Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
No.1 Poultry, London EC2 Tel: 020 7395 5000
Cost: about Â£60 for three courses a la carte; Sunday jazz brunch three courses Â£25; three course set lunch Â£29.50
Conran restaurants have pioneered a look that was new to this country when Quaglino's opened (or should that be re-opened?) over 10 years ago. At Quag's it was the staircase and the crustacea altar that were talked about as individual items but the overall look was masculine-tinged updated Art Deco. In one way or another these elements have been reappearing in Conran restaurants ever since. Whether this is good, bad or neutral depends on your personal perspective.
Where Quaglino's is in a basement, Coq d'Argent is a rooftop. Replace Quag's staircase with a dramatic view and rooftop garden. DÃ©cor is as tailored as the suits who inhabit the room. Service is very professional and the cooking is quite correct. A salad of crab and lobster with saffron dressing was well balanced with well-sourced and cooked shellfish. The portion of langoustines with mayonnaise was generous and, again, shows good purchasing. Tournedos of beef is served with a smoked ham and truffle sauce that well complements the Scottish beef, cooked exactly as requested. The menu reads very well and all the correct items are present - a good list of fish and vegetarian dishes as well as game (venison with braised cabbage and juniper jus, pigeon Rossini). Desserts show the requisite creativity - roasted figs with spiced ginger bread and honey ice cream, white chocolate and blackberry cheesecake.
Where the restaurant shines is with its wine list, a bible sized tome of over 30 pages which could be quite fiendishly difficult to navigate were it not for a sympathetic sommelier in the form of Olivier Marie who is well capable of finding just what is needed. Put yourself in his hands and you might just go away with something worth crowing about.