Côte Brasserie – As Good as a Chain Gets

Those of you who regularly stop by, know that the Barbarians don’t like chains. We don’t believe in the whole idea of chains and also take the view that usually chains lead to a downward spiral in quality, both within their own restaurants and within the industry overall. We are the type of people who think twice before visiting a place that has a sister outlet, because two already feels like a chain. How come, then, that we regularly grab a bite at one of the over 60 Cote Brasserie restaurants spread out all over the UK?


We’re not proud of it, but the simple truth is: these folks are good at what they do, they’re good value, and perhaps most of all: I’m slightly addicted to their steak frites (which is the meal I always order when we visit). Until very recently I had been under the wrong impression that the way they do theirs is the only way to do this thin minute steak (it’s not, apparently, but I prefer the way Cote does it over alternative ways to prepare it, such as at Sacre-Coeur, post here).


Recently we were having dinner there again, this time in St Christopher’s Place, London. We opted for steak tartare (£6.95) and onion soup (£5.95) as starters. Ms B had grilled sea bream (£13.95) as main and I ordered my usual (£11.95), for dessert we had crème caramel (£5.75) and chocolate fondant (£5.95).


We enjoyed our starters. Needless to say that I absolutely adored my steak frites with fries. The sea bream was also delicious.

The desserts were nothing out of the ordinary, but simple sweet goodness. We shared a large Calvados (£5.50) for good health.

Would we recommend a visit to Cote? No, avoid chains at all costs, if you can. These chains kill real restaurants (the ones that employ real chefs and develop their own style). Will we be back? Yes (because we can’t avoid it, their steak frites, remember). 3.75 out of 5 in our book.

Looking for more restaurant reviews? Try Lafleur, Frankfurt, Benoit and L’Ange 20, both in Paris, Fera, London, or Fig, Chipping Campden. Inspiration for your next trip required? Check out our posts about spring skiing in Mayrhofen, our Segway tour of Paris, or our day trip to Lisbon.

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