L'Autre Pied, Marylebone, London
- limster Sep 16, 2012 02:06 PM
In the tasting menu nothing struck me in particular over the first couple of courses. An amuse of basil mousse with muted dried olives was largely textural, contrasting with foamy and lightly flavoured mousse with something crunchy. Then fairly nice scallop ceviche, with muted acidity, not bad flavour in the scallops, and against it the crunch of toasted quinoa. A few other ingredients and sauces that were generally neutral, neither distracting nor enhancing.
What stood out for me was the squid "linguine" -- beautifully cooked squid sliced into thin linguine-like strands with a delightful flavour and brilliant snappy texture. Enhanced by pine nuts for a good crunch and a nutty contrast to parsley and a bit of grated parmesan cheese. The dried grapes were unfortunately tart and loud, but not so much as to disrupt the overall deliciousness of this superb dish.
The fish course came and went, without leaving much of a memory.
A nice slab of suckling pig gave off pungent porkiness, the skin gorgeously crispy, the meat underneath succulent.
Lamb seemed rather mild in flavour, almost veal-like, extremely tender, crusted with herbs. The accompaniements was many and somewhat complex. I loved the smooth lemony sauce, a bracing delicate and zest sour that really enhanced the lamb. Aubergine with sambal was fine but really underpowered, the savoury quality of the sambal diminished without some serious chilli heat to balance the sweetness.
Don't remember the dessert well....one was a fruit parfait of some sort that was pleasant but not striking or memorable by any means.
The food was well made, everything perfectly cooked and backed by good technique, but some dishes incorporated a lot of ingredients that neither clashed nor synergised. On the whole not much that wowed or gave me a deep table thumping satisfaction, except for the superb squid "linguine" which is worth going for.
I too found L'Autre Pied accomplished but unmemorable. The same applies to Pied a Terre its slightly posher sister. For the money there is a huge list of better places in London for the tourist or the local.
Although I have noticed several 'deals' popping up which might be worth taking advantage of.