Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, he of Marcus at the Berkeley hotel and the Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance, has made his first foray into more casual dining with this new Covent Garden restaurant.
His role here is as restaurateur rather than chef, though. Marcus Wareing Restaurants group operations director Chantelle Nicholson leads the team, with Andrew Ward as head chef.
Tredwell’s is on Upper St Martin’s Lane, the location providing the inspiration for its name — Tredwell was the butler in Agatha Christie’s The Seven Dials Mystery.
The 130-cover venue is set across three levels — lower ground, ground and mezzanine — with bars on both the main floors.
It’s a smart space with racing green leather banquettes and booths, green and white tiling and dark wood floors and tables. Exposed painted brickwork and wall-mounted black task lamps provide a faintly industrial feel.
Downstairs, where I was, had an open kitchen and a buzzing atmosphere, with popular music playing and casually dressed staff.
The team were friendly and chatty — the ground-floor barman welcoming us as we passed when we first arrived, our greeter taking our coats as she showed us to our seats, and our waiter talking us through the menu and suggesting favourites.
Ward’s menu showcases British food with global influences, with dishes including the likes of chargrilled chicken, peanut sauce and cucumber chutney (£6), slow-cooked pork belly, braised pigs’ cheek, apple sauce and nutmeg (£12) and smoked, braised beef short rib (£29).
Portions aren’t huge, so if you’re hungry it’s worth ordering a couple of snacks to kick off. We went for the sticky chilli chicken wings (£5), which were very tasty — just the right mixture of sweet and salt, if not particularly spicy — and the beetroot hummus with charred bread (£4): glorious in colour and generous in size.
My starter, prawns, white polenta, roast garlic and chicken broth (£8.50), was really lovely — delicate and well balanced. I would have liked a little more of it. My companion pronounced his harissa-glazed aubergine with peanuts, coriander and chilli (£5 as a starter) “stupendously good”, both well spiced and attractively presented.
My main of smoked haddock, crab and courgette gratin (£15) was creamy and comforting, if not especially “wow”, while my companion’s gnocchi, cauliflower, sprouts, hazelnuts and Berkswell cheese (£11) was well cooked and richly flavoured. Our side of grilled broccoli, almond butter and capers (£5) was deliciously smoky.
We topped off the meal with a couple of retro desserts — housemade salted caramel soft-serve ice-cream (£5) and warm chocolate, salted caramel and chocolate cornflakes (£6) — that took us both back to our youths.
Starter: Harissa aubergine with peanuts, coriander and chilli
The cocktail menu has some fun options — channel your inner Paddington Bear with the New Fashioned (rye whiskey, marmalade, bitters, £9).
There are a number of wines available by the glass, and a choice of Pilsner, IPA or bitter beer. My companion ordered one but it didn’t arrive, despite asking two staff. Apart from that, service was good throughout.
A worthy new addition to the competitive Covent Garden dining scene, with flavoursome food, a relaxed setting and friendly service.
- OPENING HOURS Mon-Wed 12pm-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Thurs-Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-9pm.
- PRICE Snacks £3-£6; starters £5.50-£8.50; mains £9-£29; desserts £5-£9; sides £3.50-£5.
- CONTACT Tredwell’s, 4A Upper St Martin’s Lane; tel +44 (0)20 3764 0840; tredwells.com