Living in Marylebone, I am lucky to have great restaurants just around the corner from mine. L'Autre Pied is a restaurant that I've walked past many times before but the decor of the restaurant has always seemed very stiff, thus never appealed to me. During the most recent Taste of London, I had also paid a visit to the L'Autre Pied booth, and was not impressed with my little taster. But thanks to Groupon's fine little deal of 40% off the tasting menu, my friend and I were able to venture over to L'autre Pied to give it a proper try. Given my previous encounter with the restaurant, I went to lunch there with very low expectations.
The tasting menu consisted of 6 courses, with the option to have a supplement of cheese course, and wine pairing, but my friend and I opted for some champagne that day.
The restaurant was not particularly busy that day, so the dishes all came VERY quickly. I didn't mind this so much as I was starving. We were offered some bread to start, and the amuse bouche quickly followed...
I'm not the biggest fan of peas, nor ricotta, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself thoroughly enjoying this dish. It was served chilled, so the dish was very refreshing to my palette. I wish the dish had just a tad less ricotta, but that's just a personal preference. Overall, it was a great way to start the meal.
I'm not sure if they altered the dishes that day, but there was certainly no green beans in this salad. Nevertheless, I am a big fan of all things grain, so this dish was definitely up my ally. The "tuile" had a nutty flavour, and if they offered bagfuls of that, I would happily taken that home as a snack.
I have to give credit that the plating at L'Autre Pied is definitely top notch. All their dishes had stunning presentations, which made my life a whole lot easier when taking food pics for the blog.
I have nothing but good things to say about the cod dish, the delicate fish was poached so perfectly it actually glistened. I'm not entirely sure what the brown sauce served with the fish was, but I mopped up every last bit of it.
Having had a poor experience with the duck course recently at The Fat Duck, I approached this dish with skepticism. L'Autre Pied's duck dish was absolutely out of this world. Perhaps I was drunk at this point, but I definitely felt like the courses only got better as the meal progressed. The meat was so tender it melted in my mouth. A definite 10/10 in my book.
My friend and I decided to share a cheese supplement. As I am a huge cheese lover, there is of course no complaint from me regarding this course.
The pre dessert was the worst course of the day. The concoction can only be best described as strawberry soup with bits of orange zest and chocolate mousse. Not only did the orange flavour completely over power the dish, but the chocolate soil element on top was dry and bitter, which left my palette with an uninviting taste. The presentation itself was also not particularly appetising, an unfortunate ending to the meal.
The rhubarb cheesecake itself was very light and fluffy, giving the dessert a disguise to its calorific nature. With that said however, I don't think the rhubarb flavour really shown through.
Overall, L'Autre Pied really impressed me with their presentation, flavours and technique, which reflected the Michelin status of the restaurant. This experience definitely changed the first impression I had of the restaurant from Taste of London, but there are certainly still things the restaurant could improve on.
First, the portions of the restaurant is questionable given its pricing. Without the Groupon voucher, I would be very reluctant to pay the original price for the tasting menu. I would only hope the portions from the al a carte menu would be much more generous.
The decor of the restaurant is also bizarre and ill-fitting for the restaurant. The combination of the green, red and golden tones showcased throughout the restaurant along with the flowers painted on the walls, creates an atmosphere which would be more suitable for an Asian restaurant. These faults are a shame as it holds back and doesn't allow the dishes to shine to its full potential.
I would recommend ordering two main courses and skipping the dessert! Save those calories for somewhere else.