Pimlico Fresh – pie envy

12:30pm – The bloke opposite me is eating lunch at his desk. It smells amazing. We’re quick to gather around to smell and admire his steak and mushroom pie with roasted vegetables, and are tempted, envious and tormented in equal measure. All concentration and productivity has drifted away with the steam from his pie.

12:50pm – Now the girl next to me is eating lunch. Unable to resist the smell of freshly made hot pie, she’s just returned from Pimlico Fresh with a chicken, ham and tarragon pie. It’s a beautiful thing to gaze on.

1:00pm – I’m in Pimlico Fresh on Wilton Road. They seem to be doing a roaring trade but that’s hardly surprising if, for every early customer they served this lunchtime, they got two more through sheer pie envy.

Pimlico Fresh – rustic cafe on Wilton Road

There’s a chiller of fresh and unusually concocted fruit smoothies and drinks to the side of the main counter which displays a selection of salads and mighty fine looking cakes, meringues and desserts.

Mighty fine looking carrot cake

It’s only a small café and all the seats are taken – a few breakfast-bar stools in the window, and most seating around chunky wooden dining tables arranged under a blackboard containing today’s chalked menu.

Today’s menu

There’s plenty to choose from including home-made lasagne @ £7.50 or pumpkin tortellini @ £6.95 but there’s really only one option for me. It has to be pie. You can get a pie on its own for £4.50 or with salad for £6.95.

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Chicken, ham + tarragon pie

The chicken, ham and tarragon pie contains potato too and with the lovely crusty pastry is a meal in itself.

Steak and mushroom pie

I choose a steak and mushroom pie with a Greek salad which turns out to be my main meal of the day, it’s such a generous portion and so very filling! The pie is moist due to the gravy which you can see in the photo and goes well with the thick, flaky pastry crust.

The only downside is it takes ages to eat my way through it all, and then I’m absolutely stuffed. If you can call that a downside…

On another occasion, I had a jacket potato with cheese and baked beans @ £6.95. I was slightly disgruntled at having to wait 15 minutes while it was prepared (to take away) and almost £7 for a baked potato seemed quite expensive too.

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Jacket spud with home-baked beans + cheese

But it was worth the wait: the baked beans were really tomato-ey. They weren’t tinned baked beans but had been freshly cooked in tomato sauce with celery (really wholesome and tasty).

And if you want a healthy booster, there’s a range of smoothies @ £4.00, from carrot, orange, ginger and echinacea to strawberry, bananas and orange juice, or Chegworth Valley juices (pear, apple, etc) @ £2.50 a bottle.

Camera Roll-85-img 6910 Pimlico Fresh smoothies
Smoothies @ £4.00

Cafe info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3 / 5
~ Type: British
~ Address: 86 Wilton Road, London
~ Postcode: SW1V 1DE
~ Tel: 020 7932 0030
~ Twitter: @pimlicofresh
~ Nearest station: Victoria
~ Location: Pimlico Fresh map

Nearby dining:
~ Seafresh fish and chip shop + restaurant
~ Taquitos Mexican Grill

Pimlico Fresh on Urbanspoon


Suze in Mayfair – NOW CLOSED

Closed as of November 2013. Shame.

Lardbutty restaurant of the month – 5/5
I only noticed Suze in Mayfair recently – next to Truc Vert, an old favourite, on North Audley Street. We went last night for a special occasion: to celebrate it being ten years since K and me got together. And everything was fabulous.

The table was booked for 8.30pm and the restaurant was packed when we arrived. The main ground floor restaurant was filled with a party who appeared to be enjoying a food and wine matching event with a host.

We were led upstairs to a small, cosy attic-like room containing about six tables for two. Service was friendly, prompt and attentive from the word go. Our waiter was happy to give his opinion and share his recommendations when asked, displaying a good knowledge – and fondness – of the food served (even though he didn’t work there but was just helping out a friend!? – yep, I guess it’s just that kind of place).

The menu changes regularly but this sample menu gives you an idea of what’s on offer, including Australasian specialities of – sometimes – kangaroo fillet and New Zealand lamb.

For starters, we shared squid (£5) and venison carpaccio (£5). K chose the venison, it’s not something I’d pick, but I was pleasantly surprised. Both were perfect.

Pie of the day – chicken

For mains, K had the pie of the day (£13.95) (chicken and vegetables) which was simply outstanding, while I had lamb fillet (£17.50). I asked for it to be medium cooked (rather than my usual: medium rare) as the waiter said the kitchen crew were likely to err on the side of under-cooking than over-cooking (top tip). Again, it was perfect – slightly bloody in the middle, very tender, with an outer crunch and served with two divine sauces that complemented the flavours (minted crème fraiche and spicy tomato).

New Zealand lamb fillet

We shared a cheese board @ £10.90. You can pick three cheeses, we chose stilton, yarg (a Cornish, semi-hard white cheese) and reblochon (brie-like, from Haute-Savoie), with premium ports @ £5.45 each (a generous glassful).

Including a bottle of Yalumba viognier and excluding tips, the total bill was £87.80, which seemed pretty reasonable for such good quality, well cooked and presented food.

So, you go out to celebrate and hope to have an exceptional evening. And it can be all too easy for those plans not to live up to your high expectations. There’s a certain pressure in the build up (as opposed to a serendipitous happening).

Suze in Mayfair fulfilled our expectations. And some.

We’ll definitely go back.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
~ Type: Australasian, New Zealand (ish) slash British, international
~ Address: 41 North Audley Street, London
~ Postcode: W1K 6ZP
~ Tel: 020 7491 3237
~ Nearest tube: Bond Street
~ Website + menus: Suze in Mayfair website
~ Location: Suze in Mayfair map

Suze on Urbanspoon