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The Orator

4.0
4
28 Reviews
£25 and under
Contemporary British

Nothing delights quite like The Orator, serving up contemporary British food, cocktails, beer and wine. Set in a stunning Victorian gothic venue with high ceilings bathed in swathes of natural light. Home to the best gin garden in Cambridge, take in the gorgeous venue while sipping on one of our 20 gins.

No chain here, and unique to Cambridge The Orator is owned by the Cambridge Union Society every penny spent goes back to supporting the charitable aims of the oldest (and best) debating society in the world. More info at www.cus.org.

Dining for up to 20 in our Dining Room used to host guests of the Cambridge Union Society, recently including Dua Lipa and Bill Gates. Have a special occasion in mind? Speak to our events team at enquiries@cus.org for more information on all private hire options.

Make a booking

2 people

January 2022
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19:00


Booked 22 times today
  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary British, British, Wine Bar

  • Hours of Operation

    Mon–Wed 11:00–23:00
    Thu–Sat 11:00–00:00
    Sun 11:00–17:00

  • Phone number

    01223 417142

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Area

    Cambridge

  • Cross Street

    Located on Round Church St that runs between Bridge Street and Park Street

  • Parking Details

    None

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Late Night, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Menu

Available midday to 9:00PM / 9:30PM at weekends. Whatever the occasion, Cambridge's best-kept secret can cater to all of your dining desires

Nibbles

  • Olives£3.50

    • Home Made Bread & Butter£4.00

      Foccacia, soda break & Netherend Farm butter

      • Ham Hock & Cheddar Nuggets£4.50

        Served with Jalapeno mayo

        Starters

        • Smoked Haddock Fritters£8.00

          Aioli, pickled shallots & watercress

          • Butternut Squash Terrine*£7.50

            Pickled, sauteed mushrooms, crispy sage and pumpkin seeds

            • Gin Cured Salmon£9.50

              Pickled red cabbage & apple slaw, capers and dill oil

              • British Bresola£8.50

                with rocket, parmesan and herb oil

                • Cauliflower 65*£7.50

                  Spicy fried cauliflower, coconut yoghurt, chilli and coriander

                  • Sticky Pig Cheeks£8.00

                    White onion puree, pickled carrots and toasted hazelnuts

                    • Soup of the Day£7.00

                      served with toasted focaccia

                      Big Plates

                      • Pork Chop Marinated In Thyme And Garlic£16.50

                        Roasted Onion, Celeriac and truffle puree, pickled apple and kale

                        • Pan-Fried Fillet of Hake£15.50

                          Thyme & parmesan cream

                          • Celariac Katsu Curry£14.00

                            Pickled salad and fresh salad

                            • Caesar Salad£10.50

                              Cos lettuce, herb croutons, parmesan, anchovies, poached egg, Caesar dressing

                              • Cheese and Onion Risotto£13.50

                                Onion risotto with roasted Roscoff onion, Lancashire bomb cheese and chive oil

                                Steak & Burgers

                                  Steak

                                  Sauces £2.50: Béarnaise / Herb butter / Peppercorn

                                  • 175g Bavette & Fries£17.50

                                    With dressed watercress. We recommend this steak is served medium rare/medium

                                    • 225g Prime Ribeye And Chunky Chips£25.50

                                      Seared 28-day aged beef steak with dressed watercress.

                                      Burgers

                                      • The 1815 Beef Burger£14.50

                                        Seared 6oz beef patty, pretzel bun, mature cheddar, beef tomato, lettuce, bacon jam and burger sauce. Served with fries

                                        • Moving Mountain Plant Burger*£14.50

                                          Chargrilled vegetable patty, vegan cheddar, Fakon Jam, tomato, lettuce, vegan mayo. Served with sweet potato fries

