Monthly Archives: September 2014

Picture, Great Portland Streeet

Poor Mondays. They are the ugly sister of the working week; a time to hunker down and battle through.

Heads feel delicate, wallets light after the excesses of the weekend. No wonder many restaurateurs opt to close on this day.

Those who stay open often do their best to lure in trade – so actually Manic Mondays can be a great time try out restaurants and dodge the madness of weekend crowds.

Picture restaurant is where you are likely to find me shedding the last of Monday blues from now on.

The restaurant, which was founded in summer 2013 by three former members of restaurant group Arbutus and Wild Honey, is now offering free corkage on Mondays – a great excuse to crack open a decent bottle and drown your sorrows that the next weekend is four whole sleeps away.

Even better, the tasting menu is remarkable value at £35 for 5 courses. There is also a tasting menu for vegetarians (or those observing Meat Free Monday).

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When I visited, we started with a velvety squash velouté spiked with cumin – soft, earthy and rounded flavours, soothing for a frazzled soul struggling to readjust to the working week.

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The second course seemed to sense that we were perking up; creamy goats cheese curd and tender broccoli were cut with fruity plum tomatoes and piquant capers.

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Crisp pork cheek with braised celery, apple, hazelnuts was expertly cooked.

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A flaky fillet of sea bream on top of a light helping of lentils, fennel and diced turnip: juicy and pleasant.

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The bavette was the star dish. A well judged portion arrived – more generous than the tiny morsels you often get with tasting menus, but not a huge slab to trample on the courses to follow. It was a beautiful example of this underrated cut with loosely packed meat fibres, a rich umami crust and a pink, yielding centre.

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My only gripe about the dish was that the heavy handed use of cumin in both the jus and the carrot purée, which tasted very similar to the squash velouté we started with. A wider flavour spectrum throughout the tasting menu would have been more enjoyable.

After all that I was feeling rather like Mr Creosote and wondering how I could manage anything more than a “wafer thin” dessert, but the silky chocolate mousse with blackberries and peanut butter cream was not too heavy or sweet, just right.

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See you there next Monday!

Picture, 110 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 6PQ

Telephone: 0207 637 7892

info@picturerestaurant.co.uk

http://www.picturerestaurant.co.uk

Open Monday – Saturday
Lunch 12pm-2:30pm
Dinner 6pm-10:30pm

I was invited to give an honest review as a guest of Picture restaurant

Taking a break from shopping at Tapas Revolution, Westfield

Confession time: I really hate shopping. I would rather (and often do) wear scruffy hand-me-downs or hopelessly outdated clothes I’ve owned forever to avoid battling through crowds, endless shopping rails and sweaty, heaving changing rooms.

“Retail therapy” my arse – I feel like I actually NEED therapy after most retail experiences.

It’s a different story when it comes to food and makeup which I could browse happily for hours, but for everything else I typically binge-order online and end up returning most of it. I even took less than 1 hour to choose, try on and buy my wedding dress because I couldn’t bear the thought of spending any more time browsing.

Saying that, with the nuptials now properly looming (for which I blame the neglect of this blog, sorreeee) my “to do” and “to buy” lists are growing alarmingly and a serious shopping trip is required.

Thank god then for malls like Westfield in Shepherds Bush which make the whole experience relatively painless – particularly because of the surprisingly good food offering. A few years ago the idea of going to a shopping centre for a enjoyable meal, or even a quick pit-stop between shops, was alien but you can definitely be assured of a decent feed at Westfield.

I took a break from the shops to meet a friend at Tapas Revolution on the mezzanine level. Here, you don’t escape the crowds as such; you are still very much aware that you’re in a mall but it feels quite civilised to stop and perch at the bar with a glass of wine and a delicious array of tapas to nibble on, while watching shoppers continue to bustle around.

We had been told that the Madrid-born chef behind Tapas Revolution, Omar Allibhoy, had introduce some new dishes to the Spanish tapas menu, so we tried a couple.

Arroz Negro, £5.25, was a richly flavoured dish of black rice with prawns and squid, served with alioli.

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Ensalada de Tomate, £4.50, combined red and yellow tomatoes with olives and red onion to make a fruity and moreish salad.

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More juicy, ripe tomatoes were to be found in the pan con tomate, toasted bread moistened with garlic and olive oil, £2.95.

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I can never resist Boquerones, and Tapas Revolution’s version is marinated in olive oil, garlic and parsley were delicious squished into house bread, £4.75.

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Ordering Pimientos de Padrón (£4.95) is like playing Russian roulette; the green peppers are mostly sweet and juicy but every now and then you get a fiery one. Whether hot or mild, I love the blistered skin and crunchy topping of sea salt.

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We fought over the last of the croquetas de jamón, £4.50, crunchy deep-fried Iberico ham croquettes with an addictively crisp crust and silky centre.

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It would be sacrilege not to indulge in a plate of Jamón Iberico and at Tapas Revolutions they are served with a smile.

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This acorn-fed ham was sliced skilfully thin so the slivers melt on the tongue. Blissful.

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Tapas Revolution is due to open a new restaurant in Shoreditch later this year and I can’t wait for the chance to enjoy authentic, quality tapas, without having to venture near a clothes shop!

Tapas Revolution
Kiosk K2024, The Balcony
Westfield London
Shepherd’s Bush
London
W12 7SL
http://www.tapasrevolution.com