Review: Sollip x CORD by Le Cordon Bleu
Review: Sollip x CORD by Le Cordon Bleu
Nestled away in Fleet Street, CORD pairs fine dining with a celebration of Korean culture in its first-ever pop-up with Sollip. By Anize Keers.
Placed proudly in the heart of the iconic Fleet Street, you will find Le Cordon Bleu’s first restaurant, CORD. Offering an elegant fine dining experience, and a relaxed hub during daytime, the ambience of CORD on a July Monday afternoon was one of gentle excited chatter.
Husband and wife, Korean chefs Woongchul Park and Bomee Ki, are the owners of Sollip located in London Bridge which last year received a Michelin star. The couple’s culinary inspirations are driven by their love for Korean food as well as their favourite European dishes. They innovatively elevate and interpret these classic dishes with Korean influences and their traditional cooking techniques. The pair greeted our party and briefly talked us through the menu of the day.
We were led to our table by staff in a professional yet friendly matter. Never one to pass on the cocktail menu, I treated myself to a mix of tequila, melon, kiwi and mint. The smooth fruit flavours made for a sweet taste balanced out by the bitterness of tequila. My plus one opted for the creamy sweet-tooth blend of rum, strawberry, pineapple and coconut. A well-crafted take on the classic pina colada, it was simple and fruity without feeling like a milkshake which I find most creamy cocktails tend to do.
It wasn’t long before the first course was served, a Gamtae waffle and Duckett’s Caerphilly. A first for me and certainly not the last. The crispy waffle was easy to bite and chew, and topped with an earthy white cheese and Korean seaweed, it made for a warm fresh taste with subtle notes of the ocean.
Following up perfectly was the second course, Mulhoe. A dish consisting of scallops, fermented tomato and Doenjang granita. I had no idea what to expect. Bomee Ki presented the dish herself and explained it was a take on a traditional Korean recipe, which is a type of raw fish soup with crushed ice. The flavour was strong, any lover of fresh fish will revel in the salty and refreshing taste of the scallops which pair perfectly with the crunchy ice for a dish which is ideal for summer eating with its mix of cold textures.
Moving on to the main course came my favourite dish, the barbecued wagyu with beef tongue rice. With a gochujang glaze and accompanied by a braised short rib, this was meat lover heaven. The wagyu was flavoured perfectly for a sweet and salty savoury blend. A slight chilli kick to it simply seasoned instead of overpowering the natural flavour of the meat and cooked medium rare, the flavours and juices oozed with every bite. The beef tongue rice was a delicious surprise with fresh and seasoned meat which mixed in well with the rice and lobster bisque to give a creamy balanced side dish.
Dessert time called for perilla pavlova. A delightfully minty treat, the sesame rice crispy meringue was topped with a perilla ice cream and chopped Granny Smith apples, cooked just enough to be soft but still have a bite to them for a flavour burst. The perilla was subtly mint in flavour so that no two notes were more powerful.
Lastly, we were presented with a warm black sesame madeleine to cleanse our palettes. Gone are the days of after-dinner mints being the go-to. The fluffiness of the sponge made for a delightfully soft end to the meal, with a slightly sweet, slightly salty flavour.
Expecting most Korean food to be high on the Scoville Scale, I was pleasantly surprised by the mildness of Sollip’s dishes, each one had a kick to it which was only made to enhance the intended flavours rather than overpower them. The price is certainly a reflection of the skill of the chefs and the quality of the food. I will most certainly be returning to both places this summer.
Address: 85 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AE
Address: 8 Melior Street, London Bridge, SE1 3QP