Frenchie, London

French food needn’t be all onion soup and coq au vin. I mean, let’s be honest, British food isn’t all roast beef and fish & chips, so why would the assumption be the same anywhere else? Try Frenchie in Covent Garden, and your opinion on our closet continental comrades’ dishes may well be changed. From its original restaurant in Paris, Frenchie has now opened its first in the U.K. Owner and executive chef Gregory Marchand is no stranger to London, having previously cooked at the Savoy and the Mandarin Oriental in the capital – he even gained his nickname (from where the restaurant takes its name) whilst cooking for Jamie Oliver at Fifteen!

Delightfully bright and modern, the space is far from “French” in light greys and whites, adorned with a metallic finish. A stunning marble bar with hanging globe lighting sits at its heart on the ground floor, complete with extremely comfortable bar dining stools along two sides. Downstairs seating is in front of the open kitchen, again a nice touch, where diners can gaze right into the action. Everything about this place oozes glamour – even down to the opulent gold taps in the bathroom.

The menu is reassuringly small, yet incredibly diverse. The amouse-bouche (called ‘snacks’ on the menu, but whilst we’re in the mood…) offers various delights, from miniature pieces of pork crackling through to bacon scones – the latter coming complete with devilishly thick clotted cream. Definitely the surprise dish of the night, the savoury scone is a treat. Fois grois for starters (possible the closest we get to stereotyping the French) is accompanied with rhubarb, the sour taste popping through well against its richness. Main courses are a visually stunning – with very pink lamb (excellently done) and meaty monk fish with grilled artichoke. We can’t resist the cheese when it is offered, a semi-soft variety, which is deliciously morish, served with chutney and light wafers that don’t detract from its flavours.

We end the night with macchiatos at the bar – a coffee that is all too often made wrong. Yet again, the skilled staff make it deliciously strong and silky as it should be.

Definitely one for a special occasion, make sure Frenchie is on your ‘birthday wish list’.

16 Henrietta St
Covent Garden

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