Annie and I have been having fun trying out new restaurants of late – The Oystermen last month; Cinnamon Bazaar the month before. I suggested we went to Tredwells the next time and booked a table. I’ve been wanting to go there for ages as it’s one of Marcus Wareing’s restaurants and prides itself on creating dishes from the best seasonal British produce. Chantelle Nicholson is Chef Patron and is known for giving a great contemporary twist to British food.
I approached the restaurant last night with both excitement and a certain amount of trepidation. I’ve had too many disappointments when eating at famous chefs’ restaurants. I’ve liked and admired Wareing from afar and really wanted to like his restaurant but I know any ‘big name’ attached to where I eat inevitably makes me have higher expectations. I think this is reasonable; if a restaurant is using a big name, be it a chef or an offshoot of a famous restaurant, to bring in the crowds, then as customers I think we have a right to expect something a bit special.
The fact that I ended up loving Tredwells, really made my evening. It was brilliant.
Right from the moment I entered the restaurant and was welcomed at reception, every contact with staff was warm and friendly without being over the top. I have to admit that when I was told they had ‘a very nice table’ for me upstairs, I had a moment of concern. Often being sent upstairs or to the basement in restaurants isn’t a good thing. At Tredwells it is a very good thing; upstairs is lovely and from what I saw, the best place to be.
Soon Annie joined me and we discussed what we wanted to eat. We like to do that, it’s part of the fun of eating out with someone else who also appreciates good food. We were having the 3 Courses & Gunpowder Gimlet at £29 menu and it looked great. There was a choice of 4 Starters, 4 Mains (including 1 vegetarian), a selection of Sides for extra (all about £5) and 3 desserts or a cheese selection, plus the cocktail. I could have eaten any of them. It was one of the most exciting set menus I’d seen in a long while. Each was accompanied by a suggestion of wine to have with it (ranging in price from £6.50-£10). We chose to have our starters come while still drinking the cocktail (the waitress’s suggestion) as we only wanted one glass of wine, with our mains. I rarely drink cocktails. I never drank them much when I was younger and now find most far too alcoholic and strong but the waitress assured me it was a light cocktail.
The Gimlet arrived in a champagne saucer. A base of gin, it also contained gunpowder green tea, lime and cardamon-infused syrup. It was amazing; so light and fresh but with a good clear taste of gin. If there’d been a second on offer I wouldn’t have been able to refuse!
My starter was Cod cheeks, smoked pea, preserved lemon & broad beans (sorry about the out-of-focus photo!). It was glorious – the tenderest crispy cod cheeks served with a gorgeous sauce.
Annie meanwhile opted for Roast carrot salad, carrot pickle, cashew & cumin. It looked wonderful and she confirmed it was.
We both had Lamb chops, beetroot, tahini verde & mint for our mains, with an extra side of Cornish new potatoes with dill pickle aioli (£5.50). I have to say that ‘lamb chops’ would not be an obvious choice for me in a restaurant, but you can certainly say there’s something British about it. I liked the look of the fish – pollack – dish but not with the cod cheeks so went with the lamb. I’m so glad I did. They were cooked to perfection: nicely charred and caramelised on the outside, pink and tender in the middle. It was a generous helping as well; two good-sized and thick chops. The accompanying beetroot was great but the tahini verde was spectacular. Wow!
We had a glass each of ‘2016 Lirac, Guillaume Gonnet, Southern Rhone’ wine at £10 a glass – the suggested accompaniment, which was excellent.
Oh it’s so nice when the dessert is included. You don’t have to feel guilty! We both had the Yorkshire rhubarb, cheesecake mousse & ginger crumb. It managed to combine richness with an amazing, cloud-like lightness. It was neither too heavy nor too big and a perfect end to a brilliant meal.
We both had espressos to finish. We went on talking. It was busy; a nice buzz of happiness and contentment around us. We were there for a bit over our allotted 2 hours but no one tried to move us on. It had been a thoroughly great meal and as we left I remarked to Annie that I was so pleased Marcus Wareing hadn’t disappointed me. I can’t wait to go back.
Final bill: £99 for 2, including extra side, wine, coffee and service.