Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

He’s gone to fucking Covent Garden again? Yep, just 4 minutes walk from the place I reviewed the previous weekend, I headed to Cora Pearl with the family this Sunday gone.

And only 12 minutes walk away from where I reviewed the weekend before, Fallow.

Yeah I’m aware that I’ve gone a bit centrist recently, so centrist that I’m starting to find Kier Starmer inspirational. Belgravia, Kensington, Mayfair, Bankside – there is a recent imbalance, isn’t there?

Don’t like it? Well go and read one of the other roast dinner blogs. Oh. There isn’t any. There’s barely even any Instagram roast dinner accounts still active – maybe it is the cost of living crisis. And the cost of living crisis is actually a thing – the BBC proved it this week to me, with their story about people cancelling broadband. Heavy.

Still, it could be worse – at least you don’t have shares in ASOS:

ASOS's share price - going down.

Guess who sold at the top? Me! If only every investment I made did that well. If only a few other investments that I have made had done that well.

I made the point to my mother yesterday that collecting Nectar points isn’t worth it – after 21 years of collecting, I have £129 of Nectar points.

But after 3 years of investing in the stock market with daily work and research, I’m currently, as I write this, £0.45 in profit. Boom. And don’t even get me started on the reward/effort/cost ratio for reviewing roast dinners, with my single $1 a month Patreon subscriber.

Coco Chanel

Anyone any idea why ASOS are struggling?

ASOS men's cut-out leotard

I just cannot think why this could be. Well, except for calling the colour, “tofu”.

ASOS men's wide leather trousers, with heels.

Nope…still clueless.

ASOS men's pink boilersuit

To be fair, maybe I’m just jealous because I cannot pull off a bright pink jumpsuit. Well…I could…but don’t have the balls to try it.

Anyway, Cora Pearl. It hadn’t even quite made it to the point where I’d officially added it to the to-do list, but it was a very recent recommendation from a follower – and I do listen to you all, you know.

Granted, the Italian I went to the night before was also a recommendation from a follower and it was bang average food with cheap, nasty wine. Still, I listened.

Cora Pearl is pretty much slap-bang in the centre of Covent Garden, if being on one of the main side streets with outdoor seating classes as being slap-bang in the centre – it does to me. Which did add a little jeopardy – am I really going to get a good roast dinner in such a tourist-heavy area? It seemed like there were more American accents in the restaurant than British, including the couple next to us having their first ever roast dinner. They ordered one to share. Insert open-mouth emoji.

Audrey Hepburn

Inside Cora Pearl (oooh…she was a famous courtesan, so innuendo totally acceptable here) was pretty damn divine. It was too cosy for me to photograph the restaurant without invading everyone’s privacy, but here’s one from their Instagrim:

Cora Pearl, Covent Garden, inside

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It has a hint of elegance, along with a touch of art deco – but mostly it has a playfulness that isn’t too hidden, and I guess related to the namesake of the restaurant. The only thing I didn’t like was the cushions on the chairs, which for my bottom felt a tad uncomfortable – I longed for tough wood instead.

Actually, the beer choice was limited also, to Schiehallion and Peroni – and they ran out of Schiehallion after the first drink. Upon which they suggested Peroni, and I suggested wine.

Cora Pearl, Covent Garden, Sunday roast menu
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

No, it isn’t the cheapest place but you didn’t expect it to be, did you? £30 for the sirloin of beef or £26 for the chicken. I went for the beef, as I’d seen the photographs online and it looked pretty sexy.

That’s another reason why I should get out of central London – this is an 8th roast dinner in a row over the £20 mark. Roast dinner inflation is very much creeping up!

And yeah – it did look pretty sexy when it arrived, albeit it was one of those serve yourself efforts:

Hmmm the amber tones of that fat.

Jacqueline Kennedy

Starting with the carrots which were rather al dente with a notable crunch, yet still edible and flavoursome – the sauce was a miso butter, apparently – I could detect the butter for sure.

