I am pleased to introduce to you, Coq d'Argent, a fine dining French establishment that is based at No. 1 Poultry in the City of London. It is an elegant oasis with exquisite food in the heart of the city and is in close proximity to major attractions including St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Southbank. It is difficult to compare Coq d'Argent to other dining establishments in London because it creates its own standard; it offers something above and beyond what one would expect of it (which is a great deal) and your entire experience will feel quite out of this world, in the best of ways.
Discreetly positioned elevator to a sensational site
In order to feel alleviated at Coq d'Argent, you have to take an elevator to access the different world that it creates. This is because Coq d'Argent is pretty much invisible to the general public and only those that intend on visiting take the ride of their life in the lift to this skyline viewing establishment. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday, brunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch on Sunday, Coq d'Argent is open for the most important meals. The elevator ride will be a smooth couple of seconds and once the lift door opens onto Coq d'Argent, you will be both impressed and surprised with your new surroundings.
A beautiful setting in a busy city
With so many different seating areas, Coq d'Argent is truly perfect for any occasion. It has an incredible rooftop terrace, which is surrounded by green leafy gardens. The gardens surround the entire restaurant and to access the terraces, you will walk under pergolas and be seated in one of the immaculate white tables, with chairs covered with white furry blankets to keep you warm on a chilly afternoon or evening. The outside terraces are all heated and create a wonderfully romantic and relaxing ambiance. There are some phenomenal views of London during the daytime and nighttime for you to enjoy from this little heaven.
Coq d'Argent also has a bar and grill area, which is equally cozy and comfortable. The bar is known in its own right and is in the top 10 whisky bars in London and offers over 70 different blends. If you’re early for your dinner reservation in the restaurant, the bar is the best environment in which to sit back and enjoy a cocktail, if there is space available. Due to the restaurant’s popularity, if you’re unable to make a reservation in the restaurant, consider doing so for the bar and grill area as you will be impressed by the bar menu, which has some wonderful items to enjoy. The glowing heaters and candles creates such an impressive mood that you won’t want to take the elevator back down to “earth” as you will definitely feel on top of the world at Coq d'Argent.
A class setting for any meal
Coq d'Argent’s spacious restaurant is elegant and flawless throughout; an absolutely lush environment in which to create a memory with brilliant food and company. It is exquisitely decorated and you will receive exceptional service from the start of any experience there. It is a stellar environment for a friendly get-together, a special occasion or a business gathering. It is a class setting for any type of meal; it is high-end and high-class in every way with waiting staff and a sommelier that will enhance your experience to a level that you would not expect. This is because the staff working there are passionate and excited to please you in the little world that they have created above London. Dishes will be recommended and if they obtain an insight that you’re celebrating an occasion, you will certainly be made to feel that you’re having the best celebration possible as they might sparkle a surprise your way.
Fine dining catered to any dietary requirements
It is unbelievably challenging to find fine dining French cuisine that can tailor to the dietary requirements of a vegetarian, let alone a vegan; however, Coq d'Argent is not like so many fine dining French establishments. It guarantees that every diner, irrespective of dietary requirement will have a first class experience. The establishment has a vegetarian, vegan and gluten free menu and if you notify the staff of any allergies, Head Chef Damien Rigollet will kindly formulate a dish for your consumption.
At Coq d'Argent no guest is an after-thought and for those of you that are of a special dietary group, like myself, you will be astounded with the quality of dishes provided to you, as they will be as well thought out and as on par as to what the carnivore would indulge in. This is a rarity as I have often found that vegetarians are never at the forefront of one’s mind, yet Head Chef Damien Rigollet advocated to provide fine dining cuisine to all and he has done that clearly to perfection. You can immediately tell by the first dish that arrives at your table, whether the dishes to follow are going to be a positive event and I can easily admit that the fresh and delectable carrot soup that was accompanied by gluten and non-gluten free bread was a divine beginning for me.
Gastronomic and culinary masterpiece
For a starter, I opted for the choux fleur, which is crème dubarry, cauliflower velouté with a poached egg, shaved black truffle and croutons. Even before the velouté had been delicately poured onto my plate, the dish, albeit incomplete, looked absolutely beautiful. There was so much thought in its presentation and how the presentation of the dish would enhance the diner’s experience when embracing the dish. Once the velouté had been poured on the dish, it was a true gastronomic and culinary masterpiece to enjoy. The velouté was thick, but not too much, and soaked up the croutons and created a sensational and delectable buttery experience in my mouth. The poached egg and shaved black truffle added another texture and dimension to the dish.
Cold, sharp and clean palate cleanser
Before enjoying the main course and true to the tradition of fine dining, a beautiful palate cleanser in the form of a granny smith apple sorbet with truffle was brought to my table. This frozen delight was cold, crisp and sharp in flavor; the granny smith apples have a hint of sweetness but this is balanced by the truffle that creates a wonderful and clean flavor meaning you’re soon ready to enjoy the main course with taste buds that have a new perspective. I especially enjoyed the frozen delight that is the palate cleanser because it was so refreshing and enhanced my dining experience by eliminating any competing flavors that were in my mouth. It was also a reminder that fine dining is about taking your time and enjoying each course and allowing food to create memories. There was absolutely no rush to turn-tables in this clearly very popular restaurant and that’s what makes Coq d'Argent a grand environment in which to dine.
