Cote (St Paul's)
your comments review this restaurant and win a bottle of champagne
We visited this restaurant on Friday 15 July with my husband's parents as they were staying in the adjoining hotel. Having recently been to the Hayes Galleria branch of Cote which was nothing less than brilliant in every respect, we were expecting good things...
When we arrived it was rather busy and we were shown to a table in the centre of the room. For starters, we had duck and pork rillettes and steak tartare. The rillettes were nice and had a good porky flavour but sadly the advertised 'sourdough bread' accompaniment had been replaced by rock hard bits of ordinary ciabatta which spoilt the experience somewhat. My husband's steak tartare was chopped a little too finely and was significantly over-spiced - a mere shadow of the fabulous version we tried at the Hayes Galleria branch. A disappointment.
On to main courses, my husband and I had the sirloin steak which comes with chips. Again, this restaurant failed to live up to its counterpart a few miles away; the chips were not dissimilar to those that McDonalds offers, except not done quite so well and served in the most meagre of portions and the delicious chargrilled flavour of the steak we had experienced before was now only a shade away from tasting burnt. Both steaks were over-peppered and, as the fat hadn't been properly rendered, it remained rather chewy and jelly-like - overall, a complete disservice to the beautiful quality beef they serve in this chain. On the plus side, they were both cooked as requested.
My father-in-law enjoyed his lamb shank and polished it off quickly, although my mother-in-law was less impressed with her chicken.
Desserts were iced berries with white chocolate sauce which were nice enough however, the cheeseboard was another disappointment having clearly been served straight from the fridge thus removing all flavour and texture. A schoolboy error in a supposedly French restaurant.
The service was ok - the girl serving us was friendly but clearly run off her feet whilst her colleagues just sauntered around. Towards the end of the meal, the service became increasingly inattentive with empty plates left on the table for large amounts of time and it took forever for the bill to come once requested.
All together, with three of us having three courses, one of us having only one course and a few glasses of wine and a coffee, the bill came to £130 which included service. Not a bad price but, given the lesser standard of food and the vastly different experience from the one we had at the Hayes Galleria branch, not especially great value for money either.
Clearly, consistency across the chain needs to be addressed and, whilst I'd still visit other branches of Cote as the menu is enticing and well-priced, I'll definitely go with lower expectations as a result of this experience.
Comment on this reader review
Food 5 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6
Monday, July 18, 2011