Saturday, 17 October 2009

Review - Pierre Koffman's Restaurant on the Roof

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It's not often that you can justify an expensive dinner on the grounds that it is a once in a life time opportunity, but this time it really was. The legendary Pierre Koffman has donned his chef whites once more for a period of 4 weeks (originally 2, it was extended due to unprecedented demand). The location? A temporary 'pop up' restaurant on the roof of Selfridges.

When Neil first told me that he had reserved a table, for a Friday night no less, I was gobsmacked. I told everyone with resounding responses being "wow, that is so cool!". It came around very quickly and I spent the whole Friday at work fidgety and anxious. I was SO excited.

Spending a good hour getting ready is not usually my style, but a Friday appointment in such a prestigious setting - Who knows who I might need to look good for! Once dolled up, me and the Mr headed into London far too early (as usual) and stopped off in the Mayfair Millennium Hotel for a couple of glasses of wine.

After standing open mouthed on the opposite side of the road for a couple of minutes, looking up at the rooftop restaurant we stopped off in the Selfridges bar for a wee glass of pink bubbly before making our way to the top floor.

It was pretty magical. We were greeted with warm welcomes and by name by who we later realised was Mrs Pierre Koffman (she was so lovely).


The restaurant itself was pretty impressive, the marquee was long and scattered with tables full of excited diners. You would never have known you were on a tent on the roof of Selfridges, rather it seemed like an exclusive restaurant with glittering lights and a delightful smell of fine, rich cuisine.

The experience kicked off with a sweet and sparkly champagne cocktail and gorgeous tomato bread (much needed, the last time I had eaten was 8 hours earlier and that was just a [tasty], but light, thai consomme).

Shortly afterwards the wine was chosen - a gorgeous red - which we are still trying to remember the name of. It was gorgeous... but the amount of alcohol consumed has erased its name from our memories.

The first taste of Koffman's cuisine came in the form of a lovely little langoustine broth with a langoustine ravioli. In a Marco Pierre White moment I think I declared "it reminds me of my childhood!", 'soup de poissons' was one of my favourite dishes as a child on holiday with my parents in France. It was gorgeous, a little teacup full of flavour.


We didn't have to wait long before our starters arrived. I opted for a posh prawn cocktail (Cocktail of Scottish Lobster and avocado with lemon jelly). It was light and fresh and had just the right amount of acidity. It didn't set the world alight, but I suppose you wouldn't expect a seafood cocktail to do that. It did just what it said on the tin and I can't complain about that. The lobster was plentiful and wonderfully tasty. Neil went for a fricassee of wild mushrooms and snails with bone marrow. This was my second choice and I only didn't go for it because I wasn't sure about the bone marrow (having never tried it before). He really enjoyed the dish, and from my taste of it, it was packed full of strong flavours (I adore mushrooms with anything!).

As has happened at all of the top restaurants that I have been too, I have started to feel very full very early in the meal and so my incredibly rich main course of English roast rose veal cutlet with girolles was a little daunting when it appeared in front of me. However, it was stunning. Rich, full of flavour, wholesome and not dainty in the slightest! The potato side dish was an absolute delight. I love creamy, rich food. A great dish, surprising too, it's not what I was expecting from the rooftop restaurant.

Neil had chosen his main course before he had even had breakfast on friday morning. There was no choice for him - it was the classic pigs trotter dish, and nothing else.


There was no let down here at all, he came away from the meal saying it was one of the best he's ever had. It was, for me, the first time I had tasted a dish like this. The taste was fabulous. Not quite sold on the texture yet, though, but of course that is a matter of learning (you will not know this, but just 3 years ago I was a vegetarian).

Dessert was, unfortunately, the only point during the meal that I chose badly. That's not to say there was anything wrong with my 'walnut tart with chestnut honey ice cream'. Oh no, that was some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted and the tart was crispy, deep and squishy all at the same time. The only issue was that it wasn't really what I fancied. I have no idea why I didn't go for the chocolate dessert I had seen photos of on other blogs. I think it was the feeling of fullness from the main that put me off, but that's probably what I should have gone for (although then I would have missed out on that delish honey ice cream...!). Neil's Pistachio ice cream with pistachio souffle was divine. I would have also gone for this dish, if he hadn't bagged it before me. Light, large, fluffy and green! So gorgeous.

It really was a night to remember. Rich food, hearty and good portions - a nice change from cute angular dishes we see so often now.

The most exciting thing is the thought that I have tasted that food. Food that I will never get the opportunity to eat again. Not on the roof of Selfridges anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Oh and pls nb. that the photos are shit because they're from my iphone - I didn't think that my camera was elegant enough to go with my dress ;)


1 comment:

  1. This post makes me very, very envious. I'm considering making Pigs Trotter myself, but getting my friends over the fact that it's a pig's foot stuffed with thymus glands is quite a daunting task!