Marcus Wareing’s latest restaurant offers rather decent dining in elegant surroundings
Review by Rupert Watkins
The area around St Martin’s Lane is quite the restaurant lover’s magnet. From the Ivy to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and J Sheekey’s there is much to make a pilgrimage to this neck of the woods for. Joining this high calibre cast is Marcus Wareing’s latest venture, Tredwell’s. Opened in 2015, it has already been garnering accolades. Walking into the chic interior, the bustle and noise of Covent Garden fades away to be replaced by a courteous and intimate air.
Tastefully furnished, the black and white interior gives a slight art deco feel to the establishment. It feels small with a well-stocked bar along one side of the ground floor, a number of tables for two and banquettes for larger groups of diners. Further balcony and basement seating areas with their own smaller bars carry on the black and white theme with extensive use of wall mirrors opening up the rooms and giving a rather continental feel.
From start to finish the service is excellent, not over the top or intrusive but equally happy to chat for a couple of minutes (I ending up chatting about Cambridge cigar lounges with the sommelier). Taking our seats at our table, my guest and I opted to move straight to a bottle of white wine given the balmy nature of the evening. The wine list is nicely balanced across the old and new worlds and we soon alighted on a 2014 “Volratz 1573” Schloss Vollrads Riesling. Fruity on the nose with hints of peach, it was crisp, refreshing and proved sterling accompaniment to our food.
The menu is mouthwatering from start to finish. After much indecisiveness my guest and I opted to start with crispy buttermilk chicken with pickled cucumber and radish and slow cooked pheasant’s egg with Alsace bacon and mushroom. The pickled cucumber and bergamot in the chicken’s light batter added a lightness of flavour whilst the radish was a fresh and zingy counterpoint in the dish. The chicken itself was very good quality. My pheasant’s egg was rich and tasty, the Alsace bacon meaty. Possibly due to the saltiness of the bacon this was overall a salty dish but nothing confirmed bacon addicts would not leap towards.
Moving onto our main courses, the warm and close nature of the evening saw the two of us steer away from the heavier charcoal grill offerings and lamb rump tempting though they were, and select instead the rare roast beef salad with pickled mushroom, sesame and rocket and sea bass with beetroot, aioli, ricotta and fennel. Presentation for both was of the highest order. The rare beef was judged delicious – reminiscent of beef carpaccio, it was lightly marinaded (my guest reckoned with a little soy sauce) which with the scattered sesame seeds was a heartily enjoyed combination. The pickled mushrooms combined well with the beef and the peppery rocket.
My sea bass was fresh and very well cooked; lightly crisped the flesh fell to pieces beautifully. It combined well with the punchy flavour of the beetroot and fennel. The fennel was cut very thinly and its distinctive liquorice-like taste sat well against the sea bass. The small dollops of ricotta also worked very well with the fish, adding a hint of sweetness.
To finish my guest contented herself with homemade salted caramel chocolate truffles with an espresso – the truffles creamy and melt-in-the-mouth rich. I embarked upon the salted caramel and praline chocolate tart. Rich and decadent, the salted caramel shone through – perhaps slightly too much for this praline lover. This though was still a well-judged end to a very well put together meal. Those wishing to truly indulge and push the boat out at Tredwell’s are well catered for; a small but well-crafted selection of desert wines and cognacs are available as indeed are a small selection of Cohibas and Romeo y Julietas cigars to enjoy on the restaurant’s small but comfortable terrace.
Restaurants have to be good in this area; from the Seven Dials Hawksmoor to the theatrical behemoths of the Ivy and J Sheekey’s, be you wanting to linger over a decadent meal or grab the pre or post theatre menus, any location has got to bring its A game. One might quibble slightly with Tredwell’s precise location, St Martin’s Lane is a tourist thoroughfare and I had the beckoning (tacky..) neon of Stringfellows in my peripheral vision at one point during the meal – like its competition one wonders if a slightly quieter side street may have been a better fit for this elegant eatery. However, with set two and three course menus at £22 and £26 respectively for early and late diners, as well as a very tasty à la carte menu, Tredwell’s does hit the spot. Leave the tourist tide outside, grab a table and enjoy.
Enquiries: Tredwell’s, 4A Upper St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NY / 0203 7640840 / www.tredwells.com/