Sunday, 5 May 2013

Pied a Terre

Elegant fine dining

Pied a Terre, a Michelin starred restaurant in the trendy Charlotte Street where Marcus Eaves is the head chef. I am a fan after seeing him on Master Chef Professional a while back. I was also impressed with Pied a Terre's sister restaurant L' Autre Pied (link) when I visited there back in March, and knowing Pied a Terre suppose to be the better "bigger brother", I thought I give it a try with a rather high expectation.

The décor is very modern but at the same time it has a very cosy and warm feel to it. We went for the 7 courses tasting menu, started off with a lovely amuse bouche of scallop tempura, nicely deep fired and yet retained all the sweetness and texture of the scallop, what a great dish to kick off the meal. Bread on the other hand was rather average, nowhere the quality level at L' Autre Pied.
scallop tempura

First course: Salad of Loch Duart salmon with avocado cream, horseradish, cucumber, basil and borage. Beautifully executed, the salmon was fresh, packed with richness from the fish oil and had a lovely smooth texture, the avocado cream added an extra layer of creaminess. While the horseradish and basil given it a sour and bitter taste, it was balanced out with the neutral flavour of the cucumber. This was a very well constructed dish and all the elements worked nicely together.
Salad of Loch Duart salmon

Even better was the second course: Pan fired fillet of sea bream with crushed ratte potatoes, baby leeks, smoked eal and mussel sauce. The sea bream was cooked at the perfect level, the skin was very crisp and the meat was moist and smooth. The smoked eal and mussel sauces added a touch of richness, it was a perfect harmony with the fish and vegetable, it was definitely the dish of the day.
Pan fired fillet of sea bream

On to the meat course: Roasted Cornish lamb with grelot onions, butted peas, bacon fondue and marjoram sauce. It was a good dish but not quite to the level of the sea bream and salmon, the lamb would had been better if it was a bit less cooked and the bacon fondue made this dish just a bit too salty for my taste. However the grelot onion was done brilliantly as was the sauces, rich in flavours but light in taste, along with the peas would made a pretty nice vegetarian dish!
Roasted Cornish lamb

Moving on to the cheese, and as usual starting to reach my limit, it was a good picked from the chef, not overly strong and rich, I enjoyed the goat cheese particular, soft and creamy without the bitter after taste you normally get. It was also nice to see papadam was supplied over the usual bread or biscuit, the thin layer of the nicely seasoned papadam definitely left you with more space to encounter the next dish!

For pre dessert we had the coconut and mango sorbet. It was light and refreshing, the sharpness notes from the mango really cleaned up my palate for the main dessert: Macerated gariguette strawberries with Szechuan pepper, baked cream cheese, buttermilk and crunchy meringue. This is the kind of dessert for a lovely summer day, a very standard strawberries dessert but with bit of twist using the pepper to add a bit of kicks to address the rich sweetness from the cream and strawberries, clever use of combinations.
coconut and mango sorbet
Macerated gariguette strawberries

Finished off the meal with some outstanding petit four, the lemon tart was heavenly, it was rich, robust and just pack with flavours, almost like a foie gras but a lemon version, I never quite tasted something like that before and it was truly wonderful.
petit four

It was a very enjoyable meal, some great dishes were on show, but at the same time the main dish didn't hit my expectation. Service was decent but funny enough I found  L' Autre Pied was a touch better. Pied a Terre is well worth its Michelin star but to claim back the second star it lost I feel the kitchen needs to go the extra mile as if I compare to the like The Ledbury and Hibiscus , it is still not at that level yet. 

Food 4/5

Head chef: 
Marcus Eaves

What I paid: 
£110 per head with 3 glass of wine

Average cost without drinks and services:
£27.50 lunch menu
£105 tasting menu

34 Charlotte St 

LondonUK W1T 2

Pied à Terre on Urbanspoon

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