The Cuckoo Club

Posted on Monday, 28th February 2011

About a month ago, I was invited to a bloggers’ dinner to mark the 5th anniversary of The Cuckoo Club, a members-only rock ‘n’ roll club. Their website is very cool (well worth a visit) and I was excited about the idea of going to the club. Artists such as Johnny Borrell and his band, Tinie Tempah and Seb Fontaine performed at The Cuckoo Club just before Christmas to mark its 5th birthday and I believe many other star performers have also passed through its doors.

The Cuckoo Club is not as glamorous (thinking Mayfair here) as the website would have you believe, but it is certainly cool in a rock-chic kind of way. The lighting is very purple which made it very difficult to see what the food really looked like. I originally had the photos up, but in the end I decided to remove them from this post. As you can imagine, with this blog having a purple background, the photos were an eyesore.

We (Boo in London, Leluu from Fernandez & Leluu and many others) kicked off the evening with some fancy cocktails, all of which had very rock ‘n’ roll names. The prices are steep though – they come in at £13 a piece with the classic champagne cocktail at a staggering £24.

Dinner followed and we all ordered from the à la carte menu. A confit (parfait) of duck foie gras (£13) was pleasant tasting, although the seasoning was a little uneven. It came with a citrus marmalade, aged balsamic and some spiced bread which was a little too sweet. There was also a piece of stale chicory on the plate. It had developed the texture of a frozen and defrosted piece of vegetable – limp and yucky. It made me question the sensibilities of a chef who would put something like this on the plate.

Beef carpaccio served with rocket, parmesan and aged balsamic (£12) was a little chewy. However tuna loin marinated in basil and lemon, served with aioli, chargrilled artichoke and frisee salad was pleasant and enjoyable (£12).

A best end of lamb (£23.50) with a mint crust and lamb jus was served medium rather than medium rare. I found the meat chewy and the accompanying mixture of quinoa and courgettes a little gooey and sickly. There was also some roast aubergine purée which had a bitter aftertaste to it.

Again, the duck in a dish of Gressingham duck breast (£19.5) was chewy. Finished with a tamarind sauce, it was accompanied by a young leek and coriander spring roll that was soggy.

A dessert of Tonka bean mille feuille (£8) wasn’t layered in the traditional sense, but rolled and filled. The creamy almond-like Tonka bean was quite yummy, although the pastry wasn’t particularly crispy.

The food wasn’t good. Actually it was pretty bad, and I found the quality of some of the ingredients questionable. But I suppose The Cuckoo Club isn’t so much about the food as it is about the music. To gain admission you must be a member. But if you’re not a member, you can still get in by booking a table for dinner, something which I really wouldn’t recommend.


Summary information

Food rating: 2/5

Price range: £38 – £44 for three courses. Excludes drinks and service.

Website: http://thecuckooclub.com/

Cuckoo Club on Urbanspoon