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Kashu opened in 2008 in the former Liberal Club building. They offer Italian and seasonal menus, with takeaway available.

Closed Oct 13, now Aqua Restaurant St Albans.


  • Business Sector:
  • Food & Drink > Restaurants

Address and Contact info

  • Address: 9 Hatfield Road
  • Town: St Albans
  • County: Herts
  • Postcode: AL1 3RR

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Review Overview

Absolutely Terrible, do not dine here!! - review by jojo_ferris
I booked a table for 13 people about 3 weeks in advance for my birthday, a couple of days before we were due to go I received a call from the owner just to confirm the booking and explain that we would have to have the £17.50 set menu as we were a large party. This was all fine but I just wanted to change some of the menu around so I called the manager the day before and he said this was fine I just needed to email him over what we wanted and he would arrange. All of this was done and we were looking forward to going. We arrived on time but they did not have us on the list for a table so one of the waitresses went to find the manager. He came over very aggressively and said that he had not received my email regarding the menu so he thought the table was not confirmed. I do not know why he thought this as we had spoke about the booking the day before and as far as I was concerned I had already booked the table during the first conversation 3 weeks prior and I did not need to re-confirm! He had tried to call me but I had left my phone at work but I was available on email but he had not thought to send me one. We were told that we could have a table but we would have to wait (we were not advised at this point that it would be a long wait) so we decided to wait at the bar. We ordered a round of drinks which included a few bottles of wine as we were going to have them on the table. After waiting for about 10 minutes we asked a waitress how long the table was going to be, she went and found out and advised us that it would be a leastt 45 minutes!!! This was really unacceptable so we asked to speak to the manager (who is also one of the chef's) he marched over and actually put his had on his hip and aggressively said that there was nothing he could do as we had not confirmed! My 66 old auntie then tried to speak to him and he shouted at her and said there was nothing he could do. I cannot explain how aggressive and rude this man was, he was actually screaming at me in the middle of his restaurant. I said we were going elsewhere (even though it was now 9.30pm pouring with rain and there were 13 of us!) and we were not paying for the drinks. Even though I didn't think it was possible the manager then got even more aggressive and screamed LOCK THE DOORS THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT LEAVING!!! He then went to call the police, he was acting like and absolute lunatic, I have never seen anything like it before in my life! At this point we knew we had to calm things down before this man completely lost it so one of our party when to speak to him. He still would not apologise or see that he was in the wrong so we had no choice but to pay the bill as at that point we just wanted to get as far away from him as possible. So basically we paid £60 for a round of drinks we didn't enjoy and were screamed at by the manager. We then managed to get a table to Lussman's in St Albans, the meal was fantastic and the service was amazing, I would definitely recommend it. This review is not a reflection of the waiting staff as they were thoroughly embarrassed and I think a little scared of the actions of their manager. I understand he might of been a little stressed as it was a busy Saturday night but nothing can excuse screaming at your customers! It seemed to me that he made the mistake and instead of just saying sorry and asking us to wait he got very defensive and aggressive. If this had of been handled differently we probably would of waited and eaten there. If you want to have a lovely meal with a nice atmosphere do not go to Kashu.....go to Lussmans! [Aug 13] 02 Aug 13
Rude Manager! - review by pet2510
I've been to Kashu several times over the last few years with family and friends and have always been pleased with the food and service. However when I visited recently, I found my food disappointing, the buerre blanc sauce was very vinegary. When I spoke to the waitress, the 'effusive' manager butted in and was incredibly rude and patronising. Apparently customers aren't entitled to their own opinions about his food! Shame as I won't go back now. [Nov 12] 12 Nov 12
Delicious food, excellent service - review by hibercote

I went to Kashu in a large group. Before I entered the restaurant it scored points for not being a chain. Kashu also did not disappoint in the two most important criteria - food and service. I haven't had such a delicious meal (chicken on crushed potatoes) for quite a while, and the rest of my group appeared to enjoy their meals too. Desserts, often something a restaurant feels it can drop its standards on for some reason, were also of high quality. Sadly I was driving so can't comment on the wine. Service was friendly yet seamless. We came out feeling well looked after. The only reason Kashu doesn't get five stars is that I wasn't too sure about the decor as it felt a bit 'stark'. However, this a matter of personal taste and the atmosphere was lively and good-natured. [Jul 11]

