Piquet was the name of Allan Pickett’s no gimmicks French inspired London restaurant. He collaborates with Bodeans founder Andre Blais to open the basement restaurant on the Tottenham Court Road side of Newman Street often associated with knock-off phone shops and Primark. What I love about Piquet is the less familiar notion of having a 3 course meal in the current restaurant trend, it seems that small plate concept is prevailing with portion sizes fit for a 12 course tasting menu these days. They had good portion sizes there and the food is cooked by people who know what they’re doing which is why I wanted to give it another roll of the dice. Alas, my Piquet feed won’t be satisfied anymore as they have gone into administration only after a year of operating. I sincerely hope they make a return as I will be queuing to get in.
Surrounded by building works and scaffolding, the bistro exterior of dark wood panelling and brass fixings is quite easy on the eye.
As you walk through the dark curtains you’re immediately greeted by an intimate bar. We’re led down the stairs thereafter into the dining room which is impressively large (seats 98) which has a soft brown hue and mixes French bistro with modern furnishings.
An open kitchen is always great for action shots!
I adore the 3 course format. There is a time and a place for all styles, modern and classic. (This one is classical, obviously).
Bread sticks with Hern mousse to kick off proceedings.
I’m loving this Me Gustas Tú from Northern Spain, lots of dark fruit in this drop.
Sour dough on point. Good crust and flavour.
Steak tartare, sour dough toast (£9.5). The course texture and seasoning balanced well and enriched by that yolk. It was a wonderful thing.
House cured salmon, avocado purée, grapefruit salad (£10.50). The salmon elegant and enhanced by the nutty avocado, the grapefruit added the pleasing acidic note.
Native lobster ravioli, creamed shellfish bisque (£12). Intensely flavoured bisque, meaty yet sweet lobster filling and perfectly cooked ravioli. It provided a certain kinda of ecstasy and it stole the show.
Croquette of pigs head, gribiche sauce (£9) is delightful and evocative to eat. The gribiche reminds me of tartar sauce in a good way as the capers, gherkins and herbs shine through.
Braised shoulder of lamb, olives, what beans with rosemary (£36 for 2). The lamb tender yet not overly gamey and complimented by those hearty beans & jus, all was brightened with fresh vegetables. It would make you happy eating this.
Grilled Dedham Vale beef, served with peppercorn sauce, chips, watercress. This is the rump side (£18). Rump is my least favourite cut when it comes to steak as without stating the obvious there are more flavourful cuts. This is an exception, depth of flavour and tenderness prevails with the char from the grill giving it the smoke.
Poached roast corn-fed chicken, baby leeks and asparagus, roast gravy, summer truffle (£19.50). Chicken tender as you like and as for the gravy, I can only describe it as tongue nectar. It’s a maestro of a dish.
The plate with the missing diner (always taking pics!) is grilled calves liver with braised gem lettuce, smoked bacon, sage (£16.50). It’s cooked to a beautiful pink, comes with paper thin candy-snap bacon, rich mash and a seriously good gravy.
A master at work.
Plating from what I gather the seasonal mix green salad with vinaigrette.
Summer salad, peas & broad beans, kohlrabi, pickled and raw radishes.
Desert…. And cheese if you’re that way inclined.
Our front of house was so kind to hand-write what the individual deserts were on our Assiette Gourmande, a desert tasting plate (for two) £19.50.
Our chef plating the Assiette Gourmande. This desert is made for those who can pack it away and it will solve the burden of indecision. It comes with a little bit of everything and it’s done really well. A desert lovers paradise.
Here is the complete selection from kitchen to table.
Chocolate financier with raspberry.
Home made vanilla ice cream with strawberry compote.
Chocolate mousse and pistachio sponge cake.
Vanilla set and mango.
Rhubarb compote and vanilla foam.
When did I go? June 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £60-£75 per head with drinks
The good: I couldn’t fault any of the dishes I tried, everything seemed to be cooked well with good portions, good value along with some excellent ingredients. Our chef despite being in the thick of service had time to speak to us and even though he doesn’t dine out that often his favourite place is Jun Tanaka’s The Ninth!
The bad: It’s gone into administration!
92 Newman St, London W1T 3EZ