*** PIQUET IS NOW CLOSED ***
Piquet is a restaurant situated in the heart of Fitzrovia that is supposedly the first of its kind, using contemporary cuisine to combine French and English influences. I really didn't know what to expect from Piquet but I had been on a french food craze for a while so I thought I had nothing to lose.
I wasn't a huge fan of the restaurant's location as it was on a street lined with several incomplete buildings and undergoing a lot of construction. This abandoned vibe didn't exactly put me an optimistic mood. When I finally entered the restaurant, I was taken downstairs to my table to wait for KW. I wasn't feeling the interior ambience either. There was no natural light and the atmosphere just felt very dim and dreary. There are some restaurants like Zuma or Opera Tavern that work the whole dim vibe but sadly, Piquet just didn't get it right.
The menu lifted my spirits as it strongly reminded me of the dishes I had at The Medlar. Shortly after, KW arrived and we ordered our starters. I chose to have the Pithivier of Snails (£13). This was very very rich - even for French food. The boldly flavoured madeira had a lot of depth to it and the buttery pastry was filled with soft but somewhat balanced textures from the bacon and the snail. The dish was just too overpowering. The elements were wonderful on their own but the taste profile intensified when these elements were combined. Overall, I would assume that a smaller portion would have solved the dish's overwhelming intensity.
I had the Duck Breast (£22) as my main. The duck breast on its own was very mildly flavoured, verging on blandness. On the other hand, the pressed duck leg had a much more intense savoury flavour. The whole radishes, however, tasted a bit odd as they had an unsettling earthy aftertaste. Generally, the dish was pretty, slightly balanced and filling but far from perfect.
I finished off with a classic Tarte Tartin (£12). Firstly, the pears were soaked in an overly sweet caramelised syrup, lacking the necessity of an acidic quality. Secondly, the crust was very soggy as a result of the excessive liquid glaze. Lastly, the cinnamon ice cream (which I hoped would taste like the one I tried at La Petite Maison) was too sweet to cut through the all-too-present sweetness in the tart. Basically, The Medlar's version of Tarte Tartin remains my favourite.
In summary, the food was relatively decent but there's massive room for improvement. Regarding the ambience, you may feel like you're suffocating in a room with no natural lighting but at least you'll be distracted by the 70s inspired minimalism and the wood panelled walls. Also, the service was efficient but slightly inauthentic. Honestly, you wouldn't be missing much if you don't dine here. That being said, Piquet changes its menu quite often so you might have a better experience than I did.
92 Newman St
London, W1T 3EZ
£25-70pp (They do lunch and dinner set menus that you can check here)