Picture 22

110 Great Portland Street , London, W1W 6PQ

020 7637 7892

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SquareMeal Review of Picture

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016Equally suited to a quick business meet or a special night out, this “fantastic oasis behind Oxford Street” is clearly doing something right – perhaps because its three owners all met at Arbutus, where they learned the knack of serving classy food at unexpectedly keen prices. Picture’s six-course tasting menu is one of London’s bargains, but without a whiff of cost-cutting – witness Cheltenham beetroot tartare with pomegranate, feta and pine nuts, lightly smoked pork with Jerusalem artichoke, quince and pickled shallot, or cod fillet with sprouting broccoli, celeriac and trompette mushrooms. Elsewhere, crispy beef ‘bites’ and a dessert of chocolate mousse, salted caramel and milk jam are fixtures on the carte. The no-frills room is all bare boards and stripped, industrial-chic walls, but padded seats and glossy wood tables don’t compromise on comfort – no wonder it’s also a “great-value” lunchtime magnet for Fitzrovia’s too-cool media crowd. Service is “friendly and knowledgeable”, while savvy wines deliver on price and quality.

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8.0

Food & Drink: 8.1

Service: 8.3

Atmosphere: 7.9

Value: 7.9

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Peter S. 26 October 2016

Booked this place for a business meeting based on the good reviews in SquareMeal. Upon arrival greeted by a very loud and pushy Maître d' who spoke in such a forceful manner, it immediately put me off. All the other waiting staff were pleasant and perhaps trying to make up for the Maître d's rudeness. My business guests were pushed for their orders. At desert, the same treatment again. As one of them was reading through the menu, he mumbled chocolate mousse to himself and then the Maître d' shouted that was his order and walked away. We had to correct our deserts order. The restaurant has a nice ambience and lighting - a plus. The food was good but not at a level where I would find it easy to justify their prices. I struggle to think of reasons to go back unless some changes are made.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 16 August 2013

The first, perhaps stupid, thought that came into my mind before dining here was why, if you were opening a new restaurant, would you call it Picture? I am not sure how much is in a name, but it certainly counts for something. Gastro-philes who are familiar with the success and enjoyment of dining at Wild Honey and Arbutus would surely come here of their own accord, but for the casual diner, might the name make one think of artwork? Or, as an acquaintance wittily remarked, picture mispronounced sounds like ‘pitcher’, and this dining experience is about as far from the forlorn food of the Pitcher & Piano pub chain as possible. The other curious thing about Picture is that there is barely an artwork in sight. Maybe the name is a post-ironic statement, a juxtaposition to the grey-washed walls, minimalist decoration and retro style furnishings. Such a design formula, also when factoring in a huge skylight in the main dining areas does create a wonderful light and airy space. The setting certainly leaves the diner with a wonderful opportunity to concentrate on the food served up by the highly talented chefs here (and more of this later). The only problem, however, that while the room was just perfect when my dining comrade and I arrived for lunch at 12.30, by peak dining time, the noise levels were such (with nothing obviously to absorb them) that non-shouted conversation become harder. Moreover, the chairs that we had thought ‘looked’ nice, certainly didn’t ‘feel’ nice after having sat on them for about an hour-and-a-half. That the place got so busy, was evidence of its popularity and winning formula – great fresh food at highly competitive prices served by genuinely welcoming staff – although my humble advice might be to dine either early or late, avoiding peak noise levels. Do dine though: we loved the food and the concept of small shared dishes works wonderfully. Sharing may have its critics, but to my mind it can democratise the whole dining experience, not restricting customers just to the traditional starter-main-dessert formula. Moreover, as grown-ups, one also doesn’t need to split each dish religiously; human nature dictates that some people will prefer one item over another, but at least this way one does have the option to try a broad range and witness the full testament to a kitchen’s talents. My comrade and I comfortably managed seven small savoury dishes (priced between £6 and £9) followed by one dessert. They delighted on all counts, presentation, freshness and innovation, the use of the traditional, but with a nod to the modern. Highlights included the sole ceviche with cucumber and sea lettuce as well as the ravioli of Italian greens and ricotta, accompanied by chilli and parmesan. Although we didn’t opt for it, a three-course set lunch of this quality for just £15 seems almost too good to be believed. Picture also scores in the wine department: everything is available by the glass, and bottles range from less than £20 to almost £80. Great food, service and price win the day!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 15 August 2013

