Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

I went to Cora Pearl for a weekday dinner when it first opened and loved it. Beautiful room, warm service and tasty grub – nothing not to like. I was excited then to hear this sister restaurant to Kitty Fisher’s is now serving Sunday lunch.

Their ham and cheese toastie (£7.50) has become quite a ‘thing’. For good reason. But it’s the daintier dishes that show off the kitchen’s skills. Cured salmon and sour cream (£9) is perfect simplicity. The quality of that salmon is exquisite.

Smoked eel, beetroot and horseradish (£13) is a brilliant blend of flavours; the heat of the horseradish and the oily hit from the eel is just lush.

Roasts come with charred broccoli, fat, buttery carrots, crispy potatoes, cauliflower cheese and giant Yorkshire puddings. Those potatoes have been sliced, pressed together then fried to make them crisp, crisp, crisp. Who needs roasties?!

Roast sirloin of beef (£28) sees thick chunks of brilliant beef with a decent layer of fat. The meat is bright pink, just how should be. There’s loads of it too.

Roast chicken (£25) has been stuffed under-skin with a rich mushroom concoction. The thigh has been deboned, flattened and fried for long enough to make that skin go nearly as crisp as those potatoes. We drown it all with a jugful of gravy that tastes like it’s been simmering for days; such flavour.

We finish with milk and cookies (£8); chunks of soft, chocolate-filled cookie under a deluge of milky mousse. You couldn’t get more comforting.

That’s the thing with Cora Pearl, you feel so comfortable from the minute you step through the velvet curtained front door. It feels old school. How restaurants used to be. And that Sunday roast is one of the best you’ll find outside of your mother’s kitchen.

Would we go back? Every Sunday
We dined as guests of the restaurant