Tuesday, 9 November 2010

My Day Out Up In The Smoke

Hello everyone, well the four of you guys following anyway (cheers for that). So what’s been going on in my life the past couple of week? Well last week I had lunch at l’autre pied in London; the food at l’autre was so good I thought I should share it with as many people as possible. Set on Blandford Street London W1U 3DB, the restaurant is really cosy and the welcome is warm. I was dining on my own but was immediately set at ease by the host and staff which set the tone for a really good lunch.
 Feeling like I wanted to see as much of what the boys & girls out the back under the guidance of Marcus Eaves get up to and what makes this restaurant special.

So I opted for the tasting menu and away we went the first dish to hit the table was an amuse bouche of “warm celeriac mousse with puffed rice, crispy quail egg”, great clean flavours.

Next course to hit the table was” Jerusalem artichoke veloute, chanterelle mushrooms, hazelnut oil”, again wicked flavours and a nice surprise of fresh pasta sheet hiding in the soup to give a different texture.

The two fish courses where next, first up were “line caught Cornish mackerel, organic ginger carrots, shaved fennel salad, coriander cress”. The mackerel tasted like it had been caught that day and giving a brief bath in a picking liquid of some kind, but was not overly strong with vinegar but was really fresh and sweet.

Second up in the fish courses was the highlight of the meal for me, “pan fried cod, roscoff onions, ragout of sweetcorn, girolle mushrooms, and lightly smoked sabayon”. This dish was so well executed that I was generally gutted when I finished it, the cod was just cooked to the point, the sweetcorn ragout out of this world, girolle mushrooms need I say more and the most delicate smoked sabayon which was a completely new idea for me.

My meat course came next which did not disappoint, “roasted breast of Gressingham duck, shallot fondant, slow cooked figs, pistachio jus”. The duck was cooked perfectly and as with all the other dishes it was perfectly seasoned, the garnish with the duck where beautiful and complemented the dish really well.

Cheese came after the duck and six choices were presented to me to chose from, I chose two chesses which where
Brillat-Savarin which is a triple cream cow’s milk cheese from Normandy, this is a cheese that I love and have had on many a cheese trolley at work and always have if its available on a cheese course whilst out.
The other was if my memories serve me was buchette d’anjou which is a raw goats milk cheese from pays de la Loire. I enjoyed my cheese plate so much and the theatre of having the basket shown and explained to me that I forgot to take a picture; they served the cheese with lovely homemade biscuit and a cumin crisp bread, stunning.
Then started the sweet courses, first up were “vanilla panacotta, blackberry puree, pear and star anise”. This was a really amazing little dessert packed full of flavours and lots of textures. It also acted as a palate cleanser for the last course.

The last course was “caramel parfait, chocolate streusel, black treacle ice cream”. After seven courses I sometimes feel jaded and ready for a long lie down but at l’autre I was still ready and willing to be feed, this dish was a great way to finish the meal, sweet but also a little bitter from the black treacle ice cream which played nicely of the caramel parfait and the chocolate streusel.

So at the end of the meal I was so happy to have found this lovely restaurant to add to a small list of places that I love and recommend to friends and colleges. I will be back very soon, a little note about what I’ve missed out. The bread was absolutely superb a selection of four types of which I tried the poppy seed and the wholemeal; it kept coming out the kitchen throughout lunch so was warm at all times a small thing but something most places over look. Also when asked to pair a wine with my main the sommelier picked a lovely merlot and at £4.90 it was amazing value which is hard to beat at this level of restaurant anywhere in the country not just London.
A top meal served by well informed but unfussy staff with incredible cooking and flawless food.
L,autre pied thank you very much.

Normal blogging will be back next time with a recipe or two, well unless I go out for lunch again.

But Remember live to eat don’t eat to live 


  1. Great write up chef, you obviously enjoyed it immensely. The presentation of the food looks fantastic, great pictures. What camera did you use ? im sure the restaurant would be very happy to use them for pr. purposes.

    Thanks for sharing your day


  2. cheers robbie its a sony cybershot camera