The Cocochine

27 Bruton Place, London, W1J 6NQ, United Kingdom

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The Cocochine opened in late March 2024. It is backed by Mayfair art gallery Tim Jeffries, who named the restaurant after a nickname for his daughter. The kitchen is run by Larry Jayasekera, who was formerly head chef of Michelin-starred Petrus, and who trained with Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and also worked at Bras and at Le Manoir au Quat’ Saisons. He won the National Chef of the Year award in 2016. The restaurant has a delicatessen just opposite in Bruton Place called The Rex. The restaurant itself is spread over four floors of a mews house in Bruton Place, just off Berkeley Square.

The ground floor dining room has large, widely spaced tables, smart décor and low lighting, and just 28 covers. The kitchen is upstairs, with seven bar seats along one side for a chef table experience. There is also a large top floor room available as a private dining room with up to 14 seats and with a lounge area and fireplace. No expense has been spared on the décor, and assorted fine art hangs on the walls, as one might expect when the owner runs a Mayfair gallery. The menu, refreshingly in this day and age, is a la carte, priced at £145 for three courses.

The wine list was extensive and filled with luxury wines as befits the Mayfair location. The list was dominated by Bordeaux and Burgundy. There are over 1,600 wines stored on site and the wine cellar had an entire display cabinet filled with numerous vintages of Vega Sicilia Unico. Reidel glasses were used to serve the wines. The list is still being developed, but at the time of writing there were 210 labels ranging in price from £48 to £29,000, with a median price of £410 and an unusually kindly average markup of 2.4 times retail. This is pretty remarkable for Mayfair, where markup averages of 3.5 times and higher are the norm. Examples of the wines were Albarino Sobra Lias Casal Caeiro Rias Baixas 2022 at £52 for a wine that you can find in a shop for £19, Mikra Thira Assyrtiko 2021 at £78 for a wine that retails at £43, and Domaine Liddell Les Perrieres Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2021 at £190 compared to its retail price of £44. There are plenty of high-end options here, with Domaine de Montille Corton Charlemagne 2016 at £260 compared to its current market value of £158, and Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2010 at £2,100 for a wine that retails at £1,268. Growers are top notch, such as Egon Muller and Keller from Germany.

At this lunch we sat at the kitchen counter, which is a nice way to engage a little with the chefs and see what is going on in the kitchen. The meal began with an array of canapes. A croustade was made with beer batter and filled with Portuguese yellowtail that had been aged for five days, dressed with house-made Japanese dressing and garnished with golden oscietra caviar. This was a particularly good canape, the pastry case very delicate and the dressing carefully judged. Alongside this was a doughnut filled with 36-month aged Comte cheese sauce, topped with fresh black truffle. This was enjoyable though could arguably have had deeper cheese flavour.  There was also a tart of cauliflower puree with pickled cauliflower, mushroom, chive and black truffle, which was pleasant though for me not in the league of the yellowtail croustade. 

There were two further canapes. Landes confit chicken wing had a barbecue sauce glaze, a jus gras made from the dripping of the roasting tray, crispy shallot, chive and confit egg yolk. This was lovely, the chicken flavour so good as it was arguably the best chicken of all, from Arnaud Tauzin in the Landes, of which more anon. The final canape was malt tartlet of carrot puree, pickled red onion and cured & smoked reindeer heart. The reindeer was from northern Norway, supplied by reindeer producer Maret Ravdna Buljo. This was certainly an unusual combination of flavours, but the earthy carrot nicely balanced the richness of the reindeer heart (16/20 canapes).

My dining companion had poached langoustine with leek, morels and lemongrass. The langoustines came from Tanera island off western Scotland, poached in langoustine stock, and served with a citrus gel made with yuzu and kalmansi. This came with Turkish morel mushrooms cooked in brown butter glaze, with chicken jus, crispy onion and chives. Leeks were thinly sliced, sautéed in fresh Normandy butter, finished with double cream and sea salt. The sauce was made from langoustine shells, shallot, garlic, bay leaf, white peppercorn, langoustine stock, brandy, white wine and fresh cream, finished with lemon juice and Sri Lankan lemongrass. The langoustine had excellent natural sweetness and was precisely cooked, the morels had lovely flavour and the sauce with its hint of lemongrass was excellent (17/20).

I had asparagus with bacon. Pertuis asparagus from Provence was poached in asparagus stock, then warmed through with Normandy butter, blood orange gel, braised kombu (from Tanera Island) crouton and finished with bacon hollandaise (which was aerated to lighten the texture). This was served with smoked Alsace bacon sautéed in butter until lightly crisp, kombu, and bacon Hollandaise sauce. This was an attractive dish, the asparagus a touch early in the season at be quite at their very best, but the bacon was of high quality and its smokiness worked well with the asparagus (15/20).

