The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, London, England, SW1X 7RL, United Kingdom

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Koffmann’s continues to serve the food of legendary 3 star Michelin chef Pierre Koffmann, mixed in with some more modern dishes. A nibble was a tart of caremelised onions, olives and anchovies, a traditional pissalladiere with delicate puff pastry and nicely caramelised onions (15/20). Bread was made from scratch, the garlic brioche the star of the show (16/20).

Crab salad came with avocado and grapefruit, a classic combination and one that was nicely balanced, the sweetness of the crab balanced by the grapefruit (15/20). Also very good was langoustine ravioli, notionally served with a Thai sauce, but where the spicing was very subtle. The shellfish was tender and the pasta good; for me little more spicy punch would have improved the dish (15/20).

For the main course, wild sea bass  with tomato and olive salsa was cooked precisely, the sauce vierge carefully balanced (16/20). Even better was hare royale, the classic slow-cooked dish coming with a beautifully rich sauce that was still lighter than the traditional recipe (the 19th century version of which involved 30 cloves of garlic and 60 shallots). This version involved a little foie gras and a single carrot, but the meat was beautifully tender and the sauce glorious (18/20). It came with faultless thin chips that were generously salted and ultra-crisp. For dessert we stayed with the tried and tested pistachio soufflé, a Pierre Koffmann heritage dish that was carefully cooked through and was beautifully light (18/20).

Service was very good, our sommelier having worked previously at Hedone. The bill came to £121 a head, with a bottle of the very pleasant Trimbach Riesling 2012, as well as some other glasses of wine . The coffee was fine but small in volume, and being charged for two top-ups at full price was mildly irritating. If you shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost per head would be around £90.  Overall this was a lovely meal, the hare royale and the soufflé in particular being delightful.


Further reviews: 02nd Mar 2016 | 10th Nov 2010

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