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London - Experiencing the Perfect Dinner at Koffmann's

k
klyeoh Nov 18, 2012 10:01 PM

Finally gotten round to have dinner at Koffmann’s this time round. It’s a beautiful restaurant, almost theatrical in its set-up. Confession: It’s really hard for me to write objectively about Pierre Koffmann’s cooking. His old restaurant, La Tante Claire, was my absolute favourite London restaurant of all time (Le Gavroche was a close second). We celebrated so many special occasions there, including my 21st birthday (and that’s nearly 3 decades ago already). Pierre Koffmann’s closure of La Tante Claire in 2003 left a huge void in my culinary world.

London’s dining scene certainly has changed in the past couple of decades - unlike La Tante Claire, with its hushed dining room and immaculately turned out diners (think, ladies in silk-dresses & hats), Koffmann’s seemed rather casual in keeping with today’s dining trend, noisy even – in a nice way.

What we had:

Appetisers:
- Fresh crab salad with avocado & grapefruit
- Squid Bolognese-style

For mains, both of us had, what else but the legendary (and much-copied)
- Pig’s trotter stuffed with sweetbreads & morels
The Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005 complimented the pig's trotter perfectly.

Pre-desserts, we opted for a selection of French cheeses – Koffmann’s has a relatively small but high quality selection.

Desserts:
- Pistachio soufflé with pistachio ice-cream (another La Tante Claire classic)
- Rum baba

I’m not going to come up with some bended-knee description of the dishes I had, but sufficed to say that each mouthful was sheer bliss, and each taste of Koffmann’s classic dishes brought back almost tears of nostalgia ;-)

Address details
============
Koffmann's
The Berkeley
Wilton Place
London SW1X 7RL
Tel: 020 7235 1010

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  1. huiray Nov 20, 2012 10:53 AM

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/feb/22/recipes-escoffier-oxtail-blanc-coq-au-vin
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DnX0j... Note the comment from bruenor82 ;-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: huiray
      klyeoh Nov 20, 2012 04:51 PM

      LOL! bruenor82 obviously had not tasted Pierre Koffmann's classic - wonder *which* Singapore pig's trotter dish he was alluding to: the one cooked with vinegar & palm sugar, or the Chinese soysauce stew version? I can assure you, *nothing* comes close to Koffmann's legendary dish. When I first tasted it over 20 years ago (on my annual holiday in the UK from Singapore), I thought I'd died & gone to heaven :-D

      1. re: klyeoh
        huiray Nov 20, 2012 05:01 PM

        Well, I make a mean dish w/pig shanks simmered w/ bamboo shoots, lots of ginger & star anise, w/ rice vinegar and rice wine added as well. ;-)

    2. h
      Harters Nov 20, 2012 10:20 AM

      One of these days, I WILL get to eat the pigs trotter dish. It is, indeed, a legend in its own lunchtime.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harters
        klyeoh Nov 20, 2012 04:51 PM

        Miss you at the Chowdown this evening, Harters. Maybe we should organize one at Koffmann's next time.

      2. Kavey Nov 20, 2012 09:48 AM

        I never ate in La Tante Claire so I jumped to book a ticket when Pierre held his pop up on Selfridges' roof a couple of years ago. It was an excellent meal and, when the run was extended, I went again for a second fabulous lunch.

        Since then, I've been to the new restaurant twice, both for lunch. I think his set lunch menu is excellent value for top quality dining on a budget, though of course the trick is not to be tempted by the a la carte.

        Time to go back again, though shall wait until finances a little better.

        Lovely to read about your nostalgic meal.

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