Sloane square definitely needs some new restaurants, especially relaxed and informal ones where you can stroll by and pop in or make plans to meet friends. so with the anticipated launch of Colbert I had high hopes, seeing that the opening has come from entrepreneurs Corbin & King who have been up to some good things recently.
Stepping inside your transported back to France, feeling though you’ve fallen into a cafe in Paris. The decor has been executed extremely well which feels like it’s been lived in, everything has a place and attention to detail has not been spared. As you walk in on the right you have the bar area and on the left the main restaurant.
We arrived slightly early so we had a couple of drinks in the bar, which is dimly lit by lamps scattered across its marble top. Champagne, wine and coffee are the focus. A glass of house wine will set you back around £6 which is about average in London these days.
After a tipple or two we were taken to our seat in the main restaurant, the cafe/brassiere style follows throughout. Some delicious freshly baked breadsticks were brought to our table. Before I carry on I must point out that photography is a no go here and they have a strict policy which is stated on the menu. Come on Colbert, its 2012, the age of technology. The women next to me, celebrating her birthday was told she could not take any photos when she pulled a camera from her bag. I had to be a bit sneaky taking mine so excuse the disruptive hands.
First out was the chicken liver parfait accompanied by two slices of fluffy brioche toast and jelly. The portion was very generous and would pose as a great snack for lunch. The parfait itself was rich and creamy but light and airy at the same time, almost mousse like.
The Soup De Poisson (fish soup) has its usual French accompaniments of cheese, mustard and bread. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was in it but I got a strong taste of crab and lots of herbs. The cheese adds a good texture and thickness while the mustard adds a kick. A little bit salty but otherwise it was pleasant enough.
The mains swiftly followed with breaded veal escalope. The veal had good flavour but I couldn’t taste much seasoning. The casing had the consistency of KFC deep fried chicken, it was like a large blanket and the underside was also quite burnt so the lemon was a saving grace to add some moisture to the dish. There was a light dark sauce sprinkled round the plate which had a rich salty flavour.
Confit duck cassoulet is a hearty French dish made with shredded Confit duck, white beans, onions, herbs, fat and more often than not, sausages. There were no sausages apparent in this cassoulet, neither was there an intense amount of flavour, only a faint whiff of thyme. The dish was not terrible by all means, the duck was tender, white beans were creamy and buttery and the dish had a good consistency, it just didn’t have enough flavour.
I was quite full up at this point but my sweet tooth gave into temptation. Crepe with sugar and lemon. I was really annoyed with this dessert. The crepe itself had a lovely flavour, infused with vanilla, but was chewy, cold and slightly dry when it arrived at the table, though this was rectified by drenching it in lemon juice.
Colbert will surely do well in Chelsea no doubt with its breakfasts, outside seating and bar. Unfortunately I won’t be going back for dinner, but maybe a coffee or sandwich. £130 feeds two people, each with a glass of wine and three courses, though I left feeling I’ve been ripped off.