Cosy Club and The Lounges, both part of the same group, are taking over the world. Both brands are opening up a wealth of new venues all over the UK – which, for many small-chains-turned-large, often seems to lead to a drop-off in quality. Based on our recent visit to the Corn Street branch, Cosy Club don’t seem to be having this problem.
Before even sampling the food and drink offering, it’s easy to be impressed: the building, formerly the home of the National Provincial Bank and, at one point, a church, screams opulence both inside and out. With its ornate ceiling, wood-panelled walls and variety of dining and drinking areas, it’s certainly a sight to behold.
We were led through to a slightly more dimly lit area at the back of the venue, featuring striking red walls and a variety of paintings adorning them: this area felt far more intimate than the main, open dining area, perfect for an evening meal for two.
While browsing the menu, I chose – based on our waitress Danielle’s recommendation – a Watermelon Iced Tea (£3.75) from the extensive drinks list: a new, non-alcoholic cocktail featuring tea, watermelon gomme, lemon juice and soda. While very sweet, it was definitely a refreshing choice for a hot day.
We chose every course of our meal from the brand new options on Cosy Club’s food menu, which features brunch options, sandwiches, burgers and tapas, along with a range of starters, mains and desserts. Those with special dietary requirements will be pleased to know that Cosy Club have entire menus dedicated to gluten free diners and vegetarians/vegans – a rare sight indeed.
I began the meal with a classic starter: asparagus wrapped in Serrano ham and topped with a poached egg (£6.50). The egg was perfectly poached, and the asparagus was still firm with a lovely charred flavour. The Serrano ham was generous, and crisp but not overly so. A great start.
Chris’ chicken and pork terrine (£6.25) was generous and full of flavour. It was perhaps a little dry and needed slightly more salt, but the flavours were fantastic. He loved the crispy sage leaves, and the tender onions and toasted sourdough were the perfect match.
My main course was without a doubt the highlight of my meal. A generous filled of seared Yellowfin tuna (£14.95) could possibly have been a little pinker, but tasted fantastic. The Indian flavours with which the tuna was served worked really well: a spicy aloo gobi with plenty of crunch, three outstanding onion bhajis and a mint and cucumber raita that had a fresh yet sour flavour. It truly was fantastic.
Chris opted for the buttermilk fried chicken (£9.95) – a tender chicken breast in a well-seasoned batter, served with a fresh and fruity mayo-free slaw and the most enormous triple cooked chips I’ve ever seen. The latter could have done with a little more seasoning, but the kick of the chipotle mayo more than made up for this.
At this point, we were stuffed…but were persuaded to try some of the new summer desserts. The salted caramel cheesecake (£5.50) had been recommended as a must-try, and Chris was pretty impressed. The salted caramel sauce was lovely and salty (although possibly too much for some), working well with the sweetness of the cheesecake and biscuit base. Personally, I’m not sure the popcorn on the top really added anything, as it was a little soggy, but he enjoyed it.
Wanting a lighter, more summery option, I chose the lemon curd pavlova (£5.75). Based on the size of the other courses, though, I should have expected the huge dessert that was set down in front of me. The meringues on the top and bottom were perfect, combining both crunchy and chewy elements, and the lemon curd flavoured cream in the middle was more subtle in its flavour than I was expecting, but its sweetness paired well with the tart fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce drizzled over the plate. There was no way I was finishing a dessert this large, though, and I left defeated.
Overall, while there were some niggles, we were pretty impressed: the venue is stunning, there’s plenty of choice on the menu and the prices are very reasonable. I must also mention our waitress, Danielle, who was incredibly friendly and helpful throughout – great service is vital for a great meal out. Based on our evening, we’ll definitely be back.
Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.