Pied à Terre
34 Charlotte Street
London W1T 2NH
Tel. 020 76361178
Food type: French
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
First off, many apologies for the dearth of updates on my blog. When I started writing again my aim was to write on a regular basis which is feasible based on my current work schedule. However, the hospital I currently work at is undergoing a shortage of doctors and I have volunteered to help cover the shifts. As such I have been back-logged a fair bit and in the coming weeks you will see a fair few number of posts of my recent meals.
It has been a while since I wrote about Pied à Terre, so much so that Marcus Eaves has replaced Shane Osbourne as their head chef. Marcus of course used to cook at their sister restaurant, L’Autre Pied before taking on the head chef role at Pied à Terre when Shane decided to exchange London for Hong Kong – he is currently cooking at Arcane, which I will visit during my next trip to Hong Kong in November.
This meal was to celebrate my (soon to be) Mother-in-law’s retirement and we opted for the tasting menu. During the month of July, their tasting menu was offered at a discounted £75 if you pre-ordered it when you booked your table. Some of the little extras are trimmed from this discounted tasting menu (as we shall see later) but on a whole it proves excellent value and a great introduction to anyone who wants to have a preview of what Marcus’ cooking is about.
With a change of chef, Marcus brings a different approach to the cooking here – often drawing on British classics but putting his own little twist on it. One of his signatures is his Mushroom Soup. However this is unlike any version of mushroom soup that was ubiquitously found on all restaurant menus back in the 70’s and 80’s. Instead of a thick chunky soup, Marcus opts for a thin, velvety, frothy velouté, but one with an intense mushroom flavour. In the current (tasting menu) iteration, the dish adds smoked eel to give an additional smoky and meaty flavour while doing away with a side serving of mushroom foccacia. The simplicity of the dish belies how much work actually goes into the construction of this dish.
Another favourite, and one which has been a mainstay on the menu is the mackerel with Israeli couscous. The mackerel fillet is served with a crispy skin but flesh is mi-cuit. By cooking it this way, you get the best of both worlds with the texture of the crispy skin marrying with the juicy, oily flesh. The dish receives a nice umami boost with little pearls of dashi spheres and a tuile which must have been made from 100% umami. The result is a dish which is light to eat yet has an incredible rich mouthfeel to it when eating.
We tried one of the newer dishes of Pork Tenderloin with white anchovy and hummus which is a variation on one of Marcus’ pork dishes. This dish has a lovely mediterranean feel to it with the use of cumin adding interest to it. Anchovies and pork is a combination which is commonly used in South East Asia and it was nice to see this combination here. The dish is tied together with some apricot puree which gives the right amount of sweetness and acidity to the dish.
For desserts, you can’t go wrong with the chocolate mousse with peanut ice cream. No doubt drawing inspiration from a Snickers bar, this dessert partly pays homage to Shane’s bitter chocolate tart. I am not normally a big fan of chocolate desserts to end a meal – part of the reason being that after a long meal, the last thing I want is a rich, indulgent dessert. By replacing the classic tart ganache with an airier chocolate mousse, they have created a dessert which is a perfect ending to an indulgent menu.
I have eaten fairly frequently at Pied à Terre since Marcus Eaves took over the kitchen and it surprises me that they are ‘only’ a 1 Michelin star restaurant which in my opinion is rather unfair given the quality of cooking coming from this kitchen. There are other 2 star restaurants in London which are less deserving of that accolade than Pied à Terre, but perhaps keep that rating due to their association with a celebrity chef. Nevertheless, if you are up for a good time and plenty of delicious food you could do worse than a visit here.