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Have you ever had one of those experiences where you feel like you’re missing something? You don’t get the joke, make an unintentional faux pas or realise that you’re just not with it? That was my experience of Pichet.

nick_munierThe brain-child of Hell’s Kitchen’s very own Maitre D’, Nick Munier (left) and L’Ecrivain’s former head chef, Stephen Gibson, this has all of the credentials of a top-class restaurant but at a fraction of the cost. The pair wanted to get away from fussing about Michelin stars and get down to some ‘real’ bistro food.

The result is mixed to say the least. Pichet has a restaurant area ‘in the back’ which I never got to see as the place was full, and a cafe-like area at the front which was cool and chilled out when we arrived. French music was playing and there was a lovely buzz about the place.

The menu arrived and my partner and I licked our lips in anticipation. We perused the menu and chatted excitedly about the options available; a rare thing these days. I was spoilt for choice and did an eeny-meeny-miney-mow to choose.

I ordered a dinner-size portion of Roast Cod, Basil Orzo and Salt Cod Mayonnaise with a side order of green beans and the little lady a dinner-sized portion of Smoked Haddock, Potato Gnocchi, Spinach, Light Curry Emulsion and a side of fries. We ordered a white wine and chatted over some delicious bread warm from the oven.

While we were waiting, a group of six VIPs arrived. I’ve no idea who they were but the waiters went into convulsions, falling over themselves to take care of them. Munier himself even came out to serve them. I’m sure, considering the pedigree of the owners this will happen a lot, and Pichet will be one of the places to be seen.

Just don’t go if you’re hungry. Our meals arrived and, in my ignorance, I thought “it must be quite rich as the serving is small enough”. Wrong. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong. The cod was flaky perfection, melting in the mouth and the salt cod mayo was the perfect accompaniment. This is real, honest food, cooked with obvious skill. But it was tiny, I mean starter-size tiny.

The poor missus though, got a beautifully plated meal of four teeny pieces of potato gnocchi, asparagus, which wasn’t on the menu and no spinach with was. You can chalk that up to seasonal availability of vegetables, which is fine. But it was actually funny how small her portion was; like doll food. To top it all off neither of our sides arrived and we couldn’t get the attention of the staff as they were too busy with the VIPs, whose money is obviously a different standard than ours.

I’ve read other reviews of Pichet and every, single one of them rave about the place. Maybe we were just unlucky on the night but, to be honest, I won’t be giving them a second chance.

The service of the only waitress who paid us any attention (even though we weren’t in her section) was excellent but she was the exception.

The bill came to €54.50, not including the sides, which we obviously didn’t pay for. Should I add the money for the chipper on the way home?

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  • If there’s one thing I hate it’s small portions. I know that when we cook for ourselves we make too much but seriously, that sounds like you got as little as possible at a dear enough price.
    Part of the order not coming is bad too

    Pity, cause it sounds like a great concept

    Gooner said:
  • There is nothing worse then leaving a restaurant hungry. Spending over 50 euros for a meal and needing the chipper afterwards is simply sacrilegious. A mate of a mate has recently opened Coppinger Row. Perhaps you might review and let us know if its up to scratch HAL?

    Sophie said:
  • i eat out all the time but i have to wonder what people realy want.i realy enjoyed pichet,and realy enjoyed my food.
    everyone went so crazy spending money (to much)BEFORE THE RECESSION ,and now they are taking it out on the resturants who are offering earlybird etc and trying to give back to the customer.
    think about the price and what you get for it and what you were paying 2 years ago and what you were served.i think we should appricate good things when we get them and stop being so greedy.

    clare spelling said:
  • Felt very lukewarm indeed about Pichet too – didn’t think it was up to much. Very disappointing as it’s had such a huge buildup. Nothing wrong with it mind – it’s just ok

    aphrodite said:
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