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RESTAURANT REVIEW – Coq d’Argent, London (City)
With American friends in town and the weather set fair we suggested Coq d’Argent and its leafy roof top terrace as our meeting point for drinks and dinner. Famed for its views of the square mile in the City of London, Coq D’argent (wittily named for its position on 1 Poultry Street) has long held a position as being the place that London’s bankers go to celebrate their successes or commiserate their losses. Now that the skyline in that area of town is so varied and architectural with its new buildings, Coq d’Argent is being listed alongside more trendy venues offering roof top bars.
With a lift that ferries you directly up from Bank Station to the venue, the location as a meeting point is excellent given that Bank is just 5 minutes from Waterloo. We had a slight Benny Hill moment when spotting our guests across the large open atrium we then chased each other around for a few minutes. Given the weather the terrace was busy but we managed to bag a table within about 10 minutes due to Mr R’s excellent ‘lurking with intent’ skills next to people that had just paid their bills – he learnt that from his mother.
The terrace has taken on a nautical theme for the summer and renamed ‘Yacht d’Argent’ – and indeed the parasols and canopies did resemble sails. With an excellent gin menu on offer we indulged in several clinking great glasses of Monkey 47 before moving into the restaurant. The room is large and our spacious round table was positioned pleasingly close to the window lined terrace with the sinking sun glancing through onto the table.
We began with our complimentary Champagne, courtesy of D& D London to all Design Restaurants card holders, and perused the menu. Chef Mickael Weiss has been at the helm for over 10 years now and the menu is reassuringly French (Escargot, Fruit de Mer, Beef Tartare) and also catered well for this group of carnivores. Surprisingly there is also several good vegetarian choices – unusual with most high end French Cuisine. As a group of four we have eaten together many times and our pattern is well worn which I wasn’t about to change for this review I’m afraid so no veggie dishes were ordered…
I had the Foie gras, smoked ham terrine, celeriac and hazelnut remoulade to start, which was superb. The creamy pate was broken up with the marvelously textured ham and the remoulade was utterly divine – a perfect little whorl which diverted my attention from the Foie gras in a great way.
Another Foie Gras was ordered and also the Gravalax, fresh horseradish cream, beetroot and parsley salad (50p from each dish contributed towards Head Chef Mickael Weiss’s cycle challenge in aid of Action Against Hunger) which was also well appreciated and we wish chef all the best with his challenge!
We all four ordered our mains from the Grill. Mr R and I had the Côte de boœf, 1kg Premium 28 day hung rib, game chips, borerlaise and bernaise (for 2). It was served with strange toasted ‘game chips’ – kind of like McCoys crisps which I’m afraid neither of us took to. The beef however was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Being a greedy chops I asked for the bone to be left and boy was I glad of my impertinence as I was able to hack off all of the delicious melty crusty bits. Rib has become my favourite cut of beef and I think its hard to beat – all the flavour of a T-bone but the tenderness of a Châteaubriand. The accompanying bernaise was perfect and the side order Pommes Frites tasted like potatoes which I know sounds inane but they don’t always.
Our companions ordered the 550g Chateaubriand, game chips, bordelaise and béarnaise (for 2) – cooked slightly too rare for my glamorous friend but it was whisked away without complaint and returned in no time pink rather than red. We had ordered sides of Wilted baby spinach, currants and toasted pine nuts which was such a tasty combination I’m going to try my hand at it myself. Our friends were also impressed with their beef and plates were well and truly cleaned.
Mr R had struck up a great friendship meanwhile with the very smiley Sommelier and our meal was accompanied by two bottles of excellent Valtellina Inferno and a cheeky Moueix Saint Émillion. The wine list is extensive so chat with the Sommelier – he’s really very nice.
My guests were sunk under the weight of their meat but being a tasting menu athlete (?!) I managed my third course of Café Liegois – Coffee and vanilla icecream, topped with Chantilly cream, hot chocolate sauce which ended my meal with the hit I needed of sugar and coffee. Sadly we couldn’t linger as it was a school night but we had an excellent evening – the Silver Cock delivered.
Design Restaurants are delighted to work in conjunction with D&D London to provide an exclusive member Champagne offer at a selection of 21 of their leading restaurants. D&D, formerly Conran Restaurants, was founded in 1991 and remains one of Europe’s leading high quality restaurant groups, owning and operating restaurants in London, Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo.
Join Design Restaurants today at www.designrestaurants.com
Review by Mrs Robinson