A local, London franchise that serves up perfectly-flavoured Fish Parmentier and decadent Chocolate Fondant in an elegant Parisian-style atmosphere, Côte Brasserie is one of my new faves. So, I’m breaking my own rules and giving you an insight into a franchise that’s doing French food proud and making it accessible to an international palate.
In the beginning of Dine With Design, I made a pact with myself not to feature franchise restaurants. I was only going to write about local, neighbourhood spots that people don’t necessarily know about unless someone recommends it to them (aka, me!). Alas, I’ve been going to Côte Brasserie too many times to count in the last four months since I moved to Chiswick! The food is so good! And, with a two course dinner menu for only £10.95, who wouldn’t keep going back!?
Since actually writing about what I eat, I’ve begun to experience a new way of dining. More of an examiner than a regular diner, I’ve noticed that my restaurant preferences have change. I want someone to put Spaghetti Bolognese in front of me that is better than any other I’ve ever tasted. Whether it’s that restaurants aren’t doing the classics anymore or no one is doing them well, to be honest, I can’t remember! But it is so refreshing to have a local restaurant (even if it is a franchise) that would make any bistro in France proud.
After eating almost half of Côtes’ menu, my recommendations are the Tuna Niçoise for a light, refreshing summer evening. Although my tuna was a little overdone when I had it, it was still super tasty and the accompanying salad had crunchy lettuce, soft boiled egg and sweet chunks of tomato. The Prawn Gratinée is everything that you want it to be; tender prawns soaked in tomato and garlic and crunchy croutons with a little extra taste from the parmesan. But the hero dish, and the best I’ve ever tasted, is the Fish Parmentier (aka fish with potato or fish pie.) Full of all the seafood you want in a fish pie, including cod, haddock, prawn and salmon, the white wine sauce that it’s soaked in is phenomenal! Light and with a beautiful balance of flavours, to my knowledge, traditional fish pie has shallots but the alternate use of leeks is surprising and perfect! Parmentier refers to a dish cooked with potato and the potato in this dish … don’t even start me! The crunchy mash potato and gruyere cheese top blows my mind every time!
In terms of dessert, the Côte specialties are the Crème Caramel and Crème Brûlée, so give those a go if you’re into custard but if not, it’s a very difficult decision. For chocoholics, you’ll love the gooey Fondant but the Praline Crêpe is also exceptional! Previously they had an Eton Mess-style dessert which was to-die-for and on my most recent visit, I had the two course dinner special which came with a Peach Crumble. Wow!!! Apple, what? Peaches are now my all-time-favourite stewed fruit! Basically, if you haven’t gathered, anything you get is going to be delicious!
If you’re a wino like me as well, their extensive wine list is impressive, and the specials menu always has recommended pairings which I love! The NV Blanc de Blancs Brut is a beautiful, dry champagne and the Maison L’Aiglon Chardonnay has an elegant, smooth oak flavour. But if you like red wine, try the Côtes Du Rhône Rouge. It’s fruity and medium-bodied, so it’s an easy drinker and I have it with either meat or fish!
For all-round great food in an elegant setting, and at an affordable price, Côte Brasserie should be your next dining out option!
Food presentation: 4/5
Côte Brasserie, Chiswick
50-54 Turnham Green Terrace, London W4 1QP
Open 7 days, 8am – 11pm
020 8747 6788