                                          Accompaniments

                                          • Charred Leeks£5.00

                                            with shallot vinegar and bacon crumb

                                            • Potato Gratin£5.50

                                              with a truffle cheese sauce

                                              • Butter Seasonal Greens£4.50

                                                Served with crispy onions

                                                • Roasted Butternut Squash£5.50

                                                  with chestnuts and parsley

                                                  • Triple Cooked Chips*£4.50

                                                    add parmesan & truffle oil for an additional charge

                                                    • Fries*£3.50

                                                      Add parmesan & truffle oil for an additional charge

                                                      • Sweet Potato Fries*£4.00

                                                        add parmesan & truffle oil for an additional charge

                                                        Desserts

                                                        • Vegan Chocolate Pot*£5.50

                                                          with coconut shortbread

                                                          • Carrot Cake

                                                            with cinnamon yoghurt

                                                            • Pear and Almond Tart£6.50

                                                              with clotted cream

                                                              • Trinity College Burnt Cream£6.50

                                                                with boozy prunes

                                                                • Sorbet

                                                                  Mango / Lemon

                                                                  • 1 Scoop£1.50
                                                                  • 2 Scoops£3.00
                                                                  • 3 Scoops£4.50
                                                                • Cheeseboard

                                                                  A selection of the best British cheeses served with crackers, celery, grapes and spiced tomato chutney

                                                                  • 1 Cheese£5.00
                                                                  • 3 Cheeses£9.50
                                                                  • 5 Cheeses£13.50
                                                                • Ice Cream

                                                                  Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, Pistachio

                                                                  • 1 Scoop£1.50
                                                                  • 2 Scoops£3.00
                                                                  • 3 Scoops£4.50

                                                                Last updated: 15 November 2021

                                                                What 28 people are saying

                                                                Overall ratings and reviews

                                                                Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

                                                                4.0
                                                                4 based on recent ratings
                                                                • 4.1Food
                                                                • 3.7Service
                                                                • 4.2Ambience
                                                                • 3.8Value

                                                                NoiseModerate

                                                                Loved For

                                                                • Cambridge/Cambridgeshire

                                                                  Fit for Foodies

                                                                • Cambridge/Cambridgeshire

                                                                  Notable Wine List

                                                                • Cambridge/Cambridgeshire

                                                                  Vibrant Bar Scene

                                                                • Cambridge/Cambridgeshire

                                                                  Most Booked

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Fit for Foodies

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Group Bookings

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Lunch

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Notable Wine List

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Romance

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Vibrant Bar Scene

                                                                • Cambridge

                                                                  Most Booked

                                                                Sort by

                                                                Filters

                                                                1. AB

                                                                  AliceButt

                                                                  London

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  4.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined 4 days ago

                                                                  overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                                  A delicious Sunday roast with plenty of vegetables. Beautifully presented.

                                                                2. KT

                                                                  KathrynT

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined 4 days ago

                                                                  overall3food3service2ambience3

                                                                  Lovely building/decor & has so much potential but we left feeling disappointed. We were overcharged for our drinks so worth checking the bill. I really hope it improves as it’s a great venue.

                                                                3. AC

                                                                  AndyC

                                                                  Yorkshire

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined 5 days ago

                                                                  overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                                  What a lovely place for a lunch on a Saturday afternoon. The food was fantastic and the service to match.

                                                                4. TH

                                                                  TinH

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  1.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined 5 days ago

                                                                  overall1food1service1ambience2

                                                                  Terribly slow service and wrong ingredients for drinks

                                                                5. S

                                                                  Severina

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 30 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  All round excellent…a great addition to Cambridge.

                                                                6. JT

                                                                  JamesT

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 30 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Excellent family lunch and top end service. Would definitely recommend.

                                                                7. c

                                                                  christinej

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 29 December 2021

                                                                  overall3food4service1ambience1

                                                                  Food was delicious but we felt ignored throughout

                                                                8. MO

                                                                  MarkO

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  2.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 28 December 2021

                                                                  overall2food3service1ambience3

                                                                  Disappointing experience, lack of attention to detail and attentiveness of the staff.

