4A Upper St. Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NY
Price: £40-45 per person (drinks excluded)
We had already planned our trip to Marcus Wareing’s Tredwell’s for last Thursday and I was already in trepidation. A bad day at work just raised my expectations and excitement even higher.
When we entered the restaurant, a smiling attendant welcomed us and walked us downstairs to be seated. I liked the venue straight away. Dim lights, classy but cosy interiors, it is one of those places that make you think “I am so looking forward to a nice roast or lamb shank now”. I really liked the black details and the dark bar, the restaurant almost has a touch of an old and elegant club.
Our waitress is very nice although slightly too chatty for my liking – asking about our nationality – but this is me being a bit of a pain. And there we were finally – in front of Tredwell’s menu.
You’ll have to forgive me as I do not drink alcohol and therefore I won’t be able to describe wine or cocktails. On the other hand, we really ordered a lot of food so I should be able to compensate. As usual I will list the entrees in starters, mains and desserts. In each section I will start describing what I like the least and I will finish with what I liked the most. So please bear with me till the end as both my review and my meal fished with fireworks for the palate.
Slow cooked salmon, spirulina, cauliflower
The salmon was cooked to perfection, very delicate, soft and moist on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside. I wasn’t too happy about the garnish. The spirulina sauce was way too strong, almost acid, overpowering the salmon. The cauliflower heads where supposed to be buttered but they turned out slightly burned as you can see from the photo below.
Harissa glazed aubergine, peanuts, coriander, chilli
Very interesting dish. The grilled aubergines were cut think and maintained a nice tenderness on the inside. The harissa gave them a nice hot twist. I wasn’t over excited by the aubergines or the harissa themselves though as neither of them had a real full flavour – something that sadly happens in England pretty often, where vegetable have no sun to grow under. What I found a delight on this dish was the coconut mousse. So soft and delicate, perfectly balancing the hot harissa. What a touch of class!
Prawns, white polenta, roast garlic, chicken broth
I was brought up in the north of Italy, where polenta is a national dish. In Italy we prepare it either soft almost mousse-like or a bit harder, sliced and grilled. Therefore when I found this dish on the menu, I ordered it almost as a challenge to the chef…and what a surprise! The white polenta was extremely soft, absolutely faithful to our Italian recipe. On top of that, i would have never expected the chicken broth and the prawns to turn into such a good combination with polenta…a five-star starter!
Smoked haddock, crab & courgette gratin
Unfortunately I didn’t particularly enjoy this dish. The presentation in the black casserole is very pleasing, but all it tasted like was smoked cheese. This completely over flavoured the haddock which is a big shame given that this had maintained a perfect texture. Needless to say the crab meat was also impossible to savour.
Lamb chops, minted bean chutney
I can still dream about them! so tender, cooked to perfection. The mint and beans chutney made the perfect garnish. This is exactly the kind of dish you dream of when you enter the restaurant: simple, full of flavours, high-quality ingredients…and very English.
Polenta fries with smoked tomato dip
Once again, perfect crispy polenta. However this was served with a thick tomato sauce which had an unusual sweet aftertaste. I am Italian, I cannot cope with any sweetness in any kind of tomato sauce, therefore I didn’t particularly enjoy this one.
Sweet potato chips and BBQ mayo
What a combination. The BBQ mayo was way more delicate than expected, perfectly balancing the sweetness of the potato. A perfect side for my lamb chops!
Warm chocolate, salted caramel, chocolate cornflakes
I am able to spend just one line on this one as I can’t wait to write about the next dessert. The mousse was a delicious hot dark chocolate, nicely garnished with chocolate flakes. The softness of the first and the crunchiness of the second is a pleasure to the palate. Very good dessert for the winter.
…and there she was, sitting enthroned on my plate like a queen: Marcus Wareing’s custard tart.
I am not sure how many of you follow Marcus Wareing on the screen: I believe it’s worth doing so just to look at him preparing his custard tart. Even if I don’t have a particular sweet tooth, looking at the texture of that custard made me glue my tongue to the screen. And finally on Thursday night, she was in front of my eyes, for real.
It is not easy to find words to describe Her. What I can say is that it was like savouring a cloud. Its texture and flavour are simply ethereal. I can’t but return and ask for more! I definitely advise the same to any foodie on the planet.
(I sincerely apologise for the quality of the photos but I already feel like enough of an idiot to take photos of all my entreés with my phone…imagine with a camera!)