The Senate

4.2
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128 reviews
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£25 and under
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Modern European
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Cosy
  • Scenic View
At the Senate, we pride ourselves on using fresh, seasonal, quality produce to uniquely craft a menu filled with homemade recipes and exciting dishes. We love the combination of bringing together family and friends with good food and drink. Our Lunch and Evening menu extends to a variety sharers and bigger bistro dishes. With a small but well-constructed wine list to compliment every dish and a refined cocktail list to suit all tastes. We are a small team at the Senate, and all believe in a relaxed, friendly, atmosphere with great service.
What 128 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JQ
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food and drinks in a cosy, classic bistro setting. Service was a high standard and only slightly slower than you might normally expect due to a very large party occupying the front room. However, the staff were still attentive and courteous, and food was served in good time. The beef cheek main was a highlight, as was the crumble for dessert. Would definitely go again and would recommend to friends.

K
London
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Had an absolutely great time at The Senate! Food was really tasty and good value but the highlight was the service. The staff could not have been better, even bringing our drinks and bill outside to let us enjoy the square. Definitely recommend!

MP
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food and atmosphere; also, good outlook. Value for money.

AD
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

First impression was a small cafe with a pervasive smell of frying and a slightly sticky table. We ate early after a wedding and as I have health issues with food we didn’t want anything too fancy or expensive. My husband ordered fish and chips and I had chicken breast in Panka crust with new potatoes but I asked for no salad just green beans instead. I also asked for the mushroom sauce on the side with no blue cheese. Service was very good and helpful for me and I enjoyed my meal except for the green beans which were very al dente. They were replaced but still not cooked properly so we were not charged for them. Unfortunately my husband did not like his fish and chips. We had yes and coffee and left.

JN
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 1

Music far to load but food very good came out lovely and fresh.

J
London
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We booked a table for a Saturday at 7.15pm and arrived 10 minutes early and was welcomed in. However we felt extremely rushed by the servers, our starters came along with our mains and the servers rushed everything else in-between. We left around 7.40pm - even though it was a busy Saturday, I had booked way in advance and wanted to relax and enjoy my time at the restaurant which unfortunately didn’t meet expectations.

GS
London
13 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great service and amazing food!

K
London
2 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food. Very fresh. Lovely evening. Would highly recommend

MW
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely setting. Friendly and attentive staff. Good food and quick service.

K
Cambridge
12 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The Senate is in a lovely location near the market square and King’s College.

The restaurant is quite small. The staff were friendly and helpful. The baked Camembert was sublime and the rest of the food was fine. Fair price, considering the location.

TH
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Didn’t meet our expectations in any way, shape or form. Atmosphere non existent and a distinct lack of customer service. The food was less than average, not value for your money. Given the magnificent surroundings it was a complete let down.

c
London
33 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We really enjoyed our meals. The staff were friendly. The food and drinks great. Food very well presented and tasty too.

NE
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

Me and my friends have been to the senate before and enjoyed it a lot, especially the sharing boards. This time we found the sharing boards had changed and were excited to try the new items. However, the cheese selection was not tasty at all as we’d hoped. They were all very strong cheeses that don’t go next to each other on one dish. We struggled to finish eating. Everything else was very good, but the food was rather disappointing for the standard of this lovely placed venue.

EB
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for dinner and drinks for a hen do, we all loved the food and had a great time, will hopefully be back

E
London
9 reviews
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice central location. Friendly staff. Decent wine list. Good buzzy atmosphere

e
London
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The 2 (male) waiters who served us were lovely, friendly and diligent. Overall we had a good time and the ambience was buzzy, food and service were great. We did however, have one issue regarding communication with the kitchen - having discussed with our waiter food allergies which he noted and checked, the main course had to be returned to the kitchen and there was an unnecessary interrogation by the waitress (owner?) as to whether we had an epi-pen or not! We understand the need to be cautious but we do know the details of what allergy exactly is involved - it is already hard to always have to check ingredients without feeling awkward and a little empathy from the waitress would have helped no end.

AH
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always love going to the Senate. We had a lovely evening although there were a few little hitches the staff were very happy to help sort them out.

s
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great location, sunny evening, nice food and wine, looking out over Kings Parade....doesn't get much better.

GJ
Derbyshire
2 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Randomly booked here after using Open Table to find somewhere for an impromptu dinner. Service was good, the food was excellent and, I think, very reasonably priced. We will return.

