Picture Restaurant is a small modern-British establishment that serves wonderful food in a relaxed and toned-down atmosphere. Situated just behind the revamped central London BBC offices, it is often awash with BBC executives looking to finish their long day with a plate of something lovely, and do doubt; a glass of something bubbly.
I recently visited with my sister who loves Picture Restaurant. She advised me that the ever changing menu is always interesting without being too showy and since her office is not far away, she enjoys a 10% discount when she visits with clients.
I shared with her the goat’s curd dish which was served with English spring vegetables and crunchy quinoa. This was a beautifully colourful plate with peas, baby cucumbers bright pink radishes set against a dollop of very mild and refreshing goats cheese. Out came the grilled tenderstem broccoli and slow baked aubergine cooked in Indian spices. I thought this might be a bit boring – but it was delicious. The type of dish that is so tasty that instead of wolfing it down, you take your time to savour every mouthful. We also had ravioli of Italian greens, ricotta and chilli, as well as a bowl of olives and thinly cut French fries with aioli and some bread; all of which were beautiful.
The thing I like about ‘small dish’ places (however annoying some may find it) is that there is usually plenty of choice for vegetarians. While standard British restaurants only seem to have risotto for the vegetarian ‘choice’ at the moment, small dish restaurants often offer exciting and tasty dishes which show off the chef’s expertise and creativity. That is certainly what it feels like at Picture Restaurant anyway.
It is refreshingly gimmick free, unpretentious and relatively cheap. On Mondays, you can bring your own wine and the corkage is free. Thanks to it’s close proximity to Oxford Street, it also acts as a much needed oasis of calm from the heaving high street. So next time you’re in that part of London, add a quick stop off at the Picture Restaurant to your schedule – you won’t be disappointed.