Last time I went to Coq D'Argent I thought it had a superiority complex (unwarranted). The service ranged from snotty to incompetent and the food was totally overpriced, considering it was average at best.
Nonetheless, we were lured back in by a) the roof terrace and a sunny evening b) friends' reports of better dining experiences and c) a special offer. Ok, ok, so it was mainly c!
We arrived early, so we could have a drink outside first. The surly receptionist was not impressed by this plan. She tried to usher us straight to our table, then made a big fuss about having to rebook our table. And then told us not to be late for the 'new booking'. She was a charmer. (Unfortunately the maitre d' came from the same school...)
But, on to more important things: the food, which was largely excellent. I could've sworn they had a new chef but apparently Mickael Weiss has been there for ten years. Must've been having an off-day last time we went.
In an unprecedented move, Marc the committed carnivore ordered a veggie starter: mushroom parfait, port jelly, spring vegetable salad and beetroot dressing. The veggie gods were smiling down on him. This was delish. No mention of truffle on the menu but it was definitely in there somewhere. Beautifully presented too, although photography doesn't do it justice.
My starter of seared tuna with pickled white radish, seaweed and yuzu dressing was also very good and looked very pretty on the plate. Tuna tasted fresh. Didn't detect the seaweed and yuzu dressing though, which was a shame.
Steamed sea bream ballotine, wilted fennel and soused shellfish was ok. Not sure what the sea bream was supposed to be stuffed with, but it was a fairly unappetising mousse-like substance. The rest of the dish was tasty though.
The slow cooked rump steak, watercress aioli and spring veg was apparently very good. Flavoursome steak, well cooked veg.
Pudding was a real standout. White chocolate and strawberry tart with lemon sorbet didn't sound particularly exciting but it was incredibly well executed. Lovely presentation, melt-in-the-mouth pastry, good balance of flavours and sweetness. An excellent pud.
The cheese was good too. A nice selection with a tasty chutney.
The special deal offers very good value for money, although by the time you've added on service, drinks and extras it's not quite the bargain you anticipate.
The service still needs improvement in parts but we were very pleasantly surprised by the standard of the food.
|Sea bream ballotine|
|Slow cooked rump steak|
|White chocolate and strawberry tart|