British comfort food lovingly given an upmarket makeover at this follow up to smash hit restaurant Kitty Fisher’s
The follow-up restaurant from the team behind Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair, Cora Pearl is described as a restaurant that serves “complex British comfort food”. This description might conjure up ludicrous images of painfully deconstructed fish and chips, shepherd’s pie three ways or something-other-than-toad in the hole but the reality is thankfully much more palatable and exciting.
Instead, the humble ham and cheese toastie makes an appearance, with head chef George Barson’s refined version featuring Guinness and white miso paste to give it a rarebit umami punch as well as his own version of Branston pickle. Then there’s other pub classics that have been given a reboot, including devilled eggs and faggots, peas and gravy; as well as a vibrant fish stew that wouldn’t look out of place on any two Michelin-starred restaurant – except for the fact that it comes with two large croutons loaded with grated cheese.
Perhaps Barson’s masterpiece at Cora Pearl which, like its sister restaurant is named after a famous courtesan, is his chips. More dauphinoise than French fry, the chips are actually thin layers of potato baked with butter and salt then pressed together and cooled before frying. They are worth a visit to Cora Pearl alone.
Like albums, follow-up restaurants can be tricky, especially when expectations were set so high at Kitty Fisher’s. By being inventive and changing things up, the Cora Pearl team has created a restaurant with its own clear personality, and a welcome addition to Covent Garden at that.