Cora Pearl, London WC2: restaurant review
Enjoy expertly executed modern British plates with a Gallic twist at this Covent Garden restaurant
Looking for restaurants in Covent Garden? Read our review of French-British outfit Cora Pearl, and check out more suggestions for eating in Covent Garden here...
In a nutshell: Cora Pearl brings modern British plates with Parisian accents to Covent Garden.
The latest project from the team behind award-winning restaurant Kitty Fisher’s, in Mayfair, chef George Barson (Dinner, Viajante) has moved from the latter to head up the kitchen.
What's the vibe?
Inspired by the life of the restaurant’s namesake, 19th-century courtesan Cora Pearl (once a resident of Covent Garden), the polished interiors of the Grade II-building on Henrietta Street combine grandly high ceilings and bay windows with parquet flooring and rich teal accents.
What's the food like at Cora Pearl?
Dishes are simple but impeccably executed, using beautiful ingredients. The kitchen’s way with vegetables especially impressed; creamy goat’s curd, in a generous pool of grassy olive oil, came with lovage and perfectly seasoned tomatoes (click here for more goat's curd recipes). After this came soft, yielding agnolotti filled with more curd – cow’s this time – on a velvety pea purée, with perfectly pitched earthiness from summer truffle. Best of all was a deeply savoury and surprisingly rich main of courgettes – pickled, puréed and charred –with aubergine, black garlic (roasted whole and as a gel) and Ticklemore cheese. Enjoyable, though somewhat underwhelming compared to the veg, was a dish of soft, flaky cod topped with delicately devilled crab. Dessert, as per the rest of the menu, was expertly crafted, our poached peach lusciously rich, paired with an intensely flavoured yet delicate earl grey sorbet.
And the drinks?
Tumblers full of fresh herbs line the jade-green, marble-topped bar downstairs, and cocktails hit the spot – we loved the fruity yet dry Alfonso’s Cobbler, which saw manzanilla sherry matched with Chamberyzette, lemon and a strawberry and dill shrub.
olive tip: Do start your meal with plate of on-trend yeasted butter and bread, which tasted like a luxe version of marmite on toast.
30 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8NA
Words by Hannah Guinness. Photographs by Alex Maguire