I had first gone to Picture Restaurant two years ago during a special event during the London Restaurant Festival. We came for dessert, and it was fantastic, so I vowed to return to Picture to try them out for a full meal. Well, two years later we needed a restaurant to go to two days before Christmas (and a lot of places were closed), so I booked us in to Picture.
When we arrived, we were shown to our seats. Later, my husband told me he wasn’t too sure about the place given what the guy said when we walked in. Apparently, I’m more deaf than I already know, as I didn’t hear him at all. My husband told me he welcomed us to the restaurant and said something like, “Have a good evening… or not.” when I didn’t respond. It’s not really a good way to start the evening. I don’t know why someone would say that to a customer.
Anyway, we decided to try a couple of cocktails. I had the Noel Negroni. It was quite a tasty cocktail I have to say. Things were starting out well. We decided to get the six-course menu for £39. We also opted to get the beef bites for an additional pound each. The beef bites came and they were fantastic. Fried to perfection and the sauce was great. The first course was a winter vegetable veloute. We ordered some white wine to go with it (although it came a bit late, but the wine was also for the next course as well). The veloute was also really tasty. Velvety smooth with a hint of curry in the background. We were really willing to forgive the guy who was slightly rude by now.
Unfortunately, things kind of went downhill from there. The next course was butternut squash with eggplant. It was a middle eastern/north african themed course. The squash was kind of bland. There was too much flavor in the eggplant, so the whole dish was just kind of unbalanced. The third course of pork was nice, but nothing spectacular. The fish course that was next, I wasn’t a fan of. And it was kind of big. It was just too fishy tasting for me. My husband enjoyed it more than I did. Fifth course was braised beef, but the beef was really quite tough. It had a nice flavor, but it was really chewy. The sauce was great, but my husband hated the texture so much he didn’t finish the course. However, they do have an interesting selection of wines. They don’t do pairings, but my husband did a great job of selecting wines from the menu that went amazingly with the courses.
Dessert was actually fantastic, and it reminded me why I wanted to come back and give the place a try. It was a very smooth chocolate mousse with a side of pear. Finally we had cheese. They get their cheese from La Fromagerie. Given that, I expected some great and tasty cheeses, as it’s one of my favorite cheese shops in London. The cheese selection was sad. We could have skipped the course and the meal probably would have been better. Whoever chose the cheeses weren’t choosing them to be interesting, just kind of a generic selection. We did have a nice Fonseca Tawny Port to go with it though.
I was kind of expecting better of the restaurant, but unfortunately, things weren’t that great. There were a couple of good courses, and amazing wine, but most of the courses were kind of average for me. Many of the tastes were unbalanced for the plates. If I were coming for wine or cocktails and dessert, I think this place would be great, but given the plethora of other places in London, it’s not a place I would probably recommend to people or to come back to.
110 Great Portland Street, W1W 6PQ