Saturday, 9 November 2013

REVIEW: Pieds Nus, Blandford Street, Marylebone

I think i may have just found one of my favourite restaurants in London, it’s just a shame its only another pop-up. I have never really gotten the whole idea of pop-ups, unless its a one time wonder for a seasonal event, or long weekend. But for something more permanent then what do you do when its gone? That's eventually what's going to happen here - for how long it will be around, i'm not sure. Hopefully everyone else who comes to Pieds Nus will love it just as much as i do and they'll be forced to set up a permanent residency.

Pieds (foot) Nus (bare), otherwise knows as Barefoot is a pop-up restaurant brought to you by David Moore - the owner of round the corner Michelin starred restaurant Pied a Terre and L’Autre Pied. The kitchen is being run by head chef Ed Dutton (a man that the ladies on my table couldn’t keep their eyes off), formerly of Tom Aikens and some time ago also worked at Pied a Terre. He’s young and very talented. The restaurant focuses on small sharing plates - a trend i still hadn't quite taken too, until now.

Inside the restaurant is rustic, stripped back to the bare essentials and incredibly causal - which i love. It's very small so booking ahead is advisable. We kicked off the meal with a delicious white wine from Rhone, and some very well executed Rosemary and Sea Salt Grissini’s. Shortly followed was a delicious bread bag filled with bacon and onion brioche (which was lovely but only its texture barely scraping into brioche territory) and some outstanding black onion seed flatbread with an excellent crunch. A side of hummus was on hand but had a little too much tahini in for my liking.

All of the food on the menu sounded delicious - but we couldn't have it all, not in one sitting at least. The baby artichokes, wild mushroom and pine nuts was presented beautifully. The artichoke were smoky and charred with a duo of rich sauces carrying bags of flavour. It was just a shame i had to share it. Presentation with a love heart in the centre was spot on.

The least favourite dish of the table was the slow cooked duck egg with potato and belper knolle (Swiss cheese rolled in pepper, garlic and himalayan salt). I can't say i'd experienced a dish like this before - and i can't say i'll be overly bothered if i don't have to again either. The egg was well cooked but the minced potato and cheese mixture (while seasoned very well) didn't really have much too it apart from texture, the cheese itself was barely detectable.

A 42 degree confit salmon cooked sous vide with cocoa beans, piquillo peppers arrived and was not at all what i was expecting. The salmon was cooked to absolute perfection sporting a shiny glaze, silkyness and smothered in chopped parsley. As to the cocoa beans and piquillo peppers they weren't at the forefront of this dish but instead blended in some way or form. The whole dish was immaculately presented, very delicate and extremely refined.

The 65 degree cooked, 48 hour braised short rib with potato and shallots doesn't sound particularly romantic, but it looked it on the plate. The sort of dish a man would want to gives his wife/husband (or a vegetarian if i had my way) - the dish may have looked dainty but it was big on meaty flavour. The short rib was absolutely stunning - a slice of meaty heaven. The potato smear was very smooth, the shallots not over cooked and carried a lovely and sweet flavour.

The pork belly which was cooked at 98 degrees for a long 12 hours, was served with some buttery mash and a smear of carrot puree. The belly meat was salty (but in a good way) the crackling was absolutely perfect, not being so hard you can't break your way through it. Some shaved, very colorful vegetables were on hand for a little bit of taste - but they were there more for decoration. A very good dish indeed, but not yet the best of our meal.

The best dish of the meal accolade was, of course the one we had eaten before i even remembered to take a photo. A 62 degree poached rose veal, with celeriac, choucroute (french for sauerkraut) and truffle. The dish far exceeded our expectations with everything on the plate cooked to absolute sheer perfection and a multitude of flavours on one plate i never thought would be possible. Truffle on a plate can win any man's heart. This was perhaps one of my dishes of the year.

We'd thought the food couldn't get any better, but the deconstructed New York style cheesecake with blackberry ice cream and blackberries was what one would call, food porn. It was a heavenly dessert. The sweet and creamy pieces of cheesecake which were very marshmallow like had a lovely charred top. The ice cream was just as creamy and full of ripe blackberries. This dish was such a delight to eat and one i'd love to have in front of me while writing this.

I'm normally so disappointed when i order a chocolate cake, or something similar. They are always only good and never blow me away- until now of course. When i tried Pieds Nus’s chocolate and chestnut frangipane with caramel ice cream i couldn't stop delving my spoon in to it. Soft gooey chocolate pieces, a crumbly sweet muffin broken in to pieces and caramel ice cream. All of which came together beautifully. Ed Dutton certainly knows what he’s doing when it comes to desserts.

Some more wine, a few doughnuts and some delicious truffled brie (which was served a little too cold) we left Pieds Nus on an incredible high. A new pop-up restaurant in London with barely a whisper of its opening - i hope it stays that way. It's a fantastic new restaurant which i highly recommend, though i just hope it doesn't disappear anytime soon.


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1 comment:

  1. Absolutely love the presentation and variety of the dishes at Pieds Nus. Definitely on my bucket list and I have my fingers crossed that it doesn't disappear too!
    Ella x