Of course Paris always offers up pleasurable culinary experiences but the insistence and surrender to its typical array of rich dishes invariably tests one’s arteries particularly after a number of days of indulging.
And so to our current favourite French restaurant in London, Cote, a French bistro in Camden. Arriving at the restaurant you are always welcomed as an old friend or regular patron even if you only frequent the establishment once in a while.
The set up feels, bright, airy and roomy as you are seated and afforded a noticeable amount of room, this is not your pack them in London restaurant where you can sense encroachment which can sometimes get a little tedious.
An early indicator of how good a restaurant is can arguably be down to the quality of the bread. Our bread came out deliciously warm and freshly baked with the also not so small detail of butter that was spreadable. Too many allegedly decent restaurants serve up well below par bread and rolls even if cooked on the premises.
Either rolls slightly on the hard side or the feeling of being a tad undercooked with the taste and consistency of those nasty anemic part baked baguettes you get at supermarkets plus the butter is so hard it needs the dexterity of a master plasterer to avoid giving your bread a going over leaving it in unseemly tatters.
The roast duck breast in cherry sauce with gratin potato was very moorish. Served pink it melted in your mouth with the minimum of effort hitting all the right notes on your taste-buds. It also felt fairly light and the portion looked the right amount, which it duly was, not on the stingy or ‘that’s far too much’ side. Having a fair appetite I also demolished a fair portion of my companion’s beef bourguignon which again tasted very moorish yet also quite light.
Having been to Cote in Camden on a number of occasions now I can testify that the food and friendly service is always of a high standard. It prides itself on fresh ingredients typically sourced from France. There are always a number of decent fish dishes on the menu and the seasonal lobster sometimes available is very fresh and succulent tasting.
Desert wise the tarte fine aux pommes, a finely layered apple tart with vanilla ice-cream, is delicious, perfectly light pastry and just the right portion to not feel overburdened to finish after your mains and a starter. The chocolate fondant, a warm chocolate fondant with vanilla ice-cream was also very good.
A decent selection of wines and spirits and overall very good value for money given the excellent food and tip-top service.
From starting off with a few restaurants, and a testament to its success, Côte has grown to now having a number of restaurants in London and also around the country.
Tierra Peru is a Peruvian restaurant on Essex Road that graduated from a stall on Camden Market to a fully fledged eatery that serves up genuine Peruvian food. The restaurant itself is relatively compact but a good use of space with pictures of Peru, adorning the walls as part of the colourful décor, accompanied by lively Latin music add to the warmly lit atmosphere.
The Bunnychow concept originated in the early 1940s with the Indian community in Durban using beans and lentil fillings. The ‘Durban Curry’ began to become very popular with South Africans in the 1950s and who adapted it with meat fillings.
Walking along Brick Lane on a Sunday is something akin to going to a body pump class. You carry on pushing and pulling even though you’re panting like a lycra clad dog, your sole aim is making it out the other side alive.