28 Jul 11
great food and service, and baby friendly too - review by s smith
My husband and I went with our 7 month old daughter one Thursday lunchtime and decided to splash out on the full menu rather than the express lunch. It was well worth the money. Three courses of excellent food with wine and coffee came in at just under £40 a head. The service was attentive and friendly without being intrusive and the atmosphere was relaxed. It was lovely to be able to have a really nice meal without worrying about disturbing others by having a small child with us. [May 11]
26 May 11
Great if you're seated in one of the booths - review by loki

I've been to Kashu on a few occasions and I'm still left undecided on it. The decor inside the venue is welcoming and rich with lots of leather in the semi circular booths and wood elsewhere, The booths are comfy and provide a great dining experience for a group but the other tables can be more cramped and less enticing. On every occasion I've had a good meal at Kashu, the menu has a good amount of variety and the service is generally good. The only thing that lets Kashu down for me is that the owner can be over familiar at times. It's great that he is around and that he welcomes people into his restaurant but his manner has left me feeling that I'm being sold to on occasion. Also addressing me as young man, I'd love to still be in my 20's, but unfortunately I'm not, does not help. Overall If you sit in one of the booths and the owner isn't overly familiar you'll have a good meal in great surrounding and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. [May 11]

05 May 11
A Relative Newcomer... - review by karie
Kashu is a relative newcomer to the St. Albans food scene, but don't discount it for that! I've been several times, and prefer the lunch special--incredible value, incredible service and incredible food! The crab linguine is great... I'd say Kashu outshines Darcy's, and that's really saying something! [Jan 11]
24 Jan 11
Breakfast was great - review by mikeg
Recently went to a St Albans Chamber of Commerce breakfast in the marquee. Definitely the best of 2010. [Dec 10]
01 Dec 10
Very uneven experiences - review by michael h

On our first visit the owner was present and we had a good - if rather expensive - overall experience. Good service, good food. So we returned recently for a special occasion but the owner was not present and it was a disaster - a main course of scallops (not cheap) had 5 or 6 scallops, whereas my choice of lamb steak was cold, on a cold plate (and the reason/excuse from the manager was that and 'our meat is kept chilled'! Then two members of staff cleaned and sorted the cutlery (very noisily) actually in the restaurant. How client friendly is that? The 'owner present' standard was fine - but...! [Sep 10]

08 Sep 10
Disappointing - review by tozerplan

The food and prices do not really match the experience. The restaurant looks good and you get a welcome from the manager on arrival but that's about it. Two main issues - very average food and slow service. However also some little things such as paper napkins. No wine waiter to pour the first glass of wine. May sound picky but at £47 per head without desert (admittedly plenty of wine!) it makes a difference. Probably better for a couple but for a large group as we were it was disappointing. [May 10]

10 May 10
Expensive but worth a try - review by bwbw

We had our first visit to Kashu on Friday night and I really liked the atmosphere and decor of the place. The service was excellent which means a lot to me, and our waitress was very helpful and the Manager also made a point of asking if we had a good time. The menu was rather strange in that there was so much on it. It seemed 50% Italian specialty restaurant and 50% modern European - I guess anyone could get what they wanted, but I just went away not knowing what their specialty was. I enjoyed the food but our bill was quite enormous and the wine though good was expensive for what it was. We had a good time but the overall bill would put me off going again except for a special occasion. [Jan 10]

24 Jan 10
My Favourite Restaurant in St Albans - review by chianti

I have lived in St Albans for 19 years now and have visited most, if not all the restaurants in our city! It is great to have a restaurant like Kashu on our door step when we have so many 'chains' and mediocre offerings. I love the building and the decor and the fresh contemporary feel the restaurant has. But a restaurant is nothing if the food and service do not match the decor? and it does here. I love the way the old favourites stay on the menu like my fave - penne arrabiate - but if you want something different then there is the seasonal specials menu. So my husband can have his steak and carpaccio and I can have what I like - he is married to a vegetarian, so he needs his 'fix' occasionally. True, it is not the cheapest restaurant in St Albans but I believe you get what you pay for! Plus a great wine list and cocktails! I have introduced a number of friends to Kashu and have always had a great evening there. I have just arranged a Christmas party there and prefer to support our local businesses. I think the whole team there are lovely and friendly and do their best to make you feel welcome and that your business is appreciated. I look forward to my next visit there. [Oct 09]

