Proud Cabaret in the City
Beneath the grey marble and subdued architecture of the City lies a cavern of opulence and colour: Proud Cabaret. One of three UK branches, the Mark Lane venue offers a striking contrast to the sedate tones of the streets above.
Curvaceous waitresses clad in basques seductively served the Friday night crowd – an almost equal split of men and women. While some had gone the extra mile and donned flapper dresses and tuxedos, others had opted for jeans, a far cry from the suited executives pounding the streets above.
Dishing up food and burlesque with tantalising style, we were sipping crisp Passionfruit Martinis when the lights dimmed and the entertainment began. The Silencing of Miss Scarlett was an atmospheric “whodunit” featuring voiceovers, moody lighting and a tense soundtrack driving intrigue and suspense.
Narrated by Detective Teddy, a flimsy Sin City-inspired plot – interspersed with burlesque and acrobatics – unfolded over three acts, compered by prime suspect Mister Meredith. The quick-witted host brilliantly warbled a string of tongue-in-cheek show tunes, including Anything Goes and Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien in between poking fun at himself and at the audience.
The artistry of the performers – all fellow suspects – was exceptional, particularly the mesmerising Miss Betsey Rose, who swayed to exotic rhythms behind seductive feathers. A sultry Missy Fatale captivated the audience with a hypnotic fire routine while a bolder Beau Rocks exuded a daring playfulness. Heightening the drama was graceful acrobat Michael Standen with routines as eye-popping as his co-stars’ costumes.
Typically, restaurants with live entertainment tend to sacrifice the standard of their food in favour of delivering an overall “experience”, but Proud Cabaret’s 20s summer menu was as satisfying as the cabaret performance.
A dainty starter of Seared King Scallops with a pea purée and pancetta was a harmonious balance of flavour and texture, as was a Sliced Aged Angus Rib-Eye with root vegetable crisps. Main courses were also tasty and gratifying: a trifecta of Roasted New Season Lamb Rump, dauphinoise potatoes and sweet, caramelised red onions plus a generous Root Vegetable Wellington with a buttery truffle mash, baby spinach and garlicky salsa verde.
Rounding off our meal with a Marinated Strawberry and Black Pepper Salad crowned with a light mint sorbet and a creamy White Chocolate and Vanilla Rice Pudding slathered with tangy Victoria plum compote, we found very little to fault.
The entire evening was a titillating infusion of art, seduction, dance and comedy. A winning combination of fun and flavour to satisfy all appetites, Proud Cabaret in Mark Lane is undoubtedly one of the best Friday night destinations in the Capital.
Photos: Monika Jørgesen
Proud Cabaret: 49/60
To book a table at Proud Cabaret, 1 Mark Lane, London EC3R 7AH, call 0207 283 1940 or visit here.