Working Lunch review: Coq d'Argent has created a tasting menu using truffles and posh French mustard

 
Melissa York
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Veal cutlet in a creamy wild mushroom sauce, served with Chablis and black truffle mustard mashed potatoes

Coq d’Argent
No. 1 Poultry, EC2R

WHAT?

This brasserie has become a stalwart of boozy business lunches in the heart of the banking district. Famed for a menu and wine list that’s positively croaking with French classics, it’s just launched a truffle-themed tasting menu in partnership with upmarket mustard brand Maille until 30 November.

WHERE?

On the (heated) rooftop of No. 1 Poultry, almost directly opposite the Bank of England. Its deep teal armchairs, walnut walls and starched white tablecloths are a reassuring throwback to those never-ending lunches of the 80s, when traders’ wallets were as big as their shoulder pads.

WHO?

It’s part of the all-conquering D&D stable, the group that owns German Gymnasium, Bluebird and Le Pont de la Tour among others. Head chef Damien Rigollet has been at Coq for over 10 years, working his way up from senior sous chef to le grand fromage in 2014.


Chocolate and confit orange tart with a truffle ice cream macaroon

ORDER THIS...

The tasting menu comprises six courses for £95, with a wine pairing for each course for £150. With the average bottle coming in at around £60, we highly recommend the latter option. The whole sitting was served in under two hours – pretty speedy for a tasting menu – and it was surprisingly light, too. Seasonal white truffles are delicately threaded through a sea bass risotto, ice cream, a sorbet and scrambled eggs, while shavings of the black variety are used to beef up earthy mash on the side of a substantial veal chop. Wholegrain and honey mustards are woven throughout and the wine pairings are thoughtful, too, starting with a citrus Argentinean brut and finishing with a warming aged port.

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?

There’s plenty of pleasure to be had, but it’s a cracking place to do business. Staff are attentive – and properly French – without being intrusive and lunch service stretches far into the afternoon. You won’t be shooed out the door at 3pm here.


The dining room at Coq d'Argent

NEED TO BOOK?

It’s highly recommended, especially for lunch on a weekday. Call 020 7395 5000 or visit coqdargent.co.uk

THE VERDICT...

Coq d’Argent’s Maille truffle tasting menu is a subtle partnership that will satiate your curiosity just as much as your appetite.

ONE MORE THING...

“Coq” (cockerel) refers to the address at No. 1 Poultry and “argent” (silver) is a nod to the building’s previous incumbents, silversmiths Mappin & Webb.

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