39 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 2SF, United Kingdom

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Mathieu Germond opened Noize in early October 2017, having spent much of his career at nearby Pied a Terre, both as its sommelier and later its general manager. The restaurant name is that of a village from Mathieu’s childhood. The head chef here is Ed Dutton, who worked at Foliage for several years and himself worked at Pied a Terre under Shane Osborn, amongst other prestigious restaurants. He heads up a team of four chefs at each service. The dining room, seating 36 diners at any one time is on the ground floor, with a bar and private room in the basement. The room feels cosy, with traditional lamps and the tables covered in crisp white linen.

The wine list had a substantial selection from France, but also well chosen wines from Spain, Italy, California and elsewhere. There was an unusually good section of over a dozen dessert wines. Sample labels included Ata Rangi 2014 at £96 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £48, Finca la Escuela Malbec Altamira 2011 at £74 compared to its retail price of £23, and Rioja Alta 904 2007 at £100 for a wine that will set you back £41 in a shop. There were prestige wines too; such as Gaja Sori Lan Lorenzo Langhe 1997 at a bargain £242 compared to its retail price of £360, and Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2002 at £330 for a bottle whose current market price is £257. Even the Chateau d’Qyuem 1990 at £336 was barely more than its retail price of £310, and the 1998 vintage of the same wine at £220 was slightly below its shop price of £250. This was very much a list designed for serious wine drinkers, encouraging customers to trade up to drink better wines, since the mark-ups dropped off heavily as you moved up the list. As a final bonus, while some restaurants can be very evasive or sniffy about customers wanting to bring their own wine, here there was a generous corkage policy of £20 flat fee per bottle, available at either lunch or dinner. Bread was a sourdough baked at Pied a Terre, and had very good texture and a nice crust (15/20).

A starter featured high quality, superbly cooked scallops, the shellfish served with very thinly sliced cooked cauliflower, slicers of apple and a little lemon juice. This was a simple but impressive dish, the scallop having lovely inherent sweetness, the acidity of the apple nicely balancing this (16/20). Jerusalem artichoke soup was enjoyable but very creamy, and could have had more artichoke flavour for me. On the side was a pleasant accompaniment of melted Brillat Savarain cheese on toast (14/20). The final starter that we tried was a chicken, leek and foie gras terrine with apple chutney and caramelised hazelnuts with toast. The terrine had smooth texture and plenty of liver flavour (15/20).

Tagliatelle was fresh rather than dried and made from scratch in the kitchen, with assorted mushrooms and Belper Knolle unpasteurised cow milk cheese from Bern. This was fine, though perhaps a touch saltier than some would like, presumably due to the Himalayan salt that is infused in the cheese (14/20). Partridge came with celeriac and an apple puree, with miniature Dauphinoise potatoes on the side. The bird was cooked carefully, and the little serving of gratin dauphinoise in particular was excellent. In a separate jar was a stunningly intense reduced sauce, made from a mix of stock from the partridge legs, chicken stock and veal stock. To give you a sense of how much work goes into this sauce, the kitchen starts with fifteen litres of stock and reduces it and reduces it, and then reduces it some more until just three quarters of a litre of intense, flavourful stock remains. Some such sauces can be gloopy but this was just gloriously rich (16/20 overall for the dish but the sauce was firmly in multi-star territory). As a general comment, the seasoning of the savoury dishes was on the bold side, which I actually like, though some people might find a tad salty.

A dessert of apple tart fine came with vanilla ice cream and a quince reduction. This is a classic dessert, in this case using Pink Lady apples, and had very good pastry and apples cooked through just to the right level of caramelisation, with a particularly intensely flavoured vanilla ice cream (16/20). Baked Alaska had meringue protecting its contents of blackberry ice cream, served on a gingerbread base and garnished with blackberries. The fruit was of high quality and the contrast of textures was most enjoyable (15/20)

Coffee is from the same supplier as used at Pied a Terre, a coffee brand called Il Gandioso from AIM coffee. The blend has a little Robusta as well as the smoother Arabica beans, which is an authentically French thing (many coffee blends in France use Robusta beans as well as Arabica) but does bring a slightly rougher edge than pure Arabica coffees: Robusta has twice the caffeine content of Arabica, and this gves it a slightly more bitter taste.

Service was excellent, with an experienced waiter that I recognised from Pied a Terre amongst the staff. Our bill came to £132 per person, but that involved indulging in a bottle of the glorious Rioja Alta 890 2004, plus some other drinks. If instead you selected a modest bottle to share then a typical cost per head here might be around £68. This is a bargain given the standard of food that is coming out of the kitchen. Noize is without a doubt one of the very best London openings of 2017.


Further reviews: 14th Aug 2021 | 16th Jun 2021 | 15th Jul 2019 | 05th May 2018 | 22nd Mar 2018

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