In these days of clean eating, a restaurant in right-on Shoreditch actually pushing meat is a rare treat indeed.
And the deceptively-named Petits Pois, which offers that other rarely-found treat in Britain, a perfectly-cooked steak frites Bearnaise, is making the first Sunday of every month particularly attractive for carnivores, with a few extra treats some would consider beyond the pale.
Like the ox-heart croquettes and roasted marrow-bone which are among the starters for the restaurant’s “We Meat on Sundays” club – though you can get steak frites any night of the week. And in the kind of perfectly cosy little French neighbourhood bistro with a dinky outside terrace you would love to have at the bottom of your road.
The fabulous warmed and lightly-sauced oyster which kicks off this special menu is also available on other nights, though only on the special is it treated to a coat of beef dripping-infused panko. One of us loved the marrow-bone served with toasted croutons upon which to heap the gooey roast interior along with a dollop of parsley salad, a treat which like ox hearts is gaining ground in London’s increasingly trendy carnivorous corners. The other one went for the refinement of a perfectly prepared beef consomme, a dish which takes 10 hours and a great deal of skilled labour to get right.
On the special menu the steak comes from a choice of superior cuts of grass-fed beef aged 45-50 days, one justification for the £50 price tag for the four-course Sunday feast, but the restaurant does age ifs everyday rump steak for at least 35 days. Frites were good, and the Bearnaise was the best tasted so far at a London restaurant, but the tarragon or egg-averse could choose sauce au poivre, a herb-laden Argentinian chimichurri, blue Mornay sauce or a tricksy-sounding Cafe de Paris butter(Curry flavour? On a steak? Really?) instead. And good pommes Anna, gratin dauphionis, mash or sauteed spuds are alternatives for those rare souls who are tired of chips.
There is understandably no choice of desserts on the special; the signature chocolate mousse which sent Jay Rayner into raptures when he visited is always available, dolloped out of a huge mixing bowl on to your plate with a great big spoon. It’s fantastic value for money at £5 per serving, and alone worth visiting the restaurant for.
This gutsy food demands decent red wine as well as the glass of sparkling white which accompanies the oyster as part of the special Sunday deal, and the list at Petits Pois doesn’t disappoint. Jokey by name but serious by nature, the Cabaret Frank No.2 by The Aviary in Lodi, California was a great drop at £6 per glass or £30 for the bottle, and a pinot noir from Languedoc was richer and more approachable than any you’d find from Burgundy at £7/£35.
Tell me more about the Petits Pois restaurant
Petits Pois Restaurant
9 Hoxton Square
London N1 6NU
Tel: 020 7613 3689