Coq d'Argent, No. 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ; Tel. EC2R 8EJ; Tube: Bank; www.coqdargent.co.uk
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Coq d'Argent is a surreal place, accessed through a moderately grubby shopping centre/tube station combo. But the lift is flanked by two pretty ladies with clip-boards - a sign that you are about to step into a different world. A world of an orderly roof garden, full of suits drinking overpriced mineral water (£3.75 a bottle) amid the city roof tops. Alas, there was no room outside, so we settled next to a window opened out onto the roof garden. The set menu offers two courses for £24, three for £28 - not bad considering you are in the city. Otherwise starters are around £10 and mains a bit under £20. My starter of cold Vichissoise soup with truffles was a lovely bowl of creaminess. Luckily it was not the kind of soup that needs bread, for the one measly bread roll was very unremarkable and no refill was forthcoming. The disadvantage of work lunches is that you can't pinch everyone else's food, so I have to rely on sight. The fois gras on (savoury) ginger bread looked lovely, although its eater said it was bit too rich. The smoked salmon looked unimpressive, topped with a solitary roughly shaped blini - at these prices I was glad I had opted for something more unusual. The main of sea bass on a bad of beans and capers was nice, though modestly sized. The chicken supreme from the a la carte looked more generous, wrapped in pieces of ham and surrounded by mushrooms in a creamy sauce. Unusually for a city venue, the service was slow - it took us about two hours to get through the two courses and coffee (£3, alas with not even a sliver of an after eight). Overall, it was quite nice, and worth a visit for the views. But other than that, there was little to mark it out from its numerous suit-filled rivals in the gilded square mile.