A few weekends ago, the Lawyer and I made a rare trip into the city during the weekend. Given that I work in the city, any allure of the city has long been forgotten - I associate the city with the dull and tiresome journey commute of being squished into the smelly and overcrowded Tube.
However, I had to make an exception one weekend, when we made reservations for lunch at Coq d'Argent. Although CdA is located at the Bank tube station, the restaurant is actually situated above the street level.
As the elevator opened to the restaurant, we were thankfully above the hustle and bustle (and riff raff) of London below. The gods must have been happy that day because the weather was sunny and we opted to sit outside on the covered verandah.
We made sure to eat a light breakfast, as we were embarking on a three course meal.
After briefly discussing the ethics of foie gras, the Lawyer ordered the duck foie gras with sherry dressing for his starter. While we both love chicken liver pate, we're less experienced with foie gras. To me, it kinda tasted like a farm-house pork-based pate. The vegetables were lightly pickled which contrasted with the richness of the foie gras. Although the foie gras didn't come with any bread (which I thought was a bit unusual), the waiters do come around offering freshly baked bread while you're ordering and during your first course.
I went for the mushroom parfait with port jelly, spring vegetables and beetroot dressing. I quite liked my parfait, which was delectably smooth and rich in texture (but not overly so). The fresh spring vegs were very sweet and tender, and some of them were lightly pickled. I especially loved the presentation of the parfait.
For the mains, the Lawyer got the slow-cooked rump steak with watercress aioli and vegetables. The steak was flavoursome and was melt-in-your-mouth. The steak was served medium - I don't know how they managed to make it so tender while keeping the steak pink in the middle...I wouldn't mind learning this trick.
I went for the seared salmon with red wine butter sauce and spinach. I loved the red wine sauce, which was foamy and pink in colour - how cool is that! I liked the fact that the flavour of the sauce wasn't dominating the salmon. The salmon had a lovely crispy skin and perfectly seasoned.
For desserts, the Lawyer got the baked white chocolate and strawberry tart with lemon and yoghurt sorbet. The plate was sprinkled with this tart strawberry dust. The tart itself had a rich filling (but not overly sweet) and a lovely buttery pastry.
I got the frozen violet and blackberry parfait. The parfait had a delightful meringue 'skin' and inside was a very smooth icecream.
Great service, food and ambiance. The waiters were very accomodating (such as arranging more comfortable seating for families with small children) and friendly.
I loved the fact that the restaurant was situated above street level - it somehow made it a bit more special..an oasis away from the hoi polloi. I also loved the presentation and the quality of the food. We had a great time savouring our lunch in the sunny afternoon. Top marks!
Bank EC2R 8
Telephone: (020) 7395 5000