Tredwell’s is the crown jewel of dining spots in Covent Garden’s Seven Dials. With this latest restaurant offering Michelin starred chef and restauranteur Marcus Wareing is tapping into the casual dining market. The location of the restaurant is smack bang in central London and attracts a large footfall of various audiences – tourists, foodies, families and the like. This means the menu must have the Wareing stamp of gastronomy, but appeal to the masses. They say behind every man is a great woman, and in this case, it is Tredwell’s head chef Chantelle Nicholson. Her menu for the restaurant is on the right side of fussy – high-end comfort food, that appeals to many, whilst still being gastronomic enough for the discerning foodie.
The interior is a mix of dark stained oak furniture, antique leather banquettes, crackle-gazed tiling and racing green walls – a nod to the history of the site as an old ground for motor car trading. Arriving early, we sit at the bar counter and peruse the drinks menu, which includes an array of quaffable, unusual cocktails. We start with a New Fashioned, a sweeter yet not overly sugary version of the classic, and a rhubarb and ginger margarita. This is served with a bowl of incredibly moreish crispy chicken skin popcorn. I kid you not, I practically devoured the lot, leaving my colleague with kernels to pick on.
We are shown to our table and told the food and wine for the evening has been selected for us. An evening of pleasant surprises awaits! Sustenance in the form of potato and rosemary bread and nocellara del belice olives arrives first. The bread is still warm and is served with delicious salted butter. Starters and wine are served together, a dish of Brixham crab is complimented with beautifully crisp and fresh pear, salted ricotta, pink grapefruit and radish. The contrasting starter of slow cooked pheasant egg, Alsace bacon, mushroom and hollandaise mousse is rich, indulgent and creamy. Both are washed down with an elegant and aromatic Riesling.
Our main courses are well thought out with carefully chosen balanced flavours and contrasting textures. A light and zesty caper, lemon and brown butter elevates the flavours in a lemon sole dish which is served with cavolo nero that has a pleasantly tangy aftertaste. The second main course consists of Barbary duck breast, served beautifully pink, with a nutty cashew and tamarind sauce, with crunchy textures of freekeh & tart pickled greengages. Sides of truffled macaroni cheese and grilled broccoli with almond butter are flavoursome, albeit unnecessary, side dishes. The two glasses of La Dilettante Loire Valley red wine we were served were sublime and easily quaff able with the delightful main course dishes.
Feeling pretty full at this point we consider declining desserts – until they arrive! A spectacular lemon parfait is served on a bed of black olive crumb, and is sharp and creamy with hints of sweetness coming from dollops of meringue perched on top. I’m a sucker for chocolate, so I “hmmm” and “ahhh” over the decadent salted caramel and praline chocolate tart. It’s rich to taste so the accompanying crème fraiche goes a long way to lighten the dish. An aromatic tokaji dessert wine is served alongside these sweet treats; it’s perfectly balanced with floral notes but a lemony finish.