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Côte Brasserie For Breakfast

Catherine Holden’s petit déjeuner fantasies are fulfilled

Published on July 18th 2014.


Côte Brasserie For Breakfast
 

PROMOTION

CALL me contrary but I’d rather go out for breakfast than go out for dinner. It’s more relaxed, it’s more suited to my early-peaking appetite, and it’s the sort of food I dream about; I’ve more pictures of pancakes, baked eggs, and granola on Pinterest than all other obsessions combined.

At Côte, the chefs make the hollandaise fresh every morning – it’s one of the first things they have to master when they get the job

Rarely though do my picture-perfect fantasies turn into reality; all my favourite breakfasts were eaten in the US and on the Continent rather than in the UK. So I was curious to see whether the petit déjeuner at new French restaurant Côte Brasserie would change that.

Côte finally launched here in Manchester on St Mary’s Street in May, bringing with it a reputation for skilful cooking and affordable prices with the Good Food Guide describing it as ‘brilliant value for money’.

So far, so promising. My hopes were raised further by a pre-visit glance at Côte’s Breakfast Menu which made me think they might take this meal as seriously as I do.

It’s got all the breakfast classics and takes in the best of French and English dishes. From a simple Breakfast Complet (£5.25) featuring a croissant, fruit salad and a French yoghurt pot, to the Formule (£9.95) featuring a Full English with fresh orange juice and coffee, it caters for all occasions; weekday treat, breakfast meeting, lazy weekend brunch.

On the day itself, Côte certainly looked the part for a photo-worthy breakfast. The interior designer has done a great job of conveying French style without straying into Café Rouge cliché. With its big mirrors, banquette seating, chandelier lighting, and marble table-tops, it’s Les Deux Magots but in Manchester. There’s even a pavement terrace which was even getting some sunshine.

The waitress maintained the French feel (being French, beautiful, and wearing one of those long, black bistro aprons). After bringing us smooth, strong coffee in chic, little cups (not those hulking great mugs we’ve become accustomed to) she recommended the French Toast (£5.95) as a particularly pretty dish.

Img_4864French Toast

She was right. Glistening with maple syrup and accompanied with soft fruits sprinkled with icing sugar, it somehow looked healthy and indulgent at the same time. The bread was light, doughy and sweet (a brioche, perhaps) with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. I really didn’t want to share it with the photographer but those are the rules.

In return I got half her breakfast; Scottish Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs (£6.95). A simple dish made special by the quality of the pink, thick salmon and by the chive-laced scrambled eggs. They were just the right consistency; not dry or sloppy, just creamy.

Img_4857Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs

Our final dish was up there with the French Toast for sheer deliciousness. Eggs Benedict (£4.50/£7.75) is American in origin but is made with a classic sauce of French haute cuisine, Hollandaise. Notoriously difficult to perfect, Hollandaise is a mix of egg yolk, melted butter, lemon juice, salt and white pepper. At Côte, the chefs make it fresh every morning – it’s one of the first things they have to master when they get the job.

Our chef had certainly got the hang of it. It was smooth, rich, and distinctive, with a complexity of flavour you don’t normally associate with a breakfast dish. The Hollandaise was spooned over a poached egg which perched on a slice of ham on a toasted English muffin.

Img_4872Eggs Benedict

The detail and subtlety of this dish felt very luxurious, an effect heightened by the linen table clothes and heavy silver cutlery. It was the kind of breakfast I’d associate with a very expensive hotel rather than a reasonably priced restaurant.

Judging from this visit, Côte seems to be one of those rare things: a company that has grown because it delivers high quality food, rather than because it’s got a lot of investment and a clever marketing plan.

Its breakfasts were excellent; there wasn’t a dud note in the whole experience. I’ve put in my top five, and as the other four involve plane journeys and jet leg, it might even make the top spot.

Breakfast is served at Côte Brasserie from 8am-midday (Monday-Friday) and 9am-1pm (Saturday and Sunday).

Img_4851Côte Brasserie


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