What: Wonder chef, Chantelle Nicholson, slays the menu at Tredwells. She first won me over when I attended her plant-based supper club last year and my return visit to sample the a la carte menu secured my position as a fan.
New? Tredwells is well established after opening in 2014 as part of the Marcus Wareing restaurant group that also includes Marcus and The Gilbert Scott. Chantelle came to the kitchen in 2015 where her clean, unfussy food was an instant hit.
Where? 4A Upper St Martin’s Lane, Seven Dials WC2H 9NY www.tredwells.com
On the menu: Chantelle is a fan of plant-based cooking (her vegan cookbook comes out in summer) so there is a fair few vegetarian and vegan options available, helpfully marked out by the comprehensive footnotes on the menu that also include warnings of dairy, gluten, fish, peanuts and many others. The menu is contemporary British with dishes like parsnip and coconut soup with parsnip bhajis, venison haunch with parsley root, winter savory and kumquat, and bathtub gin and tonic cheesecake.
The Look: It’s fairly low key for a restaurant that was winner of AA’s London Restaurant of the Year. There are only a handful of tables upstairs as the bar takes up most of the space, downstairs is a considerably larger dining area which is available for exclusive hire.
What We Ate: A lot but somehow not enough. There were so many things I wanted to eat but my lowly digestive system only allows for a few courses per sitting. I need to give a shout out to the potato and rosemary bread and salted whey butter, I almost used up all my stomach space on that alone but I took a heroic amount of willpower and left it in peace after a few bites. Onto the real food, salt baked carrots with pine nut crumb, freekeh and roasted garlic aioli doesn’t sound like something that I would usually care about but I have blind faith in Chantelle and it paid off, she somehow makes carrots delicious and interesting. Burrata is a great ingredient so Tredwells’ burrata with Kentish raw honey, Cox’s apple and thyme was always going to be winner. The Monkfish with fregola, roasted onion, octopus and squid ink took a slight dip in the impeccable food but I was won over with my roasted cauliflower, saffron, cornichon, caper and lemon that sounds boringly simple but is whipped into shape by Chantelle’s expertise.
For dessert the peanut butter pudding with dark chocolate sorbet went down a storm when served at the supper club and I was pleased to see it again on the menu; another superb dish, the sorbet isn’t soft and icy like you’d expect but more in thick, hard chocolate buttons. The caramelised white chocolate mousse with espresso granite and tonka is super sweet and creamy, you need a real tooth to get through this one, which luckily, I have.
What We Drank: We sat at the bar and indulged in a couple of cocktails before dinner, advising the barman on our tipple of choice and letting him whip up what he thought we would like. He did well and I (gracefully) knocked back a few Down the Apples and Pears made with WRY Vodka, apple, pear, thyme and egg white before heading to the table.
Go With: This is a real foodie spot, those who eat for pleasure rather sustenance will have a whale of a time here.
Final Word: I recognised a few of the dishes from the plant-based supper club and was pleased to see them in the a la carte menu. There’s something special about the fact the Tredwells menu doesn’t only taste divine but is wholly inclusive, people with dietary requirements aren’t made to feel like a nuisance as the menu clearly states allergens. As Chantelle has said, the hard work is done by the chefs and it is up to the diner on what to have.
Tredwells: 4A Upper St Martin’s Lane, Seven Dials WC2H 9NY www.tredwells.com