                                                                9. OT

                                                                  OpenTable Diner

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 27 December 2021

                                                                  overall3food3service3ambience4

                                                                  Middle of the road - choice of food was ok, not amazing. Quite expensive for what you get. Service was the same. However, drinks were good.

                                                                10. k

                                                                  kirsty

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                  Dined on 27 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Food was delicious, decent choice of food and at a reasonable price for the type of establishment. Cocktails were horrific and only 1 in 4 managed to drink them but aside from that the service and food etc was great.

                                                                11. GH

                                                                  GillH

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 23 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Went for daughters 21st birthday. Had a lovely meal and cocktails were very nice. The setting was perfect. The waiter Nic was polite and helpful. Thoroughly recommend and we will definitely return

                                                                12. JL

                                                                  JonathanL

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 20 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  We went to the orator for lunch, the food was great, drinks were good and the ambiance was lovely, would highly recommend!

                                                                13. LC

                                                                  LoubieC

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                  vip
                                                                  5.0

                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                  Dined on 18 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Just popped in for drinks, staff very nice and cocktails excellent. Comfortable surroundings and a good atmosphere.

                                                                14. CR

                                                                  CR10NAR

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                  Dined on 18 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Great Christmas Mean with Friends. Impeccable attentive service and wonderful hot food.

                                                                15. K

                                                                  Kashew

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                  Dined on 18 December 2021

                                                                  overall3food1service3ambience3

                                                                  I was surprised by the quantity of the mains. I ordered Katsu curry and the was no curry in it. Served very frugally and without rice. Totally not worth the price. After leaving the restaurant, we had to hop over to another because we were still hungry.

                                                                16. RB

                                                                  RayB

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 18 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Interesting menu and wine list. Food was very nice and the service was excellent.

                                                                17. HJ

                                                                  HannahJ

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  1.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 17 December 2021

                                                                  overall1food2service1ambience3

                                                                  Would not recommend this restaurant. Poor service wine was just put on corner of the table no cooler offered and we then had to serve ourselves all evening . Staff were just standing around chatting to each other Menus we had to ask to be taken away . Steaks were tough Will not be back

                                                                18. RM

                                                                  RickM

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  4.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 17 December 2021

                                                                  overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                                  Had a great burger and chips…lovely gin cocktail, and the service is very good.

                                                                19. u

                                                                  ultra

                                                                  London

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  4.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 12 December 2021

                                                                  overall4food3service3ambience4

                                                                  Very slow service at bar. Good food but tiny portion size. Great venue otherwise but scope to improve.

                                                                20. KC

                                                                  KarenC

                                                                  London

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 11 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Food was absolutely delicious. Our favourite place to eat when we are in Cambridge.

                                                                21. AR

                                                                  AlexandraR

                                                                  Oxford

                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                  Dined on 10 December 2021

                                                                  overall3food3service4ambience5

                                                                  The restaurant is really stunning and the atmosphere amazing. Starters were really nice but the burger and the pudding weren't as good as I was expecting. The service was impeccable.

                                                                22. A

                                                                  Anna

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 9 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                                  I'm not even a foodie but the pan fried hake was the best thing I've ever eaten! Great atmosphere! Thank you for giving Cambridge another rare elegant, affordable, mature establishment to go to

                                                                23. CS

                                                                  ChristianS

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 9 December 2021

                                                                  overall3food4service1ambience5

                                                                  main waitress was amazing but the head guy was moody and impatient!