PC
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I liked the informality. It wasn't a linen table napkin experience, but the occasion was all one would hope for from a friendly bistro on a busy Saturday evening.

TF
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service was a tiny bit slow but the staff were very friendly. Lively atmosphere, food was good, I had the tortellini, which was home made and while well filled and tasty it could have done with more of a sauce as was a little dry. The rest of the party enjoyed their food.

H
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on 7 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this little place! The attention to detail is wonderful- in service, menu, and execution. It's an excellent space for a dinner date, or a business lunch/dinner. Cozy, but not cloying.

B
London
3 reviews
Dined on 27 May 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Really disappointing. My husband's cod with mushrooms and samphire was ok - nothing special. I had a plate of charcuterie which was atrocious. It was promised with bread and chutney which suggested much more than what I actually got - thin slices of part baked supermarket baguette and branston pickle in a pot. The poor selection of meat had been emptied on a board with a salad that had spent too long in a bag at the back of a fridge and was definitely past its best. Very expensive for what it was.

OT
Oxford
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food good service and great location would highly recommend

KA
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Excellent location in the heart of Cambridge and excellent variety on the menu. The calamari starter was wonderful and I wish it had been available as a main! Only downside is that it is very quiet inside and our table for 2 was in the middle of two other groups so I actually felt like my conversation could be heard very clearly which ruined the ambience for me sadly

BR
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on 24 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite pre-theatre dinner venue has never failed to deliver flavoursome food and the location is both convenient and thought provoking.

MT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our lunch at The senate. The food was very good and the staff were very nice, attentive and helpful.

LG
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Senate was chosen for the menu which included a good variety of dishes. Everyone in the group enjoyed their food. The staff were attentive without being intrusive. This was a first visit for each of us, we all agreed we would eat here again. We had a great evening, thank you.

AH
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We had an enjoyable evening. The staff are very welcoming and attentive. The food was good and our group enjoyed their meals.

MD
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, service and atmosphere were excellent. Really enjoyable evening. Highly recommend. Will definitely eat here again.

SB
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 7 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely ambience, great food and good service. Had a lovely evening.

C
Cambridge
5 reviews
Dined on 29 April 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

The food was reasonably nice but the portion size of my meal (pork belly) was tiny! My friend has the cod and her portion size was normal. What i did have was quite tasty and nicely cooked. My friend was underwhelmed with hers. The wine was nice and the service was pleasant. I wouldn't risk it again because of the portion size and underwhelming food but if i did, I would come at lunchtime or at the weekend. We went on a Monday evening and it was completely empty (well literally one other person there) so lacked atmosphere and made you wonder what was wrong with it...

R
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our table was reserved and waiting for us when we arrived! Right in the window! Their artisan cocktails were the best we had the whole time we were in England. Our server was so hospitable and helpful without being obtrusive. Our dinners were sublime- from the Mediterranean appetizer through entrees we ate every bite! I loved the pork belly and truffle dauphinois!

d
London
9 reviews
Dined on 19 April 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

New chef got orders mixed up and we waited for 30 minutes for simple tapas whilst watching people who arrived after us get their food first. WiFi down so unable to take any card payments on Good Friday (!!!) so they took my boyfriend hostage while I walked to the bank to draw cash. Not the best lunch ever!

M
London
6 reviews
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I would highly recommend the Senate. It was amazing. We loved the burger, the cod and the venison. Service was also prompt and faultless. Thank you.

We will definitely be back soon.

NT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 7 April 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food and friendly, attentive staff. However it was not necessary to put on piped music when the conversation was already loud. This made it very hard to hear my companion on the other side of the small table. It was also overheated and we both started coughing at one point. Only relieved when someone came in and left the door open.

Still an overall positive experience. The defects could easily be fixed!

RC
London
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was great and the various allergies/intolerances of members of our group were dealt with sympathetically and with good humour. Really excellent service throughout, I would definitely return.

FB
Dorset
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We booked last minute for a table for 10 on a Saturday. Despite the large group, service was efficient and staff very accommodating. Great night was had by all.

SS
Edinburgh
2 reviews
Dined on 29 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a lovely meal. The calamari was outstanding. Thank you.

JS
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 20 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went pre theatre and were the only booking. The staff were great, attentive gave good recommendations. We shared some starters which were delicious - chorizo, calamari and potato’s bravos.
The wine was lovely and paired well, the mains were substantial and tasty. Sadly we ran out of time for dessert due to theatre. Would definitely go there again.

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