La Dame de Pic … acquarello risotto and bonus birthday cakes

When I visited: May 2019

Location: London (near Tower Bridge)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: 2 stars (gained second star in 2020 Guide)

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 4/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Serene, chilled

Course of the meal: Acquarello risotto with white asparagus coffee and wild garlic

If I could change one thing: Smaller desserts

Review:

It was good to visit a high-quality London restaurant in the Tower Bridge earlier, quite removed from the cluster of Michelin gems around Mayfair and Covent Garden. La Dame de Pic also offers an amazing value lunch menu (£32 for 3 courses, and you get bonuses with that) … as well as a friendly, quite serene atmosphere.

We got bread to start off with (warm and soft, with beer-infused butter and knives that stand up …) and enjoyed a class of Ayala house champagne followed by a bottle of Meursault. Before starting the listed courses, we got this beautiful amuse bouche flower made of beetroot with gel dots:

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Our starters were the Burford brown egg poached with pancetta and fresh peas, onions and beer and Woodruff-infused sauce, and cuttlefish with shiso, stagette and clementine jelly and sea urchin rouille, which was lovely and light. My dining companion also had the optional extra ‘middle’ course – a Scottish scallop with smoked beetroot rose and grapefruit, Batak pepper and hibiscus emulsion.

There was no main course dip here, as the red mullet with potato and monk’s beard, bisque infused with verbenas, berry and liquorice was delicious, and my acquarello risotto with white asparagus coffee and wild garlic was a definite highlight.

The desserts were also delicious and beautiful if a little large (especially as we got the pictured bonus birthday cake) – we sampled the tiramisu coffee sponge and raspberry confit, with cacao nib-infused mascarpone cream and chocolate with creamy bits.

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This bonus birthday dessert had a biscuit base, lemon meringue, white chocolate and raspberries and was arguably better than the actual desserts … but you can’t complain about a free dessert!

We also got petits fours with our green teas to finish – cubes of marshmallow and lime and chocolate nibs.

I would highly recommend La Dame de Pic and will be going back when I can.

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