The Berkeley Hotel has a long history of being home to some fabulous restaurants.
During my time in London it has been the location for one of my favourite ‘fine dining’ restaurants, Marcus, in the same space that was once Pierre Koffmann’s 3 Michelin starred La Tante Claire.
Koffmann was a legend on the London restaurant scene and helped launch the careers of some of the UK’s best chefs.
Cut to 2010 and the news that Pierre Koffmann was set to make a return to London and to The Berkeley, but on the former site of the Boxwood Café on the other side of the hotel to his original home.
Koffmann’s at The Berkeley has a relaxed elegance about it – it is warm and inviting with just a splash of formality.
I loved the small bar area with its library feel with cookbooks on bookshelves on one side and a small bar the other side that you walk through to get to the main restaurant floor.
I dined with a large group of friends where sharing is rather common, so we tried a large proportion of the menu between us.
Terrine de foie gras with brioche was fabulously rich, and a tough decision when it shares a menu with hot foie gras with chicory and Sauternes sauce.
The duck consommé with tortellini was very delicate and light; perhaps a little too light for our group, but delicious nonetheless. Other classic French starters included snail ravioli, Bayonne ham and garlic croutons.
I had one thing in mind for my main course, and the rich braised beef cheeks in red wine with mashed potatoes was utterly delicious.
One dish on the menu has followed Koffmann throughout his careers and is, perhaps, his most famous dish of all – the pig’s trotter stuffed with sweetbreads and morels brings the crowds in by itself and the group declared it ‘sensational’ (although not for the faint hearted).
Desserts included a perfectly bitter and creamy tarte au citron and a pistachio soufflé with pistachio ice cream (another of Koffmann’s signature dishes) that was so alluring that even a friend who never eats dessert lost his way.
Koffmann’s at The Berkeley is all about bold flavours and hearty dishes, all done with immaculate flair, and, boy, it is good.
Disclaimer: I didn’t pay for this dinner at Koffmann’s but I have paid twice before. I wasn’t invited to review but thought you’d like to read about it as I loved it. You can view our editorial policy here.