Upper level French dining in the beating heart of The City
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : French
Address : No.1 Poultry, The City, London, EC2R 8EJ, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.coqdargent.co.uk
Opening Times : Mon-Fri , 7.30am-10am, 5.30pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm
Closest Tube : Bank (exit 9)
Coq d'Argent has long been elevated amongst its neighbours in the City. The past two decades have charted the rise and fall of many fine dining establishments, in part due to the credit crunch, in part due to the changing face of culinary mores, yet Coq d'Argent has held out since the 1990s, continuing as a prize destination restaurant, consistently drawing a classy clientele of financial whiz-kids, suited and booted bankers and assorted City slickers. Upon visiting, the reasons for its longevity are easily evident. It comes down to the setting and the food - both of which continue to stand out in the midst of London's ever changing trends.
The spectacular rooftop setting is located in the heart of the Square Mile, within spitting distance (especially from the roof terrace) of the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange. Guests access the venue by walking into an immense atrium space, where two attendant-staffed lifts are waiting to whisk them up seven floors to one of the most striking outdoor spaces in the entirety of the Smoke. The spectacular rooftop features a variety of terraces and gardens that impart Coq d'Argent with an urban oasis atmosphere. There's a very palpable buzz in early evenings and when the weather's warm, it obviously feels like the place to be, however during the winter months D&D takes pains to ensure that it retains that ambience. They launched the Lodge d'Argent, a heated outdoor ski chalet where guests can indulge in mulled wine, winter cocktails and Alpine victuals like tartiflette and fondue. It's perfect for a post-office preprandial.
The dining room itself is equally inviting. The sleek, stylish space is still as slick as it was when it first opened in the 90s, boasting dark wood panelling, forest green leather chairs and floor-to-ceiling windows letting in panoramic views of London's cityscape. During our visit the sky was lit up from a laser show held across the Thames at The Shard. This major metropolitan atmosphere bleeds into your enjoyment of the food, which is pulled off with a sophisticated touch by head chef Mickael Weiss, who has been helming the kitchens since December 2000.
His experienced hand shines through in each dish. Starters such as handpicked Devon cock crab cocktail salad with toast or the mushroom parfait with port jelly, pickled vegetable salad and truffle salad are exemplary in their execution, eminently refined yet unpretentious. The mains hold true to this, with excellent cuts of meat, including their cote de bouef, plated at the table by an impeccable waiting staff, complete with autumn vegetables and crackling game chips. The wine list is more tome than menu. However, if you find this wealth of choice daunting, the sommelier is adept at steering you on the appropriate course.
While the price for said dishes is not inexpensive, there are some other dining options that are. A seasonal three-course menu showcases signature dishes and is £43 with coffee, tea and truffles included. Alternatively, pop in for Coq d'Argent's excellent Saturday brunch.