Coq d’Argent launches a Sunday Set menu breaking the stereotype for compact French dishes.

When I was little one of the main comments I remember hearing about French restaurants was that French eateries serve tiny portions.

Then as I started eating out more at restaurants French establishments including, the rumour became evident. Until I visited Coq d’Argent last week.

Notably, not my first visit to Coq d’Argent, I have been quite an admirer of their complimentary mini freshly baked sourdough boule and hand churned butter for a while now. In fact I would visit just for that alone any day.

From starters I particularly like their tuna ceviche with rainbow beetroot, delicately small but very decadent.

No tuna this time though as we visit to sample the new Sunday set menu in the terrace. We were lucky the weather was just sunny and warm enough to sit outside although when clouds came, our jackets went back on. Although they do have heaters and blankets.

It’s a three course at only 35 pounds, a very reasonable price especially for Coq d’Argent and the location, right by Bank. On Sundays it’s a rather relaxing ambience though with quiet streets and tranquilising Sunday meal.

The set menu offers plenty of choice from appetising venison tartar, teriyaki glazed octopus along burrata and garlic snails.

I choose tartar, which is a great portion with plenty of gamey flavour, just a tad bit spicy for me but other than that all flavours in order. It even comes with thin shavings of truffle perched along the sides.

My guest’s London oak smoked salmon (saumon fume) is quite compact and light. Nevertheless he comments on the quality of the salmon. He fished and tried salmon from Scotland to Kamchatka with his dad so he knows a thing or two about this particular finned family.

Although, this is farmed salmon of course but nevertheless high quality, subtle light fruity fish taste and minimum lines of fat, almost like wild.

As this is Sunday my main is without a doubt beef Sunday roast. Portion is good, breaking the French small dish fame to a point where I actually can’t finish it.

The veggie selection also carry a French flair, purple onions, honeyed baby carrots and parsnips, all neatly cut in cubes and placed in an equally well rounded Yorkshire pudding.

Forget your stereotypical gastro pub Sunday roast with misshapen Yorkshire puddings resembling asteroids.

Potatoes also deserve a special mention, for me personally they are often dried and hard to chew on random edges in restaurant roasts. These however, are perfectly content with just the right amount of crisp coating equal on all sides and fluffy middle.

The 40 days dry-aged Angus Hereford beef itself is served medium rare with a melt in a mouth rich rim of fat and tender meat.

For my guests it’s slow roasted Italian rose- veal rump with ample truffled potato mash and straws of crisp Granny Smith. A very well put together dish with each ingredient adding a flavour and none overwhelming the other. The veal is also incredibly tender and flavoursome.

His main is on the smaller side though, my guest has definitely chose the kind of dishes where you could easily have a 3 course while wearing a figure hugging dress and feel full but still light.

So he was a little jealous of my sizeable portions, I of course share. Once he pecked some of my main it was dessert time. For him it’s dark chocolate fondant with hot oozing chocolate in the middle and a side of a pistachio ice cream.

Pistachio goes better than vanilla ice cream with chocolate in my opinion. And apple tarte tatin for me. Like the other two dishes of mine it’s also a decent-sized dish, balanced and just sweet enough.

Texture wise though I was a little disappointed. About two years or so ago I tried my most exemplary tarte tatin ever in a well established Chelsea based French brasserie.

The apple slices there were so finely sliced, they were almost feather like topping flaky crisp pastry. That became my preferred version of tarte tatin and ever since I have been looking for the same qualities in all apple tarte tatins I try.

Although I do realise it’s a personal preference and most of these desserts tend to be with chunkier apple slices.

Aside from my particular pastry preference the meal was exceptional and we would come back again in summer months. Decent set menus at only 35 are hard to come by these days especially with a roof terrace in central London.

Coq d’Argent, 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