Marylebone is one of my favourite pockets of London, particularly good for a Saturday morning wander around the shops and lunch with girlfriends. The new Picture restaurant fits in to this neighbourhood perfectly, satisfying stylish visitors with delicious gourmet lunches and indulgent dinners.
I went along with my brother to try out the seasonal lunch menu. It was a surprisingly sunny day and the modern dining room glimmered in the daylight. I always prefer eating out at lunchtime, the service is more observant, I’m generally hungrier and best of all, the light is normally perfect for food photography. At Picture the waiters were particularly lovely, checking our progress without crowding us.
We had various menus to choose from, a very reasonable, set lunch (two courses for £22, three for £25), the six course summer menu (£40) or the a la carte which advises four courses, one from each section (vegetables, fish, meat and sweet). Spotting a few of my favourite ingredients on the a la carte list, we decided to go for that, and between us managed to try eight inventive dishes. The cocktail offerings, alcoholic and virgin, change dependent on season, we couldn’t resist trying the Fresh watermelon martini and Strawberry and mint lemonade, both wonderfully refreshing.
In the kitchen two Michelin-trained chefs, Alan Christie and Colin Kelly use their expertise to create innovative and unique recipes from just a few ingredients. I particularly noticed their skill in the vegetable section of the meal, where simple produce was elevated into nuanced and special plates of food. The charred spiced cauliflower with sea purslane, peas and shallots was a subtle dish with a lovely variety of textures. Lingurian beef heart tomato with grilled bread, feta and rouille was a clever take on a tomato salad, topped with salty cheese and a creamy sauce.
Service was quick and before long it was time for course two. Cod with corn and chorizo was a light dish, carefully paired flavours that nicely complemented eachother. The ravioli of caramelised onion was a pasta lovers dream, perfect parcels coated in an irresistably buttery sauce.
For main course I tried the Roast young chicken with Portobello mushrooms and curly kale. Compared to previous courses it was a little bland, a large portion that I thought could have benefitted from a more delicate piece of meat, with crisped up skin. The 28 day beef was luscious and velvety, rich in flavour thanks to the bone marrow crumb and red wine sauce.
Desserts mimicked the sunshine outside. English strawberries with granola and iced mascarpone parfait was a version of a summertime breakfast, super sweet strawberries paired with crunchy oats and creamy indulgent parfait. For cocoa fans the Dark chocolate mousse was also a hit, with a happy salt caramel crumble surprise when you delve your spoon in.
With welcoming staff, a smart contemporary dining room and food worth far more than the price, I predict Picture Restaurant Marylebone will soon be a neighbourhood favourite.
More information and book a table here.