Not often do you get four national newspapers reviewing the same new restaurant on the same weekend. All raves too. Must be something special going on. Bungs? No way: with the price of a bent review starting around £10k (according to one leading critic), costs would quickly become excessive,
No, the reason is that La Petite Maison has form. You’ve probably never heard of Arjun Waney, but he’s the main man behind Knightsbridge’s Zuma. As smash hits don’t get much more bigger than that, it’s not surprising that critics all wanted to pile in to his latest opening. And the ‘back’ story is good too. The original La Petite Maison is in glamorous Nice, so the critic can impress with his or her worldly-wiseness, (or, failing that, regurgitate the bit in the press release about how Elton John goes there).
We visited before it became clear that this was going to be one of the most synchronised raves of the year, and we’d have to say the place struck us as thoroughly pleasant. Handily sited just off Bond Street, it’s light, bright and elegant in a classic style that the French can do so well, and service is generally entirely in keeping.
The food was good too. Classic provenÃ§ale dishes, largely in a trendy small-plate format, but with a few bigger dishes for those who want them (or, as one is instructed, for sharing). In fact, everything was fine and dandy, but not quite to the point that we shared the delirium that seems to have seized so many other reviewers. But that’s really beside the point. With this location, this backer, these reviews and the hype machine in full swing this place is going to be where the action is for the next few months. Until something hotter comes along, of course.