Monday, 01 October 2012
Life » Food

Review: Coda

The restaurant at the Royal Albert Hall holds its own

Written by Fiona Hicks
Coda, the elegant restaurant in the Royal Albert Hall, is suffused with a very strong sense of anticipation. Everyone eating there in the pre-theatre hour has somewhere to be, and it makes for a very excitable atmosphere.

However, seeing as a meal at Coda is often a pre-cursor to the evening’s main entertainment, the restaurant has to work extra hard to pull out a show stopper.

We visited on a Monday night and the place was buzzing. After being treated to fresh olives and refreshing bellini cocktails, my guest and I both opted for the slow cooled duck egg to start. It was certainly cooked (or cooled) to impressive precision, boasting a delicate yolk which was neither liquid nor solid. The accompanying leek and pancetta salad was nicely salty and presented very prettily on the plate. This may be fast food - but it is also fine dining.

The restaurant’s main plates, although creative, don’t stray too far from the classics (presumably for ease of ordering, as there’s no time for dithering pre-show). My confit organic salmon was succulent yet flakey, although the herb sauce which accompanied it was a tad on the watery side. My guest’s plaice fish finger, I’m informed, was excellent. Meaty with an exquisite ‘caper emulsion’, it achieved the rare feat of being a savoury dish which feels like it’s melting in the mouth.

The swift (and very attentive) service enabled us to devour two courses and a bottle of wine (Gavi Cru Maddalena - not too heavy for the start of the week) before curtains up. We returned at the interval for our puddings. My cheese plate was simple yet satisfying, while the show shopper came in the form of my guest’s chocolate délice. A rich crust with an even richer topping, she took the full 20 minutes of the interval to savour every bite.

The second half of the concert was thus steeped in cheese and chocolate ecstasy. It seems Coda know what they’re doing.

For more information visit

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Daily tip from the lady archive

"AS a general rule, one’s stern duty in life seems to be to avoid the things in life that are pleasant, especially in the matter of diet."

The Lady. Living Well. 16th August, 1928
More vintage tips

The Lady Recruits team is looking for an administrator ideally experienced within recruitment industry.  We are looking for a dynamic, highly motivated individual with a professional approach.  You need to be well presented and have friendly phone manners.

Win perfume
Win Baylis and Harding


What the stars have in store for you this week.April 11 - 24

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius
Literary lunch

Q: A new EU target is set to reduce plastic bag use by 80 per cent. Do you still use plastic bags when you shop?

Yes all the time - 21.4%
No, never - 18.6%
Only sometimes - 60%
The voting for this poll has ended on: 11 Apr 2014 - 13:43
Win tickets

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter


Win cheese
You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials