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We visit the new addition to the Coupette family: Atelier Coupette in London’s Soho, where everything is served in miniature and there is a constant experimentation with flavour. If that sounds a bit too whimsical read on to understand exactly what we mean.
Recently launched in mid-October, Atelier Coupette brings the Coupette brand to central London, providing innovation, high quality dishes and drinks. The brand say that this is served ‘simply’, but we would say ‘precisely’ is a better measure.
The venue has capacity for about 35 covers, and makes a clever use of space, but do be prepared to be squeezed in next to a neighbouring table. Toilets can be found downstairs, and are giving George Michael Outside music video, the scene where the urinals spin around to reveal a glittery dance floor.
Expect everything to be a cute size, a rather whimsy touch: from cutlery to their choice of mini bottles of Coca Cola – though we did note the Champagne is stocked in the fridge at full size, phew! Cutlery is reminiscent of business class dining on board a flight – in miniature, with plates and Coupette glasses in petit proportion.
In smaller serves (in bespoke glassware), cocktails are also at a cheaper price point than their full-size counterparts at other venues. This is partly to encourage guests to experiment with more than one. And that we did. We chose:
- Smoked Artichoke Manhattan (£8.50) – mixed with Knob Creek Rye (yes, this brand name was the main reason for choosing this cocktail), Cynar, smoked artichokes, and Peychauds. For us the smokiness came through, but no hint of artichoke.
- Koji Flan (£8) – mixed with Eminente 3yrs, Barley Amaze custard, Coconut dulce de leche, and cacao, this cocktail could almost be a standalone dessert, one for those with a sweet tooth.
- Spiced melon margarita (£9.50) – Volcan De Mi Terra tequila, Montelobos, spiced ancho reyes, and sun sweet melon. This mini-marg packs a punch in terms of flavour and heat, do not be fooled by its size.
- Apricot Sencha (£8) – mixed with Ki No Bi gin, apricot wine, toasted cashew, Tio Pepe sherry, and jasmine sencha. This was a tall glass of refreshing summer.
The menu is divided into four sections of small plates: meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan. Incredibly easy to navigate and choose. We selected at least one item from each category.
- Carrots (£8) (vegetarian) – heritage carrots served with goats curd, carrot ketchup, Nasturtium pesto, toasted mixed seeds, and Pomme Dauphine.
- Mac n cheese (£7) – unusually made with Orzo pasta, a 3-cheese béchamel sauce, raisin and caper purée, celeriac crumb, and topped with a parmesan crisp.
- Duck (£14) – a confit duck leg and duck breast served with put lentils, soy and honey sauce, and crispy duck skin.
- Halibut (£10) served with broccoli purée, asparagus, broccoli junk (the trunk/stalk), carrier, and a white wine sauce.
- Mushrooms (vegan) (£9) – a combination of wild mushrooms and sweet and sour shimeji mushrooms, served with a mushroom custard, prune gel, miso, soy dressing, and shroom consommé.
All dishes were meticulously presented and considered in terms of balance of colour, flavour and texture. We found it hard to find a favourite, which will very much come down to individual preference. Whatever diners select, they will not be disappointed.
We found friendly and considerate staff from the moment we arrived. They were very attentive to promptly provide water glasses and regularly top these up throughout our stay.
Our only point of note was that as most guests were ordering cocktails, it did take some time for these to be mixed one at a time. We were not in a rush, but we can see this being a sticking point for some guests when the venue is at capacity, so Atelier Coupette may want to consider doubling up on bartenders to keep the orders flowing promptly at peak times.
As an all-day venue guests can drop into Atelier Coupette for either a cocktail (or two – why not make it a tasting journey) ahead of dinner or the theatre, or stop for longer for some of the cleverly created plates. For a couple of cocktails each and enough food for dinner, our meal would have cost about £41 per person plus service.
Atelier Coupette can be found at 9 Moor Street, London, W1D 5ND.
For more information, including booking, visit coupette.co.uk.