I went to London a couple of weeks ago on a flying visit and managed to find the time to stop off for lunch at one of the many restaurants on my long to do list. Not living in London anymore, I find myself constantly suffering from restaurant envy. Whether it be a new fancy restaurant, noodle bar or bargain basement dive in the middle of Camberwell, my list of places to visit is grows far more quickly than could ever possible be ticked off.
As I was around for a weekday lunch it was a great opportunity to make the most of some of the amazing value Michelin starred set meals available in the Smoke. The meal we ended up with was even better value than a Greggs sausage roll and egg mayo sandwich lunch. I’ve wanted to visit Shane Osborne’s Pied a terre for yonks but as we only tried to book a couple of days in advance it was fully booked. We therefore plumped for its sister restaurant L’autre pied which has a bargainous £22.50 3 course set lunch.
The set menu offers a choice of 2 starters, 2 mains and 1 dessert or cheese (at a £4 supplement). As one of each of the starters and mains were vegetarian we both opted for the same dishes (there was no way I was sacrificing meat even if it meant having more dishes to talk about in my review).
Now it’s taken me a bit longer to write up this post than I initially intended (I blame the lesson planning) so I can barely remember most of the food I ate. However, with the aid of my photographs as visual aids, I’ll give it a punt.
Pre-starter: Cod fishcake and garlic mayonnaise. Basically a giant cod croquette. Fresh tasting, packed full of fish and not in the slightest bit greasy. Mine was an absolute winner. However, my brother’s fish lollypop represented the only genuine howler I have encountered in a Michelin starred restaurant. They’d somehow managed to leave a piece of cellophane in the croquette from when it had been rolled. My brother notified the waiting staff, the offending fish finger was whisked away and humble apologies were made.
|Fish finger lollypop|
Starter: Salad of Breaded Chicken Oysters, Duck Gizzards, Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Mayonnaise – An equal protein to salad ratio. What more can you want from a salad? I’ve never eaten gizzards on their own before but they had a good meatiness to them. Trivia - Gizzards are apparently a type of specialised stomach.
Main: Pigeon, fondant potato, turnip – I must admit I’m struggling to remember the details but this was fairly immense. Everything cooked to perfection and all the flavours (which I can’t remember) worked together perfectly. My only qualm was there were a couple of bits of sinew left on the pieces of pigeon.
Pre-dessert: Vanilla panna cotta, Rhubarb compote, Cinnamon foam, crumble – This was the high point of the meal; wobbly panna cotta, sweet yet tangy rhubarb, light and airy foam and crunchy crumble.
|The dog's knees|
Dessert: Burnt cream with shortbread – Packed full of nutmeg which I’ve never experienced before in a crème brulee. It reminded me of an egg custard tart in terms of flavour. Really, really tasty.
Cheese: We decided to share the cheese and a dessert so we could have a bit of both. I can’t remember any of the cheeses other than stinking bishop. Howver, I can assure you they were all delicious. The oatcakes and homemade pringle like things were also very good.
The bill came to a grand total of £59 excluding service. We drank tap water with the meal so I’m sure the profit margin on our lunch was on the slim side. I can’t emphasise how good this meal was. Most certainly one of the best Michelin meals I’ve had. If it wasn’t for the cellophane or couple of bits of sinew then this meal would have been nigh on perfection.
The Details: www.lautrepied.co.uk, 5-7 Blandford Street, London, W1U 3DB, 020 7486 9696