Now I don’t know about you, but when you’re faced with the variety of pop ups, quirky independents and food markets you kinda sort of forget about the chains and treat them with the they’ll be there tomorrow attitude. Very naughtily I never think they’ll stand up to the quality and expertise of smaller places revolving around the chef.
Well I am first to admit I was wrong and as the old saying goes never say never!
We popped by Côte in soho to have a goodbye dinner for a dear friend moving across the pond. They treated us exceptionally well, being greeted with a kir royale and great service.
I ordered the steak et frites and I was amazed to find it one of the most tender melt in your mouth steaks I’ve ever experienced! The chips were thin and crisp making the whole dish extremely moreish.
In fact everyone was very happy with their meals and the price tag isn’t too bad either. They’ve got a great lunchtime menu and pretheatre menu that are extremely reasonable and for the quality you get the full priced menu is nothing to grumble at. That’s the problem most often occurring once you’ve actually found a good chain with good food, that isn’t another Italian (I love them, but where’s the creativity?!), the price is normally rather high and you only really visit if you have a discount or voucher.
But with Côte it had impressed me so much I was rather keen to try what else they had to offer and went by one morning for Brunch with Patrick, this time at the Cambridge branch. The service was considerably slower than London for not an overly busy day, but that may of been due to the place we’d been seated wasn’t great for catching peoples attention. But let’s move onto the food, a small well thought out brunch menu, with a choice of coffee/tea and a juice all for £9.95 was pretty fair.
The eggs were cooked well, the yolk being that perfect gooey consistency, whilst not overly runny.
Patrick went for a full breakfast. Here the black pudding was the winner for me, slightly spiced and deliciously crisp.
All in all, I take it back, chains, or at least some of them sure do know what they’re doing!