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Pierre Koffman @ Selfridges


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Having been, I'd agree that the Koffman food is probably not, in itself, worth £75.

What is, is the experience, the knowledge that is not going to be repeated and the chance, for those of us that weren't in dining mode in the Tante Claire days, to taste a little bit of history.

On another topic, those of you who are going should be ordering the scallops. Simple dish, yes. But, if it's exquisite ingredients and excellent cooking you're after, you will be happy.

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Let's be vealistic. Cooked by Koffman's fair hand, a hand that whatever we say about value for money et al, did get himself three stars. A fact that should never be overlooked.

no, and that's the draw though i must admit he doesn't have the same resonance with me as say, a marco return. (if i keep mentioning it, surely one day.....)

I do think as a concept the idea of greats coming back for a month is a bloody good one, great bands reunite every few years for a greatest hits, why not chefs?

you don't win friends with salad

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My god. I couldn't agree more. I'd remove my legs for a Marco return. Just to have eaten that oyster tagliatelle, I could die happy.

I reckon he'll do it eventually. These guys get bored, and in need of a ego boost. Not that I think that's why the Koffmeister has done it. I've met him a few times and he's lovely, very down to earth.

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Quick review - was there Friday lunchtime 1.30-3.30pm as was Marco Pierre White (in trade mark chef's shoes) and Egon Ronay apparently.

Scallops with chablis then trotters with S. African Shiraz; other half had langoustine & leek terrine with Torrontes then duck with Samur Champigny.

Puds were chocolate mousse for both of us with a glass on Mumm demi-sec for me then coffees.

Nice light airy 'room' with well-spaced tables; not too noisy. Starters were pretty extraordinary and great contrast between subtle flavours of pressed leeks for her and knockout scallops with squid ink for me. Mains less successful - trotters in particular were average I thought - perhaps a dish too heavily freighted with expectation given its place in the canon. Choc mousse was pudding porn really - bit of a bridge and tunnel choice but there you go. Worked well with the demi-sec.

Service was a bit random - coffee came before pud and red wine was so long coming (despite a number of reminders) that the mains were going cold (they took the red off the bill but only after asking).

Lots of dressed up ladies in the crowd and expense accounters. A couple of intense solo diners.

Overall a great fun experience but as Matthew suspected the money could buy you a much better lunch elsewhere - really just one for the fans/the rich.

W.

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Lunch yesterday enjoyable but no great fireworks, given the reports around it was as expected.

amuse of tete de veau and celeriac remoulade, starters on the table of foie (mine) nice but a bit veiny in parts and not a big portion, two specials of boudin blanc with pistachio crust that were very good crispy exterior and soft inside(eric chavot was guest chef, they were his dishes), and bone marrow with snails and girolles (i think), foie was the weakest dish, others much better.

mains were veal for me, very good but it was as billed, a chop with reduced pan juices and a little bit of dauphinoise. Sea bass and barigoule sauce was deemed v good and 2 wild ducks (again chavot, the full duck, legs breasts and a croute) was a more complex dish than our koffman ones.

added a trotter to share, liked the crispy pigs ear ? that they stuck on top best, mash very good, trotter very rich as expected , this was a £30 supplement and wasn't a problem for the kitchen.

2 cheeses to share, an uninspired selection, some dedicated bread but none of the accoutrements one generally gets with cheese.

desserts of souffle, mango tarte tatin for me (chavot dish) and apple 'pie' apple was best lovely crisp filo pastry , again i think mine was weakest it looked very good but didn't have the requisite caramelised crunch.

coffee and 1 plate of P4's a bit stingy given 4 of us, and we'd not exactly underspent! not even 2 each.

wine list does have plenty of choice in the £20 something range but you're looking quite a lot more for something interesting, had a nice champagne to start at £65, weinbach riesling for £50 a avigonesi vino nobile de montepulciano £54ish and then an aussie pinot £38 and a gewurztraminer £20-odd with desserts as dessert wines were also v pricy, big list of big bucks wine at the end, quite a long list but nothing of any real age on it. very keen on water selling so switched to jugs in the end.

it was a very pleasant afternoon out with excellent company and decent if not earth shattering food, atmosphere is one of a high class wedding reception, quite buzzy, obviously temporary, chairs not 3* standard! and bit fed up of constantly being 'wobbled' as staff walked past my chair the floor moved, lots of staff, most quite good to be fair.

had a chat with mr koffman at the end, what a lovely bloke, though after 1800 trotters so far he'll be glad of a rest soon!

so as others have surmised, it was an experience, but i'm sure most of the * restos in london would blow it away in VFM terms, but you don't get to meet a legend at the end of a service elsewhere.

Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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Went last night. Firstly, what an experience. The room itself is quite surreal and as someone said like a posh wedding reception. The views are great even at night and for the experience alone it is worth going for (sort of).

Cocktails were good in the small funky bar area. The amuse was ok although a bit boring IMO. Starters were foie for me and langoustine and pressed leeks for her. The foie was good (although not of the quality of Gavroche) in particular the potatoe foam element which kept its form throughout and the langoustines seemed to go down a treat. For mains I had the trotter which was fantastically luxurious while my wife had the Koffman duck (kept on trying to get her to go for the Chavot version but failed unfortunately).

Puddings were the mango tart which was good and the pistachio souffle. This was the only low point of the meal, and when I say low I mean low. It was just far too eggy to the point that near the bottom it was nigh on scrambled egg. Not good at all and I really should have said something. Wine throughout was excellent with good advice from the sommeliers and a very good selection (and pricing) considering the set up. The wait service was good throughout and Mrs Koffman seemed very nice although a bit frazzled. The other Maitre D also did a sterling job and was very on the ball.

Overall the meal was good but not 3* quality, nearer the 1/2* border.

Now to the gossip. When talking to our girl sommelier she said the list was created by the former Marcus Wareing sommelier who's a great young English chap. I said I'd met him a couple of times at Wareing's and so she sent him over for a chat (his name escapes me). When talking to him I asked if he was just here on 'secondment' and he said that he wasn't and that he had quit and left MW. He didn't say why but the way he said it seems to indicate that he quit because of issues. I know no more but has anyone else had any news from The Berkeley indicating that not all is well?

The second bit of gossip more related to this post is that the staff were noitified yesterday morning that the run is being extended until the end of November. Despite my lukewarm views above I phoned up today and grabbed a table for my birthday in the middle of the November.

So a great experience and definately one to take advantage of while you can although don't go in with your expectations too high. Oh nearly forgot, Heston was at the table next door all night... :biggrin::rolleyes::wub:

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I had the 24 martini - beefeater 24 with lillet blanc and grapefruit bitters - a great start to a meal, i would struggle to even get through the starters there after a bloody mary! Bon Apetit

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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  • 2 weeks later...

I cancelled my table. The reports were reasonable enough but nothing I read made me think it was going to be worth £75 plus wine and service.

fairly consistent theme in your postings on this venture and the man himself eh Matt?

- its a publicity stunt

- I've cancelled my table cause I heard it was rubbish

- he can't get any backing, and he won't put his own money in etc

now some of that is just simple make believe. I wonder why ;)

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Strange, I had the veal and Girolles with roasting juices the other day, at Arbutus. It was things like the veal being English Rose (not that I have anything against English Veal, some of it is very good) that made me canx, at that price why not Limousin veal and something a little more adventurous sauce wise?

ah... and the circle completes.

let me see how is manning the pass at selfridges, its one Bruno Loubet (and Chavot of course). Now who used to own the site of arbutus, one Monsieur Loubet wasn't it?

is there some sort of back story here Matt, we should know about?

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Strange, I had the veal and Girolles with roasting juices the other day, at Arbutus. It was things like the veal being English Rose (not that I have anything against English Veal, some of it is very good) that made me canx, at that price why not Limousin veal and something a little more adventurous sauce wise?

Wild Honey serves Limousin veal. I had it last Wednesday.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Went their last night, on a freebie from Amex Centurion of all things, not on mine, on a friend of mine's. Clearly I don't spend enough to warrant such generosity. Everything was free, food, wine, the lot, although I am pretty certain that it was a reduced wine list. But what was on the list was pretty darned good, certainly bottles that would cost north of £100/bottle in a restaurant.

The marquis felt like it was going to plow off the roof at times with the wind. What with the creeking noises, and the antler chandeliers and low slung hat decor waving about so much, it felt somewhat like we were on board the Titanic's maiden voyage.

We had a kitchen tour, and b@gger me if I didn't bump into Eric Chavot who was in very jolly form, firing on thirteen cylinders. I couldn't get any juicy gossip out of him on this occasion though. Also the ex-head sommelier from the Capital was there running the booze.

Cheers, Howard

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I cancelled my table. The reports were reasonable enough but nothing I read made me think it was going to be worth £75 plus wine and service.

fairly consistent theme in your postings on this venture and the man himself eh Matt?

- its a publicity stunt

- I've cancelled my table cause I heard it was rubbish

- he can't get any backing, and he won't put his own money in etc

now some of that is just simple make believe. I wonder why ;)

Which bits are make believe? The bits you've qouted that I didn't say?

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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