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L'Autre Pied, London - 1 Michelin star

Rating: 91.
Rating index:
Extraordinary (96-100)
Outstanding (93-95)
Very good to Excellent (89-92)
Above average to Good (86-88)
Below Average to Average (80-85)
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L'Autre Pied is the second restaurant of restaurateur David Moore, who opened his first London restaurant Pied à Terre in Fitzrovia in 1991. Both restaurants are closely linked. l'Autre Pied opened its doors in 2007 with co-owner Marcus Eaves behind the stove and under his reign the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2009. In 2011 Marcus Eaves became head chef at Pied à Terre, after the departure of the previous head chef Shane Osborn. Current head-chef at l'Autre Pied is Andy McFadden, who had been Shane Osborn's sous-chef for years. It is perhaps worth mentioning that before becoming head-chef at l'Autre Pied, McFadden did a brief stint at three-star chef Sergio Herman's Oud Sluis in the Netherlands in 2010.

L'Autre Pied is open daily for lunch and dinner (no dinner on Sunday). The restaurant offers an a la carte menu, a 7-course tasting menu for £62, a set lunch/pre-theatre menu (2 courses €25.50, 3 courses £27.50) and on Sundays there's a special 3-course lunch menu for £35. I had lunch at l'Autre Pied with my husband and a friend on Sunday 23 June 2013 and we all ordered the 7-course tasting menu (amuse bouche, four courses, pre-dessert and dessert).

Pressed (pickled) cucumber, cucumber granita, avocado crème and crunchy black onion seeds was served as an amuse bouche. Lovely vibrant cucumber flavours and balanced pickling flavours. Nice touch of warmth from the avocado and black onion seeds, the latter being a great choice of ingredient.


First course of the tasting menu was a wonderfully crunchy salad of sliced radishes, lightly pickled fennel, black quinoa, a delicious ginger-fennel cream, crème fraîche, dill oil, ginger and dill gel, and some freshly grated kaffir lime zest.  Really lovely warm and toasty flavours from the quinoa and the dill oil added an extra touch of comfort. The aromatic kaffir lime zest delivered a lovely long aftertaste.


Second course was confit heritage potatoes on top of some delicious creamed Jersey Royal potatoes, served with black garlic puree, onion jam, crispy deep-fried garlic, dried black garlic 'dust', nasturtium and some parsley oil spooned around the creamed potatoes. Great depth and bitters from the black garlic puree and the onion jam delivered a lovely touch of warm sweetness and light acidity. A wonderfully rich dish with precise flavours. Loved the flavour profiles, the highs and lows of flavour and texture.


Beautifully cooked (poached) Cornish haddock with a Parmesan crust, Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, aubergine, lemon, sambal and dried black olive arrived next. The sambal had wonderfully fermented flavours and subtle heat. Underneath the haddock was some incredibly flavoursome tomato and aubergine puree that delivered a lovely touch of lightness. Even better was a delicious creamy lemon puree that had a lovely citrussy finish. A marvellous dish that was a true feast of salty and bitter flavours.


Fourth course was Roe deer (cooked in cocoa and juniper), black pudding, beetroot and watercress. An excellent piece of roe deer served with  smoked bacon marmelade, creamy watercress puree, pickled beetroot puree, broken pieces of beetroot crisp, well-reduced roe deer cooking juices and a sublime black pudding puree. A perfectly executed dish with powerful flavours, balanced out nicely by the watercress and the beetroot. 


Next to arrive was a comforting pre-dessert of apple custard foam, served with a banana and passion fruit sorbet and sprinkled with honeycomb and pistachios. Lovely sweet and tart flavours and great crunch from the honeycomb and pistachios.


Shortly after, the last course was served. A lovely creamy and zingy lime mousse served with some fresh raspberries, raspberry sorbet, white chocolate cream, chocolate streusel, rose water meringue and a fantastic blueberry compote. A wonderful dessert with just the right amount of sweetness and tartness.


l'Autre Pied delivered a convincing performance with this attractively priced tasting menu. It is well-constructed and consists of elegant dishes with vibrant flavours and original flavour combinations, that showcase considerable finesse and skill. The presentation may be relatively simple but this clearly is clever and assured cooking on all levels. Characterising the attractive food at l'Autre Pied as "Modern European" (which is what it is) makes it sound a bit anonymous, but it certainly is not; the dishes display individuality, have a clear signature and the occasional British twist adds to their charm. The dining room is smart and its contemporary design contributes to the relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant. This Marylebone establishment is firing on all cylinders.

Posted 22-08-2013




 
 
 
 

 
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