Pierre Koffman of Tante Clare fame has reopened a restaurant in London at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. It has taken over the old Boxwood cafe and they have made quite a transformation, it looks more formal but brighter, whereas Boxwood seemed very dimly lit.
I was invited for lunch here a while ago and must say they have certainly made an impression. I saw that Christina Ong, the Singaporean socialite who owns half of Bond Street and the Met Hotel was lunching there too. Although she is very low key, she is a trendsetter and this certainly gives Pierre Koffman’s the right kind of endorsement.
The tables are A table with a view of the kitchen.
On my recent visit for lunch with a couple of friends, I was quite interested to see what dishes were on offer but had no expectations. This tiny morsel was a gentle introduction to the genius of flavours that was yet to come.
Superb bread, I especially liked the bacon croissant thingy and I could have happily eaten my way through the bread basket.
A superbly rich Langoustine and crab soup.
As I was dining with friends who knew the management, we got a couple of surprises that we didn’t order, to begin with, a taste of the famous Scallops with Squid Ink. It certainly lived up to its reputation. Delicious.
The Beautifully pink duck breasts with green peppercorns.
Wing of pheasant with potato pancake and pumpkin
Even the side dishes were great, lovely crispy pommes frites and slightly sweet carrots with cumin seeds.
All through the meal, we kept getting a waft of a very ripe cheese. We had to have a taste of this and had a selection of English cheeses.
A great lunch is of course not complete without a great pudding and these did not disappoint. Lemon Tart with light flaky pastry and tangy lemon filling.
The apple tart with calvados ice cream.
A word about the wine list, there is a very large selection and as I was with some wine experts, they had several outstanding wines served by the glass, including a very stunning bottle from the old La Tante Claire cellar (saved for the special customers, I think).
Never ending goodies – delicious Madeleines with the coffeee.
As expected, the service was professional, attentive but not overbearing. The food was excellent, fabulous cooking, brave flavours, delightful combinations of unexpected ingredients. If you have not eaten here, don’t wait, book a table soon. Koffmanns is a superb addition to the London Restaurant scene.
The set lunch menu is a very reasonable £25.50 for 3 course, especially for this quality of food. Will definitely be back again very soon.