Test Drives

la petite maison london restaurant reviewTucked away on a Mayfair mews, the terrace is proving particularly popular at the moment.

So what do we need to know about La Petite Maison?

It's the London outpost of a group that originated with a restaurant in Nice. Restaurateur Arjun Waney loved the food he had there, and was flush with winnings from the casino the night before, so made a deal there and then to buy up the world rights. London's La Petite Maison opened in 2007 and is the group's flagship restaurant.

Where is it?

You'll find it tucked away on the corner of Brooks Mews and Avery Row, behind Claridge's. Back in the day this would have been a coach house and stables. Now it's home to some of London's highest rent per square metre offices along with galleries and hedge funds.

Where's a good place to meet for a drink first?

In normal times, the obvious answer would be LPM's brand-new oyster bar. They bought out the gallery next door and have created a jewel of a bar, all marble counter and banquette seating. But social distancing rules mean that isn't being used just yet, while they figure out the new arrangements. And as so much is currently still closed around here, you're better off going straight to the table and hitting up LPM's cocktail list. Certainly while we were there, the bar team didn't get a moment's peace with cocktails going out every minute to a thirsty crowd.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewThe restaurant's new oyster bar

What kind of safety measures have they employed?

Well, terrace seating is probably a premium as most folk prefer eating outdoors if they can. But inside, tables have been spaced out, staff are all in masks and there's hand sanitiser at the entrance.

So what's on the menu?

Chef Patron Raphael Duntoye has been in charge here since it first opened (with stints at group's restaurants in Dubai and Miami). His menu is inspired by the classic Nicoise cuisine of the original restaurant - so expect to find the kind of dishes you'd want to order on the Med, using the finest ingredients.

Here's what we had:

la petite maison london restaurant reviewWe haven't had an oyster since lockdown started, and on hearing they were on the menu, we had to have a few to start. God, we've missed them! These Porthilly oysters came with the usual shallot vinegar and a yuzu dressing too (£4 each). 

la petite maison london restaurant reviewTuna Tartare and Oscietra Caviar with quail's egg (£27) - with pasta 'crisps' 

la petite maison london restaurant reviewBeef carpaccio with a pickle dressing (£14) - loved that little spatula for lifting the wafer thin slices.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewRib eye (£45) - such a huge steak we ended up with a lot of it in a doggy bag, making for a perfect sarnie the following day.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewGrilled lamb chops with smoked aubergine (£40) - a must-order.

What about vegetarians and vegans?

There's plenty to entice those going for plant-forward dishes, including the following:

la petite maison london restaurant reviewCrudites with bagna cauda (£16) - what vegetable isn't enhanced by this intense garlic and anchovy dip? Answer: none.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewBurrata with datterini tomatoes and basil (£18) - one of the most-ordered dishes here, and understandable given the quality of both the cheese and the tomatoes.

Room for dessert?

Room for three actually. Well, we ordered one (the pain perdu) and the others turned up so we could try them too. They were all £10 each.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewIles flottante - more anchored than floating, this crisp shell of meringue was topped with loads of fresh fruit to help you forget the sheer volume of sugar you're ingesting.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewCheesecake - maybe the lightest one we've ever had with a base that was almost miraculously thin.

la petite maison london restaurant reviewPain Perdu with spiced ice-cream and honeycomb - the kind of dessert you dream about. Every bit as good as we were expecting, and then some. No wonder it's one of their bestsellers.

And to drink?

As you might imagine, the wine list does have more than the average number of Provencal rose's available by the glass and carafe. Our ’Clos Mireille’ carafe was £63 and went down a treat, particularly with that tartare and burrata. But, as you might imagine, from a restaurant like this in Mayfair, the wines are definitely on the pricier side - so if you were after a 1979 bottle of Petrus at £9800 you'd be in the right place. 

Overall thoughts:

Not having been to La Petite Maison since the days when it first opened, we were keen to see what - if anything - had changed. With much of Mayfair closed up and quiet still, this backstreet restaurant was packed to the rafters. Why? Well it helped that around 90% of the customers were regulars. Staff were greeting everyone by name and there was an unmistakable buzz to the scene.

It's not quantum physics - repeat customers like this are down to great service and excellent food. LPM has both of these, and it's still doing very nicely, thank you very much.

 

More about La Petite Maison

Where is it? 53-54 Brook's Mews, Mayfair, London W1K 4EG

How to book: Call 020 7495 4774

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @lpmlondon

Hot Dinners dined as guests of La Petite Maison. Prices correct at time of publication.

 

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