Summer Menu at Coquille, and Beef Wellington Encore

31st August 2016 / Shanghai

Watch the Coquille video on Youku (China)

Watch the Coquille video on Youtube

A few friends wanted to try Coquille’s famed wednesdays beef wellington, and invited me to help share their bill feast together, which I of course, obliged.

It also happened to be the launch of Coquille’s summer menu during our visit, and I was quite delighted to be able to try some new dishes, along with the classics.

Decor

Refer to my previous review of Coquille for the rating of the decor. TLDR: 10/10

Service

Again, refer to my previous review of Coquille for service rating. TLDR: 10/10

Props to Vincent and Erin for always making every guest feel like a king/queen.

Food

This was the first time I had many dishes from Coquille in one sitting. Unfortunately, I didn’t like every dish.

Best gougeres, ever.
Best gougeres, ever.

Gougeres

Our meal began with a complimentary basket of freshly baked Gougeres — French cheese puffs. These were amazing. Light, airy with a umami-laden crisp — a result of baked cheese. Biting into each of them released a warm air of buttery, cheesy fragrance, and soft, luxurious textures. 10/10

The garnish are in a class of their own
The garnish are in a class of their own

Home-made Country Pate

The Home-made Country Pate was requested by our of our companions. Having tried similar pates in various French restaurants around the world, I thought this was a little dense and dry. My impression of Pate is that it should be soft and spreadable on bread. This had more of a sausage texture. Perhaps that is where the ‘Country’ part of the name comes in — Usually things prefixed with ‘country’ have a more rustic, rough feel. That said, it was well seasoned and had nice meaty flavours without being cloying. I did liked that the garnish deserved to be in a class of their own, fresh, vibrant, crunchy peas, carrot and radish slices. 7/10

K.F.F
K.F.F

Crispy Frog Legs

Crispy frog legs. The other time that I’ve had deep-fried frog legs was at Mr & Mrs Bund. The ones at Coquille were infact, excellent as well. If you’ve ever questioned anyone tasting frog legs for the first time, you would likely get the same response — they taste like chicken.

In reality, frog legs taste like chicken because they have similar muscular structure to chicken wings, however, the muscle fibres on frog legs are much finer, which means softer and more tender meat.

The batter on Coquille’s crispy frog legs, reminded me of a good KFC batter. (Not sure if Chef Jason Oakley would take that as a compliment or insult). Reason why I said “good KFC batter” is because, quality and consistency of KFC is quite different throughout the world, with China, having the worst KFC chicken I’ve ever eaten (I’ve only eaten at KFC in china less than 5 times in my 10 years here).

But I digress. The batter on the crispy frog legs were dry, light and crispy. The meat, moist and succulent, you wouldn’t know that you were eating frog legs at all (positive feeling).

That said, I felt the sauce was quite redundant; It was neither outstanding nor required. 8/10

Octopus and potatoes
Octopus and potatoes

Grilled Octopus with New Crop Potato

I’m a big fan of octopus dishes, because I feel they are one of few ingredients that test a chef’s skill and creativity, hence I made a point to order Coquille’s Grilled Octopus with New Crop Potato.

The pairing of octopus with potatoes was a classic and conservative choice. Whilst I enjoyed the young and flavourful potatoes, I agreed with miss gourmand that the octopus was overly soft.

coquille-octopus2

Actually, I felt that it wasn’t the tenderness of the octopus that was the problem, but rather that it lacked the fiery char that would have otherwise crisped up the edges of the octopus pieces, giving them not only a smokey flavourful charr, but also textural differences between soft and hard.

That said, the sauce that dressed the octopus was delightful, paired with chunks of pomelo which helped contrast the richness. 8/10

Red Curry Escargots
Red Curry Escargots

Escargots

The Escargots at Coquille arrived on our noses before it was placed on our table. They were seasoned Thai style, with red curry, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves flavours dominating the profile. The flavours paired very well with the escargots, and before we knew it, the 6 pieces of escargot were gone in 60 seconds. 9/10

Say hello to my little friend
Say hello to my little friend

Wednesday Beef Wellington

Next up was the piece de resistance of the evening. The Wednesday Beef Wellington at Coquille. Seriously, there is little to fault in this dish. Thinking back to my previous review, I found that the wellington was exactly the same as I had remembered it. 10/10 for consistency, taste and presentation.

Best wellington in Shanghai.
Best wellington in Shanghai.

The beef tenderloin was tender and textbook medium rare. Pastry was golden brown. Potato puree was smooth and buttery luxurious. Take my money already.

Olives gently cooked in olive oil
Olives gently cooked in olive oil

Hot Olives

Vincent, the manager offered me a plate of Hot Olives when I requested for some of the amazing green olives I had in Coquille awhile back.

I preferred the cold olives I had back then, because i felt the hot version, doused in olive oil, garlic and chilli was a little rich. I had wanted the olives at the end of the meal as a sort of refresher. That said, the olives were still of exceptional quality, and would have been a very decent snack with drinks, had we been not so stuffed. 7.5/10

Mad for madeleines?
Mad for madeleines?

Madeleines

Then came desserts. First up was their classic Madeleines, which I’ve had on several occasions.

While the madelines arrived freshly baked as usual, I found them to be slightly dense that evening. To be honest, I’m no pastry expert, although my female dessert-loving connoisseurs on the table felt they were too chewy. 7/10

Souffle trio
Souffle trio

Chocolate Souffle

The presentation of the Chocolate Souffle was a little confusing, arriving on a platter of three, consisting of the actual souffles, a glass of salted caramel ice cream and a small jar of caramel sauce.

We weren’t quite sure how to approach the trio, and started off tasting them individually. The souffle was said to be a little runny within, although I thought they held their towering shapes well.

The salted caramel ice cream was overbearingly salty. I can never understand this salted caramel ice cream craze in Shanghai. A friend of mine once said that salted caramel ice cream is only nice when it is regular caramel ice cream, with bits of sea salt that occasionally release a wave of saltiness, and not when the entire ice cream tasted of the sea.

The caramel sauce? We really didn’t know what to do with it.

Ok, we should have called Vincent over and asked how to eat this dessert properly, but in doing so, risked losing our foodie dignity. *chuckle*

In the end, I experimented with taking a piece of souffle, taking a bit of salty ice cream, and dipping the spoon halfway into the jar of caramel sauce.

It was then, that the dessert made more sense, as the eggy, salty and sweet flavours combined together with a warm and cold contrast. Unfortunately, at that point in time, we only had 10% of the dessert remaining. 8/10 but only when eaten all together at once. 

Clafoutis
Clafoutis

Clafoutis

The Clafoutis was something new to me. In essence, it was a baked custard with a scoop of raspberry sorbet on top. It reminded me of egg tarts. The taste, however reminded me of unseasoned steamed eggs. I detected an unpleasant ‘fishy’ taste in the custard, a taste you sometimes get when cooking a steamed egg/custard, which really put me off, despite the raspberry sorbet and blueberries. Sadly, not my favourite thing to eat. 5/10

You can still catch the summer menu at Coquille for probably a couple more months, before they transition into the fall/winter menu.

 

TSK Rating

9.3
Food
8
Service
10
Venue
10

Coquille

Address
29–31 Mengzi Lu, near Xujiahui Lu

Phone
3376-8127

Cuisine
FrenchModern

City
Shanghai

Area
Huang Pu / Luwan

Landmarks
Xin Tian Di

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