Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: L'Autre Pied

When people speak of dining in England, 'English food' is often dismissed. And let's face it, black pudding and fish & chips don't quite do the country justice for its culinary greats. Rather than come to England searching for English food, you're better off accepting that the best places to eat would involve cuisines from around the world. And that's how you really eat here. 

Although eating out in London can be expensive, eating well is not much more so (relatively, at least). A meal at a Chinatown eatery, including drinks and dessert would set you back about £20, whilst a multi-course fine dining meal could be had for about £30.

My visit to Michelin-starred L'Autre Pied was one such meal, where Boyfriend and I indulged in a seven-course tasting menu for £30+. We made a booking for dinner via the Fever app, but if you're interested, there's the identical offer available on Groupon here: Seven-Course Tasting Menu For One, Two or Four from £31 at Michelin-Starred L'Autre Pied (Up to 52% Off)

Upon arrival, we were greeted and escorted to our table, then were promptly served yummy bread to go with some fantastic butter. The restaurant wasn't very large, was quiet and dimly lit, and simply decorated. 

We were first presented with the Celeriac, Lemon, and Wild Rice, which was a great start to our meal. Best part was the crispy wild rice on top! 


This was followed by Salad of Hierloom Carrots, Radicchio, Creme Fraiche, Black Quinoa. Perfectly cooked carrots, but otherwise unremarkable.


We then moved onto our mains! We started with Cod, Charred Leek, Mussels, Lemon, Rye. Now, I'm a huge fan of fish, and the cod here was perfectly flaky and fresh! Unfortunately, one of the mussels I bit into tasted fishy and just plain funky, which was a huge disappointment. Boyfriend's dish came out fine though so I think it was an anomaly.

When I told the waiter about it, the chef offered his apologies and was nice enough to offer a replacement. But as it was such a small aspect of the dish, it wasn't necessary. But hey, it's good to know that they were willing to offer it, even for someone who's visiting the restaurant on a Groupon.



The next dish was Roast Pork Tenderloin, Peppered Swede, Baby Turnips, Apple and Mustard Leaf. Although I didn't and still don't know what swede is, I do know that I enjoyed the entire dish. But then again, you can't ever go wrong with pork and apple - a classic combination that always tastes good. 

I don't know about you, but for me in particular, I'm always really wary when cooking and really struggle to perfectly find the right balance between undercooking and overcooking, often preferring the latter because it's more likely not to poison my nearest and dearest. So, whenever I get the chance to have some perfectly cooked pink pork, I embrace it with open arms! 


On the menu offered on Groupon, the pork is to be followed by cheese. But as we hadn't yet found the ability to appreciate cheese with a meal, we instead asked for a replacement dish, which they very kindly obliged us with. To my absolute delight, what that meant was that we got three desserts instead! 

This was a creamy custard topped with sorbet and a fruit cube. I don't know what this was in particular, but ice cream is always a good idea.


The favourite aspect of my meal however was this dessert. I was always going to like anything chocolatey, but when topped with crispy crumbly chocolatey goodness, this became something I loved.


Our meal concluded with a Rhubarb Cheesecake with Mandarin Sorbet. I think it takes a particular palate to like rhubarb, and unfortunately, I'm not that person. But, it was pink and pretty, and the cheesecake beneath the rhubarb layer did not disappoint. 


If you're looking to have dinner somewhere fancy on a budget, L'Autre Pied might be the place for you. I'll have to admit that the food didn't strike me as particularly French, nor particularly memorable but every dish was a visual delight, and it was a wonderful experience sitting across my love and being able to enjoy such a vast variety of good food. 

And so what if the food we ate wasn't English? That evening, we walked around the city, taking in the sights and sounds of a bustling London - and that for me, is the English dining experience. 



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