Little Pitt in Soho
The success of Pitt Cue in Soho and its subsequent departure perhaps made it inevitable that the company would capitalise on the now vacant space, and the demand for the famous pulled Mangalitsa pork offering of the original Pitt Cue. And that is the starting point for their new venture Little Pitt.
We started the meal with a pork scrumpet; the head of the animal slow cooked and picked down, coated in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and served with an apple ketchup – which in reality was just an apple purée, albeit a very good one. A moreish start to the meal.
With the arrival of a main of chicken and anchovy burger, it was particularly pleasing to see the use of chicken thighs rather than breast meat, the meat being tender and packed with far more flavour than the often bland breast meat. Naturally, the pulled pork bun was excellent too.
A risk with restaurants with a focus on barbecue is that everything can begin to taste the same after a few bites: smokey overtones and salty, fatty meat crammed into every item. Little Pitt avoids this pitfall well by delivering side dishes that are diverse and unashamedly carry bold flavours that really cut through anything that has come before. A bone marrow mash packed an enormous, pungent garlicky hit. The BBQ beans delivered not only a great smokiness, but an interesting acidity and background notes of star anise that helped to elevate them.
The only divisive element of the meal was the pickleback we were offered to finish, a staple in Pitt Cue company restaurants: a shot of bourbon, followed by a chaser of pickle brine. Personally I find them about as pleasant as they sound, and they seem a slightly odd choice for an establishment which actively highlights its diverse high-quality bourbon offerings, whereas a pickleback was originally designed to help make mediocre bourbons more palatable by obscuring the flavour. But their popularity continues unabated so perhaps fall into the category of “acquired taste”.
There is of course one notable exception to this review thus far: no Pitt restaurant talk could be complete without mentioning the grilled hispi cabbage, an unexpected surprise and the best thing I tried of the menu. This grilled cabbage managed to be light, crunchy, fresh and still carry through a great chargrilled flavour.
Undoubtedly the standout item on the menu and a testament to the kitchen that what is probably seen as a meat focused restaurant can put out such a good vegetarian side dish.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Silvia Sternardi
Little Pitt, 1 Newburgh St London W1F 7RB, accepts walk-ins only, for further information visit here.