Since our first visit to Koffmann's we have been lucky enough to get to know Pierre and Claire but being a quiet Good Friday, they had departed the restaurant before we arrived so with anonymity intact, I was treated like any other guest. Feeling something like a mystery shopper, I was impressed throughout with the staff who really did their best to look after us and helped make it a totally pleasant lunch time.
Pierre Koffmann is of course one of the great men of British food and saw such talents pass through his kitchen as Tom Kitchin and Bruno Loubet. He's won the most coveted of awards in the industry and now cooks with passion food from his homeland, food he likes to eat and food I certainly like to eat. The menu therefore is a beautiful thing, and starters like Gascony style black pudding croque monsieur with egg can only put a smile on your face and hunger in your belly.
Having overdone red meats in the previous days, I though I would bias my meal towards fish today and started with langoustines, scallops & shellfish broth. Wrapped in the most luxuriant pasta with a light but distinctive shellfish broth, it's a joyous starter that perfectly delivers what I want. For the mains, while there is both steamed cod and Dover sole on the menu, I opt for the more meaty roasted monkfish with Bordelaise sauce so I don't feel I'm entirely forsaking some oomph. Wrapped in lovely crispy pancetta, the monkfish is textbook and it too delivered exactly what I sought. No doubts about which pud to have and no doubt of the quality ahead of time, the legendary pistachio souffle. Job done.
Koffmann's restaurant is a place we love run by people we adore and who remain so passionate about food. It's also a 'hands on' restaurant for them, not just a name above the door and Pierre is more often than not doing the cooking. While formal enough, place settings are immaculate as are the staff, it's never starchy and is a place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy both your company around the table and your food. Koffmann's then is an elegant but friendly restaurant and one of our firm favourites in London.