Generously sized portion that is beautifully seasoned
The timing between each dish was brilliant and the service was spot on; attentive but not intrusive. For the main course, the vol-au-vent was recommended, so I had to try it. It consisted of a wild mushroom, spinach and cheese tart with a poached duck egg. When it arrived to to the table, it was jaw-droppingly beautiful and the size of the portion was of great surprise, as it was much larger than I had expected, so clearly a very generous plate from Head Chef Damien Riollet. The wild mushroom and spinach was perfectly seasoned and the goats cheese added a hint of saltiness, which when accompanied by the flaky and buttery pastry was certainly wonderful to devour. The dish had a real earthy feel and the ingredients were a delicious combination and therefore, a must-try. For a restaurant that is named after a meat and in a building called Poultry, the vegetarian had certainly been on Head Chef Damien Riollet’s mind and he did deliver a vision of creating fine dining plates for all.
Simplicity and complexity with the Granny Smith apple parfait
Ambrosial desserts with genial service at its best is offered by Coq d'Argent. The delicious dessert menu will take you time to work through and not necessarily because it is tremendously detailed but rather because it will be challenging to determine which item to select.
The pomme verte, also known as the Granny Smith apple parfait, was recommended to me and I would not hesitate to recommend it to another in a heartbeat. It is the type of dessert for which you will be seduced simply by its finesse. My dining companion watched me with great delight as to how I was going to elegantly cut through the beautifully green white chocolate in order to experience the apple parfait. When I broke through this skillful artistic piece of a dessert, it was a real delight as it included aerated-white chocolate and a few little surprises, which I will not spoil for you. This dessert was a complete stand-out and I savored every spoonful. It was so unusually delicious and one that I shall never be able to forget.
My dining companion, who often visits Coq d'Argent (as it so happily caters for her dietary requirements too) turned to me with amusement and said, “How were you able to eat the entire apple? I have not been able to finish an entire one on my own before.” I responded to her in a very definitive manner and stated, “I do not understand how you cannot!”. It was too good to share as a dessert. Nevertheless, I also took that opportunity to try my dining companion’s macaroon that accompanied her creamy cheesecake dessert and I can confirm that the homemade macaroons are highly recommended.
You will feel elevated wherever you are seated
As I have said above, if you’re unable to make a reservation in the restaurant or want a more informal environment in which to have drinks (whether hot or cold) and nibbles including desserts, then I would recommend sitting in one of the outside terraces. You will be treated with equally as much importance and care as if you are seated in the restaurant itself.
As I was passing through the different outdoor terraces, I noted a small table of people where one joyful individual exclaimed to another, “I can’t believe what the waiter has done. I told him that I was visiting London from Portugal and it was my birthday and here is now a dessert with a birthday message, in Portuguese!”. This really made me smile because it showed not only the attentiveness of the service but also the amount of care and thought that the waiter had taken in presenting a birthday message in the local language of the guest. This is a gesture that cannot be taught but one that has to come from within and all the servers at Coq d'Argent truly do want you there and make each and every guest feel elevated, wherever such guest sits in the establishment.
A top chef that is equally as good as the view of his restaurant
The well hidden but worth finding, Coq d'Argent has some of the most spectacular and beautiful views of London and during the summertime, an experience on the roof garden is absolutely breathtaking. Coq d'Argent is fiercely proud of its reputation and it certainly should be as it really does offer an out-of-this-world experience to diners. Head Chef Damien Rigollet joined Coq d'Argent in 2005 and his selections and combinations of items and flavors will take your gastronomic expectations to a level never known before. He is so very hardworking and humble and most importantly, passionate about offering a first class experience to all his diners. When asked what he enjoys about working at Coq d'Argent and why he enjoys cooking, he talks about his love for cooking and the sense of feeling free. Well, I can tell you that when I visited Coq d'Argent, I definitely felt free from the burdens and pressures of living and working in a busy city. I felt so calm and relaxed and my appetite was perfectly satisfied by each plate during my meal.
One of the best and above the rest
With a high-end and unpretentious atmosphere combined with impeccable dishes and service, Coq d'Argent is definitely on my repeat list and I would certainly recommend that you visit it too. You will feel positive and taken care of from the start to the end of your experience. Importantly, you will feel like you’re in a dining establishment that is above the rest (and not just because of its location). There is something truly special and magical about Coq d’Argent and I would urge you to take a ride in the lift to the little world that it has created at the top of the busy London. The cost for a meal varies contingent on the type of menu that you select, so I would urge you to review the regularly updated website to obtain an indication as to the price. I must tell you one last thing though, an experience in the world created by Coq d'Argent is worth it.
Get Trip101 in your inbox