Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Coda Restaurant Review

Guinea Fowl and Froie Gras Terrine

I was very privileged on Monday evening (23rd July) to be able to see Daniel Barenboim conduct the West Eastern Divan orchestra playing Beethoven 5th and 6th Symphony. It was stunning evening of music by a superb orchestra playing some amazing music. It was simply one of the best classical concerts I have ever seen and heard. The orchestra is a torch light for tolerance as it's made up with Israeli and Palestinians, proving that sweet music can be made between these two countries when hard work and effort is applied.

Before the evening of music, I also had the pleasure of visiting the Albert Hall's more formal of their three restaurants called Coda. I was a little apprehensive as I have been before and that time I found it only average, but this time it was a vast improvement, but still not perfect

The staff, like last time, were very good, they were chatty and polite without being to intrusive. A few jokes was had with my friends and the staff which is was nice and added to the ambiance of the evening.

Whilst looking at the menu we discussed what we were thinking of ordereing and what it was about the dish that we like. It was very obvious we were all going to order the same starter and main course, which was a first. This is not saying that the other dishes were not as nice sounding, but there were certain ingredients that stood out, like the rhubarb compote in the starter and cockles in the main course, which we all wanted to try.

Confit of Organic Salmon

We started with confit of guinea fowl and froie gras terrine, with a rhubarb compote with honey, mustard, leaf salad. The terrine was light and moist with the guinea fowl being tender with a meaty texture which was complimented by the rich creamy froie gras. The rhubarb compote cut through the richness of the succulent terrine. The only down side, was the two very small pieces of toast. The bread was perfectly toasted and was crisp, but not enough for the size of terrine and more bread had to be ordered. It's not the first time I've ordered pate or terrine were there is a lack of toast and I'm sure it won't be the last time.

The main course was confit of organic salmon, with pickled cucumber, dill potatoes, courgette flower and cockles. The salmon was firm, tasty and light and you also got a delicate hint of the sea from the cockles. Unfortunately they were the only good things about the dish. We all thought the pickled cucumber would be sitting on top of salmon, but was actually in a hot stock underneath the fish. This meant the cucumber was limb and the pickled flavour was totally lost. The courgette flower was deep fried in batter, but the batter was too thick, too soggy and totally tasteless. Which was a shame as it has the hallmarks of being a great dish, but it needs some more work to justify the £18.50 price tag.

Dark Chocolate Tart
The great thing about Coda is you can save the dessert for the interval between the evenings programme. Which means you are not full when sitting down in a hot and stuffy concert hall as the Albert Hall was that night. This time we all choose something different for dessert. One friend ordered cheese, the cheddar was strong, the brie was creamy and the blue cheese was full bodied and served with a great variety of biscuits. My other friend ordered poached rhubarb mille-feuille with vanilla, pistachio and ginger ice cream. The rhubarb had a rich poached flavour, the mille-fueille was crisp, but the ice cream was a bit disappointing and lacked the bold flavours I was expecting, as I was offered some to try it. I ordered the chocolate dรจlice , beetroot sorbet, candied beetroot with raspberries and orange curd. Only to be told they had taken it off the menu as it appeared the beetroot flavours didn't work with other punters, which was a shame as I loved the idea of the beetroot element of the dish. Instead I ordered the replacement dish of dark chocolate tart served with vanilla ice cream. The dark chocolate ganache was wonderfully creamy and bitter. I ordered this because the pastry contained cumin, which I thought would add a nice flavour. Unfortunately the cumin seeds were whole and toasted, so there was a sharp and tough bite through the pastry, although the flavour worked with the dark chocolate. The ice cream was typical and nothing to shout about, but it complimented the dark chocolate and overall it was a satisfactory dish.
Poached Rhubarb Mille-Feuille
You might think from the review, that is wasn't a good meal, but that is not true. It was very enjoyable and it was better than last time, and I will visit the restaurant again when going to the Albert Hall. The food is just a bit rough around the edges and needs a bit of tweaking to make it memorable for the rather large price tag.


Petra08 said...

Confit of Salmon sounds very intersting, must try that! And it sounds like a great evening!

Donkey said...

The salmon was very tasty just a shame about the cucumber. To be honest there are not enough adjectives to describe the great music that was played. Hopefully it's been recorded and will be shown on the Beeb