Pierre Koffmann is the godfather of the celebrity chefs, he was one of the original chefs to write books and appear in the media back in the 70s. He earned three Michelin stars at his first restaurant Le Tante Claire. And still working at 68 years of age, he has finally decided to 'hang up his chefs apron' and retire. Bearing this in mind we rushed to his Knightbridge restaurant before it closes its doors for the final time in December 2016.
Situated within the prestigious Berkeley Hotel where Marcus Wareing also has his restaurant. The restaurant has a warm and inviting feel, the décor may not be as modern as some of the latest restaurants but it retains its comfort and elegance.
We took up a set menu offer through Bookatable for £34 for 3 courses & a glass of champagne per person and the menu for us on the night was as follows:
Leek & Potato soup
Soft boiled egg, red wine sauce
Puy Lentil salad, duck heart and gizzard
Pan-fried halibut, Madras curry sauce
Roasted Red-leg partridge, savoy cabbage
Braised duck leg, pearl barley
Herb crusted lamb rump, chickpea and tomato ragout
Butterflied French chicken for two
A selection of cheeses
Brioche French toast with cinnamon ice cream
Vanilla Cheesecake with berries
Peanut Delice, honeycomb Ice-cream
Firstly we were served the “best bread basket in town” by far. We are not sure whether they bake their bread on site or whether they get it brought in, but all the bread rolls were wonderful. With a selection of: Crispy French baguette, Brioche with garlic and sage which was outstanding, black olive roll, and an wholemeal roll. We all ended up eating far too much bread and not leaving enough room for our meals, but it was worth it !!
As hors d'oeuvre we were served little breadcrumb coated squares of pigs trotter (that looked like a mini fish finger!).
Out of the starters the Duck heart salad was the best served with lentils. This was delicious. And the smallest of criticisms was that the lentils slightly over powered the duck heart flavour, but still very nice.
The soft boiled egg with red wine sauce is a very traditional French dish and was very well cooked. Our guests thought it was a very interesting and different dish.
The leek and potato soup was fine but we wouldn’t order it again, and it was served lukewarm, we would go for the previous two starters instead.
For mains the Roasted Red-leg partridge with savoy cabbage was particularly good and we would definitely order that again. It was served with waffle style crisps which were a nice treat on the side.
The Pan-fried halibut, Madras curry sauce, we had conflicting views about the salt level. One diner said that the veggies were too salty (but then again she does not have salt on her food !). Whilst the other diners said they could have had more salt !! A chef just cant please everyone!!
The Herb crusted lamb rump, chickpea and tomato ragout was actually a French farmhouse rustic style cassoulet , served on a bed of cassoulet chickpeas. Really hearty traditional comforting French style food, excellent for these cold winter nights drawing in.
Desserts are where Koffmann really comes into his own.
The Peanut Delice, honeycomb Ice-cream was described as “best part of the meal”. And all the flavours were balanced well. This comment was from a guest that doesn't usually eat desserts !
The Vanilla Cheesecake and winter berries was very nice.
The Brioche French toast with cinnamon ice cream was described as “really really good, the best” but better without the cream anglaise. Another guest described it as “heavy like a bread pudding”.
As a little extra treat we were given small round choux pastries filled with cream butter syrup and cherry liqueur.
Overall it was a lovely meal and for £34 you need to snap up this deal before Koffmann retires, and have a taste of a true original Masterchef.
Most guests gave it a 7 out of 10, one guest gave it an 8/10.
Koffmann's at the Berkeley Hotel,
Tel: 020 7107 8844