In amongst writing and tackling my inbox after an extended weekend off, Tuesday involved a three hour stint with Team Sassoon (more on this to follow) and a visit to new opening The Lucky Pig in Fulham – the restaurant arm to its existing Twenties-themed sister bar in Fitzrovia – for a three-course wine-pairing extravaganza. And it well and truly thumped post-Bank Holiday Blues out of the picture.
We liked it the moment we walked in through the main double doors, which are permanently flung open to entice passers-by to take a peek as they potter down the North End Road. The entrance opens out into a big, roomy bar and restaurant peppered with multi-coloured, velvet chairs and there was a live soundtrack provided by a pianist playing a medley of James Taylor, Paul Simon and Elton John classics. We later discovered he's worked with some seriously big fish in the music industry and weirdly lives just a few miles away from me in Sussex.
The restaurant itself manages to conjure up a vibe of chilled-out fine dining. Service was excellent, attentive but never obtrusive, and after a chat with maitre d’ Thomas we learned that head chef Michael Mannion had a CV which included working alongside names like Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White. And it showed in the food, which is unquestionably the star of the show. The menu is the kind that makes you change your mind every time you read the next thing on it.
After an eternity of mulling over, we plumped for ricotta ravioli and seared scallops as starters, followed by slow cooked short ribs and pan fried black bream and seasonal rhubarb, gooseberry and elderflower bavarois and peach Melba tart to finish. Every course was a work of art. The dill sauce on the ricotta ravioli was out-of-this-world, as were the fall-off-the-bone melt-in-the-mouth ribs, the peach tart with sugar dome and even the lavender butter served with the bread at the start was delicious. And despite portions being large – no complaints here – the odd morsel left on plates was only as a result of having no room left (a baffling occurrence for Olly and I to be defeated by a portion size).
The Lucky Pig Fulham, 374 North End Road, Fulham, London, SW6 1LY