The scene Set in the basement of an otherwise nondescript city building, the place does a good job of evoking the Twenties speakeasy it hopes to mimic.
We sampled the scene on one of their event nights, The Silencing Of Miss Scarlet, which combines dinner with cabaret and a film noir murder plot. Voluptuous waitresses donned in glittery, hip-hugging basques pour the tipples, while West End actors between productions expertly belt out catchy (and often raunchy) show tunes.
The real allure is the exceptional burlesque – easily some of London’s best. Expect fire eaters, fan dancers and some deft acrobatics.
The grub The food is definitely not the point at Proud Cabaret – and even if it were the greatest grub on the planet, it would have a difficult time competing with the tassels. That said, it’s solid fare.
The ingredients are all UK-sourced (so pat yourself on your eco-friendly back). Still, you’re better off not challenging the chef too greatly. An order of scallops was a tad overcooked, though the salmon ceviche made for a simple and pleasing starter.
British staples inevitably come up trumps; roast lamb, for instance, was expertly cooked, and a beef wellington was equally satisfactory. Service was a bit spotty at times – it could be slow and brusk – but this hardly detracted from a delightfully fun show.
Behind the bar There are a few gems on the cocktail menu, such as the Gin ‘n’ Tea (Gordon’s mixed with tea and raspberry puree) and the Bourbon Breakfast (served with a helping of marmalade). The beer and wine menu is a bit more limited, so you might as well go for the more unusual cocktail mixes.
Bill please Show and three courses is £40. Bottles of beer from £4.50; cocktails from £9; a glass of wine starts at £3.50. Fridays at 8.30pm (doors open 6.30pm).
Verdict A tasting menu that titillates (in more ways than one).
1 Mark Lane, EC3R 7AH
Tube | Monument/Tower Hill
Photo: Proud Cabaret