Most of my friends in London work in fine dining restaurants which means I don’t have to look very far for recommendations on where to eat when I am back in town for a visit.
Frenchie was one such recommendation from my friend D who was not only impressed with their creative, seasonal menus that take inspiration from Chef Patron Gregory Marchands travels through London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Spain, but also their carefully sourced wine list, specialising in natural and bio dynamic wines.
We decided to start with a cocktail with both of the snacks offered; a Bacon Scone with Cornish Clotted Cream (2) and Clarence Court Egg Mimosa with Preserved Lemon & Seeds (3)
Both dishes were exceptionally good, I loved the sweetness of the candied bacon used in the scone and I fear I may have set the bar too high with the first Egg Mimosa I have eaten! It was served without the seeds owing to D’s nut allergy, but the preserved lemon was a great way to cut through the eggy richness of the yolk, and who doesn’t love a Clarence Court egg?!
D decided to try the Burrata, Mirabelle Plum, Pistachio & Shiso (although without the pistachios, again owing to her allergies) with the tart, juicy mirabelle plums working beautifully with the rich, creamy burrata, whilst I went for the Sweetcorn with Poached Egg, Smoked Eel and Piedmont Hazelnuts a wonderful sweetcorn “espuma” somewhere between a creamy veloute and velvety foam, with a perfectly cooked sous vide egg nestled in the centre, atop slivers of smoked eel, with added texture and crunch from the hazelnuts. So good it felt wrong not to order a portion of the excellent Hedone bread to ensure we were both able to mop up every last mouthful!
Onto the mains; Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle with Confit Lemon, Kalamata Olives & Espelette for me and Lincolnshire Chicken with Broccoli, Grelots Onions, Vin Jaune Sabayon & Mushrooms for D. I really liked how the earthiness of the rabbit ragu had been enhanced by the salty tang of the kalamata olives with the lemon and espelette pepper adding a great brightness of flavours to the dish. The chicken, whilst simple in comparison, showed of some of the new season ingredients to their fullest with the Vin jaune keeping the dish light and fresh where a jus could have masked the delicateness of the chicken and sweet grelots.
We had enjoyed white wine by the glass with the appetisers but moved onto a Spanish red the 2011 vintage “Les Paradetes” which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault & a local grape called Sumol with only around 3,500 bottles being produced each vintage. A great, hearty wine that was perfect with the mains, especially my rabbit.
I dont know many bigger cheese fans than D so when she suggested sharing a portion of cheese along with dessert I couldn’t resist. The Dutch Gouda, aged 42 months (+6) had an almost caramelly flavour to it, deep, intense and delicious! Luckily the Wild Berry Tart with Grapefruit Sherbet was a good contrast to this, light, zesty and refreshing, making for a great palate cleanser and a wonderful end to what had been an exceptional meal!
Covent Garden has often been considered a bit of a barren waste land when it comes to good restaurants but thankfully those days seem to have come to an end with the arrival of Frenchie. Sure, we added extras but I’m not sure you can get such good value cooking in many other restaurants, hell TGI Fridays would probably cost more! Whether you are enjoying a ladies lunch, a business meeting, pre theatre or simply a break form shopping, Frenchie offers just the respite you need!
The daily menu is priced at 24.50 for 2 courses and 28 for 3 courses, with bread from Hedone and pre lunch snacks priced from 2-3.
16 Henrietta St, Covent Garden WC2E 8QH
T 0207 836 4422
Monday to Friday
Lunch: 12.00 pm to 2.15 pm
Dinner: 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm
Saturday & Sunday
Lunch: 12.00 pm to 2.15 pm
Dinner: 6.00 pm to 10.30 pm