Monday, 29 August 2016

Petit Pois Bistro

A few months ago I ate brunch at Smokey Tails ( go to FoodPunk Visits for more details), little did I know that just a stone throw away from the restaurant lied Petit Pois Bistro. Two completely different places competing with each other to attract hungry diners. Smokey Tails offers deep south Barbeque inspired meats mixed in with old school funk and soul music whereas Petit Pois goes for the more relaxing, sophisticated and romantic type ambience whilst serving classic French dishes.
Petit Pois has typically got that classic French bistro look to it with a small patio area for people to feel as Parisian as possible whereas inside it's as intimate as a restaurant gets. If you're with you're boyfriend/girlfriend then great but if you're just with a friend, it might just get a bit  too close for comfort. But nevertheless it's stylish place.

The menu is concise and offers the classic French dishes that we all know and love and the service is faultless where the waiting staff are impeccably friendly and welcoming. However Petit Pois unfortunately falls short in certain areas and by that I mean the starters. I love French Onion soup as much as the next guy because lets face it what's not to love about slow cooked white onions bathed in a rich dark, meaty stock topped with cheesy croutons. That is what I was expecting from this bistro but it didn't live up to my expectations. The soup base didn't have that rich flavoursome stock and even though it had bundles of gooey bread on top it wasn't enough to salvage what was already a slightly disappointing starter. The Salad Lyonnaise is probably not everyone's first choice for a starter but its a better bet than the soup especially when you've got a poached egg with a soft, runny yolk accompanied with salty thick cut bacon lardons. It's not the most exciting salad in the world but it does the job.
French Onion Soup

Salad Lyonnaise

Fear not, it's not all doom and gloom at Petit Pois because they manage to save themselves with the mains. The steak is typically cooked medium-rare there but of course you can ask them to cook your meat however you like it. Obviously you know me from past experiences that I like my steak rare and the restaurant does a bloody good job with it. Its tender, juicy and cut to the perfect thickness served with classic crispy frites, a rich béarnaise sauce and I went one step further by ordering sweet baby glazed onions and lardons.
As for the Sole Meuniere, it takes gold medal. A healthy size piece of fish which just flakes with the touch of the fork, coated in loads of brown butter and finished off with lemon juice and parsley. It's so simple but its simplicity at it's best.
For something sweet, the soft poached pear with creamy Claousou cheese is a must. For those of you that is unaware of what Claousou cheese is, its made from sheep's milk that is ideally paired with fruity aromatic red wine, hence why it is on this particular dish.
Petit Pois does well in certain parts but in others it disappoints.  I'm not saying by no means avoid it, just don't go there expecting the X factor. This restuarant is not a bad choice, it's a safe choice.

Steak, Frites & Bearnaise

Glazed Baby Onions & Lardons

Sole Meuniere

Poached Pear & Claousou Cheese

Cheese Board With Honey Vinaigrette

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Finding a decent Oriental restaurant can be difficult. Here in London they're like Marmite, there's some that are worth going to and others, unfortunately awful.
There's two restaurants that serve up decent Chinese food, Gerrards Corner and Overseas (located in Chinatown).
However if you have cash to splash and looking for something a bit more swanky, upmarket and refined, Yauatcha is right on your doorstep bringing classy Asian dishes to the table.

The food is not good, it's seriously good with the menu offering all sorts of impressive stuff such as Dim Sum, main meals and desserts but on this occasion it was the Dim Sum and desserts that took centre stage. Mouth watering plates of authentic Chinese food delivered with class and precision, Yauatcha simply rocked my socks. It's also worth mentioning that if the weather is good like it had been the past few weeks, its totally worth being on the terrace.

Where do I begin?

Put it this way there are some dishes that need to be ordered more that once such as the prawn and bean curd cheung fun. Drenched in light soy sauce, it's slimy, soft gelatinous shell covers deep fried prawns and these particular bad boys are without question number one on my hit list for my next visit.
Other seafood dishes that I devoured included the soft shell crab accompanied with fiery red chillies and huge, meaty scallop shui mai  followed by the crispy chilli squid. The latter was a strange one, not to say it wasn't nice it was just I suppose like I said, strange. Covered with toasted oatmeal, it gave the squid a slight sweet tone and nutty flavour and  even though I kept going for more, I couldn't decide whether it was for me or not.

And if things couldn't get any better, the meat Dim Sum took the game to another level.
Venison puffs, which you guessed it were filled with tiny pieces of venison cooked in a rich dark stock and encased and baked in a flaky and super light pastry. There's also the old classic (and my personal favourite) char siu buns. Watch out for them, they're steaming hot, let them cool at little and if my belly couldn't get any bigger I also had poached chicken dumplings and crispy duck rolls which were both superb.

Trust me on this one FoodPunkers, save some room for desserts because they brought an end to what was such a fantastic meal. They were heavenly and weren't too heavy or rich. For a split second I felt guilty dismantling them but after the first spoon, my god was it worth it and it doesn't stop there because if you're feeling a little devilish, you can always take away their sexy looking cakes and macaroons for a little treat later on.

All in all Yauatcha is number one for my Dim Sum fix. Yeah, it may be a little bit pricey but its so worth it and you get more than what you pay for. I'm sure that it if my family from Malaysia visited, they too would be seriously impressed.

Prawn & Bean Curd Cheung Fun

Scallop Shui Mai

Soft Shell Crap, Almonds & Chilli

Crispy Chilli Squid

Venison Puffs

Char Sui Bun

Poached Peking Chicken Dumpling

Duck Rolls

Wild Mushroom Dumpling

Apricot, Yoghurt Honey Crème, Orange Madelain, Almond

Coconut Pandan Crème, Lime Curd, Coconut Sable