                                                                24. SO

                                                                  SueO

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  3.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 7 December 2021

                                                                  overall3food3service4ambience4

                                                                  The Orator is my favourite restaurant but it doesn't feel as if it knows what direction to take. The lunchtime menu has deteriorated since opening, with smaller portions that are more expensive, and a choice of food - particularly in the bar - that has become more restricted every time I visit. The initial renovation of the Union has been done with style and elegance, particularly in relation to the lighting. However, whilst I understand the rationale for swapping the bar and the restaurant so that the latter is closer to the kitchen, the arrangement of the furniture in the now 'bar' area has let down the whole place. The sofas, chairs and small tables at the end of the room look like a DFS sale: no consideration has been given to careful positioning in terms of their aesthetic appeal, with the result that customers tend to avoid this area. Placing a low blue velvet sofa back-to-back with a higher leather one looks particularly ugly, and the rest of the chairs and tables look as as if they have been 'dumped' there. The preponderance of high tables and chairs make for uncomfortable seating and are also avoided by customers, who prefer the low chairs and tables. The lack of care given to the lunchtime bar menu and configuration of furniture in this area is a shame because the now restaurant is lovely and an altogether different experience. Dining there a few weeks ago was a real pleasure, both in relation to the ambience and the food, which was well-cooked, reasonably priced and very tasty.

                                                                25. OT

                                                                  OpenTable Diner

                                                                  Hertfordshire

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  5.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 7 December 2021

                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                  Birthday Great food A bit slow

                                                                26. C

                                                                  jamesC

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  2.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 5 December 2021

                                                                  overall2food1service1ambience2

                                                                  Poor Menu Choice, Waiters needed proper training, Paid extra for an extra Yorkshire pudding even tho I didn't have any meat or roast potatoes because of allergies. No response from the email of complaint.

                                                                  The OratorResponded on 9 December 2021

                                                                  Dear James, Thank you for your feedback, I am sorry that your experience was not as you expected. Can you share with me the email address you send your complaint to and I will respond there. Best.

                                                                27. SD

                                                                  SueD

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  2.0

                                                                  1 review

                                                                  Dined on 3 December 2021

                                                                  overall2food3service2ambience3

                                                                  The kitchen was overwhelmed and so our food took ages to come. We had an 8.45pm reservation and we did not get food until 9.40pm. There were multiple apologies and offers of free desert and drinks which we appreciated but the kitchen needs to to sort itself out. When the food came it was good.

                                                                  The OratorResponded on 9 December 2021

                                                                  Thank you for your response, reviewing the shift in question it appears that we had two members of kitchen staff unavailable. I am sorry that it negatively effected your experience, I hope that next time we will be able to exceed your expectations. Thank you again for your feedback.

                                                                28. s

                                                                  srah

                                                                  London

                                                                  78 reviews

                                                                  vip
                                                                  3.0

                                                                  78 reviews

                                                                  Dined on 30 November 2021

                                                                  overall3food4service2ambience2

                                                                  Slow for everything. Plenty of staff, not many customers (it was a Tuesday night) but slow for absolutely everything- long wait for drinks, long wait to order, food was actually pretty good but everything was an extra and it was a hard sell from waitress.won’t be back

                                                                  The OratorResponded on 9 December 2021

                                                                  Thank you for your feedback, we will be reviewing the shift for the evening in question and ensuring that post Christmas we are able to implement appropriate training and changes to service to ensure that service improves to the levels we expect. Thank you again.

                                                                FAQs

                                                                The Orator is rated 4 stars by 28 OpenTable diners.

                                                                Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.

                                                                Make a booking

                                                                2 people

                                                                January 2022
                                                                Mon
                                                                Tue
                                                                Wed
                                                                Thu
                                                                Fri
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                                                                19:00


                                                                Booked 22 times today
                                                                Google Map for The Orator

                                                                The Orator Round Church Street Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB5 8AD

                                                                • Cross Street

                                                                  Located on Round Church St that runs between Bridge Street and Park Street

                                                                • Area

                                                                  Cambridge

                                                                • Hours of Operation

                                                                  Mon–Wed 11:00–23:00
                                                                  Thu–Sat 11:00–00:00
                                                                  Sun 11:00–17:00

                                                                • Cuisines

                                                                  Contemporary British, British, Wine Bar

                                                                • Dining style

                                                                  Casual Dining

                                                                • Dress Code

                                                                  Smart Casual

                                                                • Parking Details

                                                                  None

                                                                • Additional

                                                                  Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Late Night, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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