Pierre Koffmann is one of those culinary greats; he’s trained the likes of Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Tom Kitchin. He once ran the 3 Michelin star restaurant La Tante Claire in Chelsea. He then retired, came out of retirement for a pop up at Selfridge’s, then opened Koffmann’s at The Berkeley hotel.
The dining room is simple with a large staircase being the centrepiece, meaning making an entrance is inevitable – especially if you happen to trip. It’s all white table cloths and charming service.
A selection of homemade bread and chicken skin topped with chicken liver parfait (chicken skin topped with anything is always going to tickle my pickle) got things off to a strong start.
Starters of lobster bisque with tortellini (£12) and coquille St. Jacques (£14), a broken down version of sorts, were so simple yet so flavoursome. It felt like home cooking but the sort I wish my Mum had actually been able to cook at home.
For main, we shared the special of roasted whole leg of milk fed lamb (£32 per person). It was first brought to the table whole then returned sliced alongside broad beans, tomatoes and artichokes. Again simplicity was key; the quality of the lamb and its accurate cooking were enough to display all the ‘wow’ necessary. And it really was wow. A side of potato gratin (£3.50) is a must FYI.
For dessert, the richness of it all got the better of us so we shared a pistachio soufflé (£15) which is a signature Koffmann’s dish. I love a good soufflé me and I enjoyed its lopsidedness – it reminded me of the lobster soufflé at Otto’s which is equally as “homemade” looking – it gives them character. The flavour was sublime and the pistachio ice cream dropped in the middle added more nutty loveliness.
Koffmann’s might not be the coolest restaurant in town, nor have the jazziest dining room, but that is exactly why it is all quite refreshing. Our waitress brought chips with our main course and when we advised her we hadn’t ordered them she replied “you simply have to try our chips”. For that reason alone, this is my kind of restaurant.