THERE is a sense of familiarity on walking through the doors of Langan's Coq d'Or. The menu card, the paintings crammed together on the walls and the eccentric collection of lampshades are reminiscent of the four other restaurants in the Langan Restaurants group.
There is also a familiar buzz about the place. The customers are obviously enjoying the relaxed atmosphere as much as the food.
But it is not owner Richard Shepherd's intention that Langan's Coq d'Or should be a carbon copy of his other restaurants. Instead, he wants it to exude its own identity. Much of that character comes from the fact that it is the first all-day operation in the group, open from 9.30am to 11pm, seven days a week.
As well as being a destination restaurant where customers enjoy a three-course meal, it is intended to be a meeting place where people drop in for a beer or a coffee and a croissant. To create this flexibility, three menus are in operation at the 150-seat restaurant. The breakfast menu operates from 9.30am to midday, the terrace menu is available from 3pm to 7pm and the à la carte menu from midday until 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm.
Breakfast offerings include filled croissants, brioche, pain au chocolat and eggs and bacon, with a wide range of teas and coffees. The terrace menu includes some dishes from the à la carte menu, as well as baguettes filled with ham, cheese, fresh tuna, rib-eye steak or smoked chicken.
Head chef James Rice, who has worked with Shepherd for 20 years - most recently as head chef of Shepherd's in Westminster - has drawn on the other restaurants within the Langan group for inspiration for the à la carte menu. The starter of field mushrooms and bacon baked with Lancashire cheese (£5) comes from Langan's Brasserie, while the crab and ginger dumpling (£5) arrived with him from Shepherd's.
In addition to the 11 starters, 15 main courses and nine desserts, there is a selection of seven salad specials, particularly designed to appeal to the ladies who lunch. They can be served either as a starter (£5.50) or a main course (£9), and the choice includes spinach and feta cheese, smoked haddock and croutons, squid with chillies and ginger, endive and bacon with poached egg, and smoked chicken with baby gems.
Main courses include such brasserie favourites as grilled calves' liver and bacon (£14.50), andouillette sausage and chips (£13) and cod and chips with tartare sauce (£13). "The emphasis is on flexibility," explains Rice. "We are trying not to restrict our customers on what they can or cannot eat."
The dessert selection includes cräme brñlée (£4.50), chocolate and rum terrine (£4.50) and raspberry sorbet (£3.50). n
Langan's Coq d'Or, 254-260 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 9HR
Tel: 0171-259 2599