of my party and the whole restaurant. I got up to leave and the manager was swearing and shouting at me. Calling me so many disgusting names. I have never had such a bad experience at a restaurant in my life or ever had a manager speak so disgustingly to me.

DG
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was wonderfully fresh, beautifully prepared and presented and absolutely delicious. We will return..

OT
London
15 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely, local restaurant, hidden at the end of Flask Walk.
Really idyllic atmosphere - you could be transported abroad.
Food was tasty and great value for money.
We have walked past many times and always said "we must give it a try". I am so pleased we did.
We will be back.

EB
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely service and food, very nice ambience in a fab location. We have been a few times and will return.

U
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very nice restaurant and a ambience and staff very friendly. Food was very good too.

HA
London
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A good experience throughout. Good service, good food, good ambiance. Not many places like that in town.

LR
London
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Service was very slow.
The meat on the lamb rack was tough. Also it was individual chops cooked separately and not a rack.
Will not be in a rush to go back.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Have eaten there many times,but quality of meat was not up to standard,The tables were very close together meaning that you could not stretch out your legs under the table as the pedestal to make more room for as many tables as possible was right in front of you under table.We will not return

O
London
3 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Reasonable choice for lunch, which was good value. Main course OK - excellent crème brulée!

e
London
6 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We always enjoy our evenings at La Cage and have been coming for many years. The service is excellent, as is the food and we are always made to feel very welcome. Equally appreciated, there is no music and the ambiance is quiet and relaxed. The only reason for a slightly lower star rating this time for the food was that my husband’s duck was too rare for his taste and had to be sent back for further cooking. We hope to continue enjoying our meals at La Cage for many more years to come!

m
London
7 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Still decide to give it a go even with the mixed reviews to make up our own minds. Everything was ok / average but with so many good restaurants to choose from we won’t we going back to this one.

BK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

A delicious meal on a summer evening - just as good as I remembered!

BD
London
9 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Lovely little truly French style brasserie. One of our favourites in North London.

SK
London
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

- food: the chicken was good but the lamb rack was actually cutlets with very little meat and over cooked. Disappointed with this
- setting: great venue
- staff: was adequate but ashen I mentioned my dissatisfaction with the food they just replied “okay”

L
London
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience2

One word would sum upevery aspect of this restaurant - "ordinary".

t
London
12 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This is good bistro food with very healthy portions in a prestige location in Hampstead. Maybe not the best food in the world, but very enjoyable. The room is also a step up from many bistros so would suit date night. Deserts are huge and very good - loved the Tarte Tatin.

p
Phoenix
12 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

the special lamb dish of the day was not available so they had lamb chops instead. They were not tender and the meat tough. The Salmon was ok but a bit overcooked.
Service very nice and the atmosphere is lovely, would go back but maybe not go with the price fix lunch menu.

CF
Melbourne / VIC
11 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience4

Terrible experience. The first course of Aubergine was stone cold. The manager? was dressed in workout gear and the service was all over the place. Can't say enough how disappointed we where and no idea how they seem to get such good reviews on this site. It was total amature hour for the whole lunch. We will not be back and I'm taking reviews on thi site with a large grain of salt from now on.

RB
London
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Very disappointing. Strawberry jam on Rillette????

TB
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding classic bistro. Really enjoyed ourselves on a weekend away.

Summer afternoon, nice place, great food and service.

The menu was lovely - classic French fixed price menu so tasty and great value.

As someone who eats out once or twice a week with business meals and travel it was the best meal I’ve eaten out in some months. I’ll go back as soon as anywhere near.

h
London
178 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great small family lunch after lovely walk around Hampstead Heath. Original decoration, good food and attentive service.

SM
London
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience2

I have been very disappointed by our dinner for 9 people (1 birthday + 2 father's day). Wine is probably stored in very poor conditions (had to change twice the bottle to get the 3rd one more or less ok). The waitress openly shown us we were painful and even told us we do not know anything about wines! For French people from which a sommelier, it is quite an insult! They do not make cakes themselves so they buy it for you and serve it. That was all right but they bought the mille-feuille too early in advance so the biscuit was too wet indeed (not crispy anymore). On top i asked them to cut it and they came back with 2 little portions per person so we were not having enough for all guests at the end, which was really embarrassing!!!! I do not recommend you at all this place, go away.

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

An ok place for lunch. Food was good but not spectacular. Very friendly waitress did her best to accommodate to special requests.

E
London
5 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Slightly eccentric, very French, excellent value and lovely staff. We will go back.

AP
London
3 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Feels like a lovely quiet old-fashioned regional French village restaurant. Fantastic value and really good reasonably-priced wines by the glass as well as delicious food