Likewise the spring greens were a little more crunchy in nature than you might find elsewhere, but totally pleasant enough.

Cauliflower cheese was a fact rather than a £6 extra – again the cauliflower had a slight crunch to it and a lack of sogginess – it kept its shape. It could have done with more cheese for that was just a hint – or more cream, for that matter. The breadcrumbs were an added pleasantry, and gave texture.

Cora Pearl, Covent Garden, beef roast dinner
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2023

These are not roast potatoes. They are better than roast potatoes (well, most of London’s roast potatoes, anyway). Cora Pearl don’t actually advertise roast potatoes – they advertise “crispy potatoes”. As if anyone is going to be so pedantic to say anything. Erm.

Anyway, the crispy potatoes were arguably the highlight of the meal – basically they were layered sheets of potato, with some creaminess, roasted to bring them to crispy delightfulness then cut into potato-sized portions (I think they do their chips the same way). I’ve said before, if you are too scared to do roast potatoes, then you damn well better make sure you improve upon them. These were banging. Famously so, according to the young lady who served them to us.

The Yorkshire pudding was soft and fluffy – seriously! Yep, not only were the roast crispy potatoes top notch, the yorkie was too. Soft, fluffy and small – it was almost lickable inside.

ASOS men's dungarees with Mr Men print

Even my photography can allude to the fact that the sirloin of beef was very good. An earthy taste, a fair tenderness, a contrast of fairly rare on the inside and fairly crispy on the outside. Very nicely cooked, very nice to taste. My father regretted ordering the chicken, but actually it was supremely juicy – and shouldn’t be a regret.

And finally, the gravy. Well, no awards here – it was perfunctory and watery.

Cora Pearl

And that was the best roast dinner of 2023 so far.

But just how good was it? My regular accomplice scored it a whopping 9.10 out of 10.

For me, unless you impress with the gravy, roast potatoes and the meat – all the holy trinity of roast dinners, then you cannot get a 9 – perfunctory watery gravy doesn’t impress.

The only thing I could really complain about is the cushion on the chair, and the lack of choice of beer. OK, maybe the cauliflower cheese could have had more than a hint of cheese, and the gravy could indeed have been more likely gravy than water, but these are more possible improvements than complaints.

Compliments go to the juicy sirloin, the fluffy yorkie and the famous crispy potatoes, which were so good I considered ordering some for dessert. And none of the food was anything less than pleasantly good – even the watery gravy was one of the better watery gravies.

My other accomplices scored it an 8.30 and a 9.00 out of 10.

My score is a fairly hefty 8.49 out of 10. You won’t be disappointed here – service was amiable and relatable too, the place is really stylish, there’s a little outdoor area, they have a pre-theatre menu and their non-Sunday menu looks superb too. Cora Pearl is for any of your to-do lists. I hope to return on a non-Sunday.

I don’t yet have a plan for next Sunday – I could do to spend less money. Urgently. According to ASOS it is going to be this sunny, so maybe I’ll be flashing my legs too.

ASOS men's miniskirt

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Summary:

Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

Station: Leicester Square

Tube Lines: Northern, Piccadilly

Fare Zone: Zone 1

Price: £30.00

Rating: 8.49

Get Booking

https://www.corapearl.co.uk/

Instagrim

Loved & Loathed

Loved: The place is gorgeous, the famous crispy potatoes deserve their fame, the yorkie was fluffy and the sirloin juicy.

Loathed: Well I didn't like the cushion on the chair, and beer choice was limited. Gravy watery but a good watery.

2 responses to “Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

  1. Would someone who would wear a “muscle leotard” with cutouts know what colour tofu is? They could have called it “cauliflower”. In fact, your meal had all the colour descriptions they needed – pink beef, shaved chocolate coloured gravy, multi coloured plate of food. Bookmarking the meal (not the clothes).

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