We were going to ‘Save the Rhino’ – no not in Africa, but at the Royal Geographical Society where Real Africa (a company we’ve travelled with in the past), were presenting ‘Close Encounters’ with Benedict Allen in aid of the charity.
We decided to have an early supper beforehand and had checked out three options down a quiet side-street between High Street Kensington and the Albert Hall: Cote, Prezzo and an independent Italian called Arcadia.
We settled on “Cote Bistro”:http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/cote/restaurant/details/kensington with its November two-course menu for £10.95. The long, narrow restaurant was still very quiet and after we’d managed to get the eye of a waiter to take our order, the service flowed beautifully.
The “menu”:http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/Downloads/Cote%20Set%20Menu.pdf had seven starters and seven mains. I immediately settled on Pissaladière (caramelised onion, pepper and aubergine with Comté cheese and basil on a pizza base) and bread-crumbed cod goujons with frites and tartare sauce. Both were excellent.
Roy was indecisive: he didn’t want a starter, but as some of the mains on the “a la carte”:http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/Downloads/Cote%20food%20menu.pdf men were more than £10.95, I persuaded him that the two courses wouldn’t be huge. How wrong can you be? He had a full bowl of mussels steamed with leeks, white wine, crème fraîche, garlic and parsley and then his Hachis Parmentier (a traditional French cottage pie) was a good size with a separate, large dish of minted peas, baby gem lettuce and onions (which went well with my goujons).
The star of the night, was Roy’s main – the meat had a real spiciness and the toasted breadcrumbs in the potato gave it a crunchy topping. As I finished it off for him, I didn’t think I could justify ordering a £2 chocolate pot, although I was very tempted.
The cheapest bottle of white was decently priced at £15.95 and served in a free-standing ice bucket. Water was provided in their distinctive earthenware flagons.
Towards the end of our meal, the lights were dimmed and candles were put on each table giving it a nice romantic atmosphere.
If there’s a Cote near you, I’d recommend trying out their November menu – it’s terrific food at brilliant prices..