Homemade brioche was served as a little course on its own, straight from the oven. The bread was layered with caramelised onion and thyme and glazed with brown butter and sea salt. This had gorgeous texture and the onion flavour came through well. This was served with fresh Normandy butter and whipped brown butter, with fresh black truffle, creme fraiche, and sea salt. This was really top-notch bread.  

We had an intermediate course of hand-dived XXL Orkney Island scallops with pumpkin and pickled white strawberry. The large scallops were roasted and cooked medium rare. The pumpkin puree was finished with fresh yeast (to avoid being too sweet) and some balancing sharpness came from pickled white strawberries with elderflower vinegar. There was also
a brown butter and almond tuile, fresh micro coriander and a sauce made of fish stock base, shallot, mushroom, white wine and fresh cream that was reduced and infused with the scallop skirts. The scallops had lovely natural sweetness and the pickling juices provided some balance. It could be argued that a little more acidity would have been welcome, given the sweetness of the almond tuile and the pumpkin, along with the natural sweetness of the scallop (15/20).

My main course was poached and roasted poulet des Landes chicken from top producer Arnaud Tauzin. This was stuffed with leek and chicken mousse, and served with a langoustine, morel, a shellfish sabayon, barbecued and chopped leek and jus gras. On the side, the chicken leg meat was used to make a little chicken Pie with Norwegian brown cheese. The flavour of the chicken was superb, as one might expect from this producer. Arnaud Tauzin’s family has farmed poultry since the 19th century in an area called Saint Sever, in the south of the Landes in southwest France. The birds used are a hardy breed traditionally raised in the Landes, and spend their lives in the open air. They are slow growth birds, and for the last five weeks of their lives are fed on a diet of local whole maize and milk. This causes a layer of fat to build up between the skin and the flesh, producing a crisp skin when cooked. I prefer this bird to the more famous Bresse chicken. It is about as good as chicken gets, the flavour superb and entirely different from even the best examples of what passes for chicken in the UK. The little chicken pie on the side was a nice touch (17/20).

Quince & vinegar tart with Gorgonzola was served in place of a traditional cheese board. The cheese was from a family-run producer called Tosi, who has been making Gorgonzola for over fifty years.  Quince puree was made using Rowler Estate quince, some made into vinegar and combined to make the tart filling before being baked. The tart itself is made with flour, butter, salt and 72-month aged Parmesan. Quince can be ultra-sharp but this was well-balanced, and worked well with the rich cheese.  

Apple savarin had an apple baba dough soaked in citrus and caramel syrup, and was served with poached caramelised Pink Lady apple. There was also a quenelle of roasted Royal Gala apple sorbet, compressed Granny Smith in green apple and lemon juice with crème Anglaise flavoured with Timut pepper, a Nepalese spice related to Sichuan pepper. The baba completely avoided the dryness that so often afflicts this dish, and the combination of apple elements produced a refreshing and enjoyable dessert (16/20).

Yorkshire rhubarb pavlova had French meringue, Yorkshire rhubarb compote, Greek yoghurt, cherry blossom sorbet and a caramelised biscuit tuile, served with rhubarb gin and ginger consommé́. This was a prettily presented and appealing dish, the tartness of the rhubarb nicely balancing the sweetness of the other elements. The various contrasting textures combined to good effect (16/20).

The coffee was from Difference Coffee, a choice of either Brazil Yellow Bourbon, Jamaican Blue Mountain or Panama Gesha. Tea was from AMBA Estate in the Uva highlands of Sri Lanka. This came with several petit fours. A chocolate bonbon had 40% milk chocolate, tempered with 60% pumpkin seed praline. There was also a little lemon tart with hazelnut sable, lemon crémeux, French meringue tuile and toasted hazelnut nibs. Finally, there was a light and fluffy freshly baked Madeline flavoured with Sri Lankan green cardamom, and a Florentine tuile made using 46% tempered milk chocolate, almond nougatine, orange zest and Maldon salt. These were all very enjoyable, and indeed the pastry throughout the meal was of a higher standard than is often found even in very top London restaurants.

Service was charming throughout the meal, and the bill came to E235 per person, including service at 15%. The Cocochine is a fine addition to the London dining scene. It brings back the a la carte menu choice that has been largely replaced by tasting menus in recent years, and that in itself is a good thing. The ingredient quality here is impeccable, a rarity indeed in London even at multi-starred restaurants. The standard of cooking at The Cocochine is high and the restaurant is impeccably fitted out, with the wine list an unusual bonus in this part of the world. I will certainly be back.

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  • Tina Easton

    It sounds amazing & a beautiful well deserved positive write up. I for one am looking forward to dining there & experience the fabulous of cocchine.