22 Oct 09
A real disappointment - review by vwh

Good location and fantastic decor - loving the red leather seating. However shame the food isn't up to much. A massive menu (always a bad sign!) and all of it rather mediocre. Expensive too. Yes the owner/manager (?) is extremely effusive but this can't cover the passable but not much more quality of the dishes. Sorry Kashu but after 2 disappointing visits, we won't be back again. [Oct 09]

03 Oct 09
Had a fab time - review by foodie28

My boyfriend and I went to Kashu on a Friday evening. The service was exceptional, I also noted most customers were spoken to by the manager enquiring re-their evening and for us making an excellent wine selection which I think was a nice touch. I thought that the seasonal menu had an excellent selection providing for most tastes. My boyfriend's lamb was cooked to perfection. We will definately come back again, and recommend this restaurant to our friends. [Aug 09]

05 Aug 09
disappointingly average - review by k&c

We were really looking forward to this restaurant opening and went as a 4 in the first couple of weeks. We thought the food was fine, but not noticeably better than somewhere much cheaper like Prezzo's. The service was hopeless, we were surprised that for a new place nobody seemed interested. And there is something about the acoustics that make it really loud so you have to raise your voice (and everyone else is doing the same, so it gets quite noisy). We go out a lot to eat in St Albans, but hadn't been back till some other friends really wanted to try it a few weeks ago.

The same experience I'm afraid, and even more off-hand service. For example, one friend asked if his dish shouldn't have cheese, and the waiter said no but he could have it extra if he really wanted it - we checked the menu ourselves at the end and it did say and 'with cheese'. Very difficult to get the bill or your coats, and nobody around to see us out. We just didn't feel we were made welcome like we feel at Freddies, or Marrakech, or Villadina, or even a chain like Prezzo's, and it was more expensive than any of those. We'll try it again if friends want to go, but probably won't go ourselves. [Apr 09]

13 Apr 09
good for a group, not great for a couple - review by localgirl

We have been to Kashu twice, with two different experiences. We loved the decor - a stylish, contemporary use of an interesting old building that had been underused for years. Our first visit was the two of us one evening soon after opening. Frosty welcome and shown to one of the tables for two along the long bank of seats. We could hardly squeeze between the tables to sit down - and we are pretty skinny. The place was packed and the proximity to our neighbouring diners meant that we could not really hold a conversation. The food was very good, but we left before dessert and coffee to go elsewhere. We felt if they had not crowded us in, we may have stayed longer and spent more money. Second time I went with friends and sat in a booth which was far nicer - great space. Food also very good again - and good value. So, good place to go if you can get a booth, but until they take out a few small tables to make more space, not a place for couples. [Mar 09]

08 Mar 09
Good food let down by poor service - review by south-sider

Arriving at Kashu for a weekday lunch, we were the only diners - two more tables were filled by the time we left. The welcome was polite but not warm and there was no offer of a children's menu or a highchair for our toddler, although we spotted a stack of them while changing him on the floor in the disabled toilet just before we left (there are no baby changing facilities).

We fared better with the food. A shared starter of game terrine with gooseberry chutney and chargrilled bread was flavoursome, if a little dry. Our dishes from the reasonably priced main Italian menu were all good: light gnocchi in a well made spinach, gorgonzola and cream sauce; authentic spaghetti carbonara with pork belly, egg and cream; tasty pumpkin tortelloni in a sage butter sauce and a crispy-based pizza, which unfortunately arrived 5 minutes later than the other three main courses. Flavours were subtle and the seasoning restrained, but we adjusted our dishes to taste and enjoyed them.

It was the lack of atmosphere and poor service that really let Kashu down for us. After we paid, leaving a modest tip, we were abandoned by the waiter, collected our own coats and left without any acknowledgement or thanks for our visit. Although Kashu's website promises 'something for all the family', we did not feel that young children (or adults!) were particularly welcome and so are unlikely to return when there are so many other options for more relaxed family dining in St Albans. [Dec 08]

03 Dec 08


User Rating: 3 out of 5  ( 16 reviews )

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