Picture is one of yet another venues with the small sharing plates “concept” (does that word still apply if it's more common than McDonalds?) and we are advised we should pick 6 dishes between 2. If that's the case, then why not make the dishes easy to share? Egg, as you can imagine, was a runny minefield. And 3 ravioli do not divide happily by 2 consumers as even the most mathematically challenged would tell you. Fortunately, or rather, unfortunately, we were not fighting over the food. We were certainly not fighting over the semi-raw chicken. I'm not sure whether to be unimpressed that the kitchen can't cook chicken or impressed that the waiter spotted the error as soon as we had cut into it (trying to divide the one small bit of breast in 2, of course) and swiftly took it away to be replaced. The rare beef was a little too rare, and being a bit cold, I wonder if “rare” isn't just a synonym for “cooked earlier and plated up now”. We did enjoy the starter lamb bite nibbles (piping, mouth-blisteringly hot, in contrast to the rest of the meal) but skipped dessert as I just didn't have the heart to flog the dead horse any more. Coffee instead was as good as any Italian barrista can produce. It's a shame as the atmosphere is convivial enough sitting up at the long, high table, with the bifold doors open, and watching the summer London crowd potter past at lunchtime, although the number of empty tables should have rung warning bells. Perhaps in the evening it would be a bit more humming and the chefs would pay more attention to the quality of the food, but I am starting to get the impression that “sharing” plates is just an excuse for lazily churning out very hit-or-miss dishes (it doesn't matter if this one is rubbish as you might like one of the others) and a sneaky way of getting you to part with more money for less food. Because at £6-9 a dish (which is a couple of mouthfuls) you do end up paying more for less, and in this case for less in both quantity and quality.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Spencer F. 19 July 2013

The food here is excellent. Six of us dined together on a Thursday evening and 5 of us went with the tasting menu and one went al la carte. Every dish was beautifully prepared, visibly fresh and really tasty. The tapas style approach means you get to try most of the dishes, which is a great idea as there are many interesting and unusual things on the menu. The service is excellent, really attentive without being over-bearing. Our server was really lovely, even when I made a remark about the terrible acoustics, which despite the noise she managed to hear from a table away, she came over and apologised and said they’d had other comments and were currently thinking about how to fix it. I appreciated the honesty… …but it leads me to the only issue I have with this place, which is the noise. When it’s full, the acoustics are so terrible that it’s like eating in a loud bar, even though there might only be ten other people in the restaurant. I really hope they can sort the noise out, as this is a real gem of a place. Really cool, fresh, vibrant and interesting food, wonderful service and a good wine list; the best restaurant in the immediate area by far. I will definitely return.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Chris W. 15 July 2013

Top drawer cooking and there's nothing that similar to this in Fitzrovia that I know of. The presentation is the stand-out element of the food, each dish looked absolutely stunning. The hake in particular was an absolute work of art. Very good warm sourdough with butter got things started, and then a succession of dishes including pressed pork, salmon, goats curd and hake were the main (sharing) dishes we had. Both puddings of panna cotta and chocolate mousse were also excellent.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

David P. 03 July 2013

Stumbled on this relatively new restaurant Picture by chance but what a find. Owned by 3 friends an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman but that's where the joke ends because they are serious about putting good quality food in front of their customers. Simple and unpretentious this restaurant serves up different sharing plates and like other reviewers we where recommended that we choose 3/4 plates per person but seeing what other customers where being served we wanted to try everything. The crisp pork cheek and the smoked eel was fantastic and the chocolate mousse with cherries and honeycomb was to die for! If this restaurant can maintain this standard of service and excellent food it will not belong before you have to book a table weeks in advance, I think we are lucky to have been there at the beginning of this new restaurant. My advice is to try it, sooner rather than later and you will not be disappointed. Visited June 2013

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Catherine F. 29 June 2013

Fun, friendly and fantastic food. I will definitely be going back!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Claire C. 28 June 2013

A fabulous new restaurant just a few minutes walk from Oxford Street with a superb atmosphere and friendly service. I went with 2 girlfriends for dinner and have a lovely evening. We started with cocktails and nibbles at the bar before sitting down for dinner. Sharing lots of smaller dishes makes a great evening and provides the opportunity to taste a number of different, and equally delicious dishes all during one meal. The desserts are a sweet tooth's dream and being able to order 4 or 5 means you don't have the issue of choosing just one. I would definetly reccommend for small or large groups for a work or social meal. We will definetly be visiting again!

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Special offers

London Restaurant Festival 2017 - 6 courses tasting menu & a cocktail £40 per person

From: 01 October 2017

To: 31 October 2017

Max: 0