In search of a bargain, myself and my friend Keeley decided to head to L’Autre Pied and check out their special summer tasting offer (courtesy of last minute.com) 5 courses for £21. Bargain you may think, and that it was, but small (summer-y) portions they were. I had heard some quite negative feedback about this offer at L’autre Pied, so lowering my expectations probably improved my judgement. But I’m not going to beat around the bush, the food was delicious and well worth £21, but maybe not of Michelin star quality that the a la carte offers. The fact that there was no choice on the menu, didn’t bother me as I trusted that the Michelin star chef Marcus Eaves can concoct a perfectly balanced both on flavours and textures, 5 course meal, and that was defiantly achieved.
The thing I like about L’autre Pied is that it has a lack of ponsey-ness about it, but that also means that your waitress might forget to give you the butter with your bread, or inform you that a garlic puree is in fact the tarragon jus, umm no love a Jus isn’t white and creamy!
Bread verdict: ok. I’d give a come dine with me 6/0. A bit salty, and a little firm, but the waitress was happy to keep providing you with more when you ran out, perfect.
Did the Amuse bouche amuse my bouche? Almost. We were served a tiny (weeny) croquette of cod with a lemon infused mayonnaise and a clove of baby wood sorrel. It tasted great with subtle citrus flavours running through the centre and chunks of cod rather than shreds as croquettes can be. But the croquette was slightly lacking a ‘wow’ one would expect as one’s bouche is being amused.
I’m going to say this, and it appears to be common knowledge amongst most l’Autre Pied summer tasting menu diners, that the next course stood out as the best, it was verging on sensational. Chilled Carrot and Ginger Soup, Seville Orange, crystallised Ginger, Coriander Cress.
A silky smooth chilled soup, with sweet orange and carrot flavours, subtly balanced by the zing of ginger and tang of the bitter Seville orange, contrasting with the light texture of a carrot mousse in the centre, decorated with a sprinkling of tiny slithers of crystallised ginger, and a generous tidy glug of intense extra virgin olive oil, a beautiful dish.
Oooh the Ox cheek, do I take it back and this was my favourite dish of the night? A close 2nd, very delicious melt in the mouth Ox cheek, served with a poached mini cos lettuce, baby baby leeks, a delicious rich and slightly sticky tarragon jus, and a few blobs of garlic puree (which myself and Keely swiftly came to the conclusion despite the waitresses’ attempts at making us believe it was the jus). Everything was cooked beautifully and went together extremely well, the creamed potato was delicious and the effort to remove the outer shell of the pea proves that thought and love were put into the dish. It could have been slightly heavy for a summer dish, but the preceding dishes were so light it was fine, oh and the extra virgin olive oil’s presence (proving to be somewhat of a theme), meant it was practically a salad right?!
This is where my memory fails me slightly as I was on my way to Merryland, but the next course was tasty, and defiantly not a granita as the menu had suggested. We were presented with a little glass with starting from the bottom, panacotta, with aniseed poached nectarines, Chantilly vanilla cream and a sprinkling of toasted almonds and freeze dried raspberries. Tasted great but lacked a liquor.
The last desert was something special, along with the summer strawberries and melt in the mouth shortcake, there was a delicious smooth, Thai basil ice cream, giving an almost minty aromatic flavour which complimented the strawberries perfectly.
We opted for the most reasonably wines on the list the white: Vouvray ‘Cuvee de Silex’, Domaine Des Aubuisieres, France was delicious, fresh and fruity with flavours of ripe pear and subtle hint of mint, this went extremely well with the first dished on the menu.
The red: Barbera ‘Briccotondo’, Fontanafredda, Italy was very smooth, with low tannin levels, medium bodied with quite a high acidity yet with flavours of dark chocolate and sweet cherry, light and pleasant on a summer evening.
The evening was a delight and I would recommend L’Autre Pied, especially for a bargainous delicious deal like this.