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Restaurant Review: Percy & Founders, Fitzrovia
August 18, 2016
Hidden away in Fitzrovia lies Percy and Founders, a sleek all-day dining spot in the former site of the Middlesex hospital, which has undergone a reformation in recent years. More brasserie than public house, the smart restaurant echoes the style of the modern apartments that surround it, while making a feature of the original stone doorway of the impressive Fitzrovia chapel in peaceful Pearson Square. The restaurant is a jack-of-all-trades, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays as well as brunch on weekends and the classic British Sunday roast.
Blessed with sunny weather, we were welcomed into the restaurant’s charming new outdoor area, which boasts both smaller marble tables fit for a quick drink and a serving of their lip-smacking truffle and parmesan fries, and larger wooden tables perfect for the three-course lunch we set out for. Our table outside was surrounded by well-kept shrubs on one side and a view through the glass-panelled windows into the airy indoor dining rooms on the other. If al-fresco dining isn’t your thing, grab a table inside; the spacious restaurant draws in diners with its simple yet elegant interior design, which had us wanting a similar aesthetic in our own dining rooms.
With a wealth of drinks on offer behind the bar and a heavenly cocktail list (Fizz Rovia had us chuckling), the food will always be well complimented. We opted for a carafe of the house white, fittingly light for the day’s summery weather. To begin, we chose the intriguing potted Cornish crab served with home baked soda bread and dill crème fraiche – a triumph. The crab had coleslaw-like tones with the addition of apple and celeriac and a mustard kick gave a new twist to a British classic. Apple cured salmon topped with breakfast radishes and lime and chive mayo was impeccably presented but sweet and sour flavours were rather conflicting. The à la carte offers a variety of mains, from chicken and leek pie to a trio of healthy-looking salads. Carnivores needn’t be worried as the restaurant offers Josper Heaven all day Monday and Tuesday and Sundays from 5pm for £30 per person (minimum 2 people). This includes three cuts of meat from the grill, bottomless beer, a side and a sauce of choice. Given that the head chef, Diego Cardoso, is Argentinean, this looks very promising indeed.
We were drawn to the unique fish dishes which, once again, earned top marks for presentation. The delicate sea bass was accompanied by a surprisingly tasty shallot purée and white wine lemon butter. These ingredients worked so well that the addition of razor clams was superfluous. Alongside this, we ordered the roasted cod with lemon mustard, garlic and samphire, sitting atop a bed of cannellini beans. Having enjoyed our mains and eager to discover the sweet finale, we were presented with desserts. The puddings are an adventurous bunch but succeed with flying stars. Finding it hard to limit our choice to just two, we finally settled on the exciting grilled peaches with suitably crunchy popcorn and earl grey ice cream, a tea lover’s dream, and the white chocolate mousse with strawberries. The latter turned out to be our favourite, reminding us of a deconstructed Eton-mess with the unique addition of a fresh basil sorbet, made in house.
Percy and Founders uses its space tremendously well and would be an ideal venue for larger parties. Percy’s Den, the private room downstairs featuring a bar, seats 24 with space for 35 standing and is already in high demand for Christmas so get the diaries at the ready.
Word by Hannah Brandler