|Smoked eel, Calcot onions, black garlic|
There are many French restaurants in London, but only very few become top quality ones. So which side will Grégory Marchand's newly opened Frenchie fall on? It is located in Covent Garden, in a smart and clean looking decor, with a big reputation from his first restaurant in Paris (A popular tiny restaurant that you would need to book 3 months in advance). This second outpost is also hot in demand as I needed to book weeks in advance and had to settled for a 6pm slot. Frenchie so far is showing a lot of promises, with early positive media reviews as well as praise from fellow trade professionals. The dinner menu contain only 4 mains courses with a large selections of starters and snacks which our waiter suggested we can order up to 3 dishes per person like a tapas.
|Crab on toast, lemon, dried scallop roe|
Call me old school but I "disobey" the recommendation and went for a la carte style. The smoked eel starter was stunning, rich and meaty, which worked well with the boldness profile of the Calcot onions and mild spiciness of the black garlic. It was refinement on a plate. The main of Cornish monkfish was state of the art quality, moist with the absolute perfect seasoning, accompanied nicely with the sourness of the bergamot and the texture of Jerusalem artichoke. It was Michelin quality without a doubt. The salt crust Basque Country neck of pork was also sensational, delightfully tender and full of robust meaty flavour with a light sweetness after-taste from the meat jus. Desserts on the other hand failed to match the savoury course's level, which is a shame as French pastries work normally is rock solid.
|Cornish Monkfish, artichoke and bergamot|
|Basque Country Kintoa pork, grains and chickpeas|
|Yorkshire rhubarb and banoffee|
It was a pretty special meal, I was not expecting the cooking to be so accomplished already at such an early stage. Grégory Marchand's cooking style was very interesting, it was French in essence with a touch of sophistication and modern flair. Not the cheapest but then again there are many places in London charging higher prices but serving lesser quality cooking. Frenchie is an ideal place for a special treat if you are into top quality European cuisine but not a fan of formal dining. Do notice they also serve a much more affordable 3 course lunch menu for under £30. And as a bonus, it is a lot easier to secure a booking, especially as we are talking about one of the hottest restaurants in London right now.
What I paid:
£60 per head with a cocktail
Average cost without drinks and services:
16 Henrietta St WC2E 8QH