Excitement overcame me earlier today when I was invited to have lunch with my Dad for two reasons. The first being, it is a rare and cherished occasion to spend one-on-one time with him and the secondly because the venue was La Petite Maison.
La Petite Maison was brought to London by the team behind the Japanese restaurants Roka and Zuma, though there is, thank God, no attempt to bring the flavours of Japan to the culinary traditions of Southern France. This is Tarte a L’onion food from first to last and although this was a meal based on chatting rather than eating everything on the menu, the dishes were both delicious and beautiful so I wanted to share it with you.
Scallop carpaccio with almonds, cherries, capers and garlic olive oil – I feel like the lime and lemongrass, tartare/carpaccio dish has been done to death but the heaviness of the almonds and the kick of garlic gave it a real taste of Provence whilst remaining light and fresh.
Thinly sliced octopus in lemon oil – I think it’s amazing how such simple food can create such complex and exciting patterns on a plate and this is exactly how I’d describe the flavours of the dish. Very few ingredients enhancing each other to deliver something quite unexpected. I was amazed such a small slice of octopus could be so clean and sharp.
Baby chicken marinated in lemon – As I don’t like chicken, I didn’t try this but my Dad seemed to enjoy this very much.
Grilled tiger prawns – Look at those gorgeous vibrant shells housing perfect, glistening prawn meat, brains and all. These beauties had a faint smokiness from the paprika but apart from that, everything else just let the quality of the prawns do the talking.
While it is hardly a bargain, I think it represents value for money, with precise renditions of classic dishes using top ingredients. On my last visit I recall a classic Provencal tart, pissaladiere which brought five rectangles of crisp pastry and sweet onions with a perfect balance of anchovy. I also loved the extraordinary if decadent scrambled eggs with truffles. Despite the intermittent April shower gloom, La Petite Maison offered the warm, relaxed buzz of summer in Provence.
54 Brooks Mews,
020 7495 4774