This was a long awaited opening for London as it comes from Gregory Marchand who has a huge list of successful ‘Frenchie’ establishments out in Paris. Greg himself has spent many years in London, notably working at Fifteen with Jamie Oliver as one of the earliest recruits. He’s gone on to be very successful since then and it was exciting to see what food offering we would be getting in Frenchie, Covent Garden.
Parents kindly suggested it as a way of celebrating the new job but it also bought back memories to Dad as it was in this building where he spent his night before the wedding, which inevitably turned into a bit of a stag do when it was previously Porters, which has since relocated to Berkhamsted.
The menu lends itself to sharing, although the main courses they suggest sticking to your own but of course we each went halves to try as many as possible. The setting is a very chic, whites and marble running through the restaurant. The wine offering is reasonable in price and some of them come by the carafe, where they buy large magnums of the white wine and pour from there each time ordered, rather sensible idea.
There were so many gorgeous dishes on the menu which we would have loved to go for them all but we had to narrow our choices. For the smaller dishes we went for the bacon scones with maple syrup and cornish clotted cream, absolute delight and very unusual. We also had the cured black bigorre ham, simple but yet delicious.
The most unusual but yet a real star was the white asparagus with parmesan, puffed barley & smoked egg yolk. A first in presentation and boy was it good. Our final small dish was the gnocchi with mushroom, cheddar and garlic, the largest gnocci I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, very good indeed.
Now onto the larger dishes, the plates come complete so don’t expect to come here and ask for chips or veg on the side, there is no need. Lawrence and I shared the cornish monkfish, peas, garlic and grapefruit. This was our least favourite and lacked any ‘va, va, voom’ especially compared to all the other dishes we had. Our second dish was the guinea fowl with baby leeks, mousserons and coffee sabayon. This was heavenly, not too rich but the flavours were exquisite. Although I have to say after trying parent’s suckling big with broad beans, sobrassada and artichoke that was in fact the favourite of the mains for me.
Of course we couldn’t say no to the desserts, don’t know when we’ll next have the pleasure to eat at Frenchie again. We shared the cheese which was good but not the star of the puddings. My favourite, of course, was the bitter chocolate with piedmont hazelnut and salted butter caramel.
Did take me back to that enormous chocolate mousse I had in Paris although of course Greg’s offering took desserts to a whole new level. Our final delight of the evening was the Yorkshire rhubarb with Brilliat – Savarin.
It was a wonderful evening and the food was really incredible, some of the best I’ve had recently. It is tough to get a table but hopefully the hype should die down soon, or do like we did and get an earlier sitting then you should be fine, but definitely try to get on down to Frenchie.