Frenchie

Restaurants, French Covent Garden
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(6user reviews)
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A Covent Garden outpost for the Paris restaurant of the same name, with similar dishes to the Parisian restaurant, but with British produce used.

All right, Frenchie?’ That’s how Jamie Oliver used to greet his Nantes-born head chef Gregory Marchand when they shared the kitchens at Fifteen. Chefs do love a bit of banter. Fast-forward to 2009. Marchand – who started cooking aged 16 and has worked everywhere from the Savoy to New York’s Gramercy Tavern – was about to launch his first solo spot and needed a name. And so, on April Fool’s Day of all days, Frenchie was born: a tiny restaurant, down a cobbled Parisian alley, where you can’t get a table for six months.

This Theatreland spot is its younger sibling. I say ‘younger’ but it actually looks like the mature one. Pale and chic, every design element has been carefully sourced: those distressed-zinc-topped tables are crafted by an eccentric old man from northern France; the sharp, bone-handled knives by the fifth generation of Corsica’s Ceccaldi family. For a more casual vibe, head downstairs, where you can watch the chefs do their cheffing and chit-chat to strangers over a trough-like communal washbasin (don’t panic: the loos themselves are in individual cubicles, it’s not that friendly).

Service is polished and professional, the music chilled. But you don’t come to Frenchie for these things. You come for cooking: impeccably composed modern European small plates. It’s one of those menus where a dish only has three ingredients listed, but when it arrives you realise it’s more like two dozen. In less skilled hands, this can cause confusion; here, there is only depth and sophistication.

The smallest ‘starter’ plates are the most playful, from maple-sweetened bacon scones, still warm from the oven, to rich eggs mimosa (stuffed eggs) with feathery strands of earthy black truffle. Though it may seem a bit randomly hipster, the pulled pig slider – a signature from Parisian Frenchie's wine bar – is a must-try, thanks to its house-smoked meat and lightly pickled, crunchy red cabbage. But it goes on. A delicate veal and scallop tartare came topped with crunchy, bitter endive, salty shaved parmesan and the citrus hit of yuzu. There was a bowl of freshly made tortelli, each plump parcel filled with light, creamy ricotta. It came unadorned, then they bring a smoky tea broth to pour around it. Be sure to pace yourself for pud: the moist lemon polenta cake, with silky ice cream plus morsels of honeycomb (for sweet) and dehydrated kalamata olives (for salt) was pretty darn dazzling. 

So we offer several hand-clapping emojis to Monsieur Marchand, a man in possession of the key ingredients for a brilliant chef. 1. He can take a joke. 2. He can really, really cook.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Frenchie
Address: 16 Henrietta St
London
WC2E 8QH
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Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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LiveReviews|6
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Eloise
tastemaker

As part of the celebrations for RAW wine week, I attended an event help in the basement of Frenchie. Although we didn’t sample the full menu the famed bacon scones were truly exceptional, as was the raw sparkling wine served alongside them. The service we received was excellent and the venue reflects upon the elegant and modern approach to Parisian dining in a beautifully minimalist  and well kept for venue. If nothing else I’d recommend a visit to sample the biodynamic wines they have to offer.

lizzie.williamson
Tastemaker

Frenchie is a modern, minamlistic restaurant with a small menu and staff that are very attentive. However, after being pleasantly surprised on arrival with their greeting, the taking of coats and the offer of bottled or tap water, it started to wear thin - barely giving us a chance to look at the drinks menu we were asked what we would like to eat and drink. The evening continued in this fashion with lightening speed service; a plate nearly empty was whisked away while we were still finishing starters, a glass only just put down was grabbed without a word and my plate was taken from under my nose while we were still finishing off the second dessert. To begin with it seemed efficient, by the end it was plain rude. We were also being asked the same thing by 3 different waiters! 'Would you like to order dessert yet?'.... we just wanted our mains to settle a little... jeeez.

The food is very good - a beautifully cooked chicken (the best I've had) presented exquisitely with chestnut foam and vin jaune sabayon. However at £24 it was small and, well just chicken. Long story short the mains didn't justify the price tag, with lamb also at a hefty £26. We didn't order starters but nibbled on some of their snacks and were impressed with both the bacon scones and the crispy pig head. The wines were hit and miss in quality but fairly reasonable ranging from £5-9 a glass. The menu wasn't as extensive as for whole bottles which was a shame but fair enough! The dessert was again presented beautifully but with only 3 options one of which was apple tartelette we didn't have much choice and neither desserts really wowed in flavour or texture. 

The restaurant itself is beautifully decorated and downstairs there is a chefs table with an open kitchen where you can watch the pros at work. There is also the coolest wine rack spanning the entire back wall (a must for my flat!). If I was being taken here for a work dinner or something similar I would definitely be back as the food is guaranteed to be good however it was a real let down in terms of service for us and made our anniversary meal a rushed affair - making something special in to something, well average....

Sebengole
tastemaker

In my opinion, Frenchie was a very quality restaurant with elegant costumers. The staff and the atmosphere was very warm and friendly. The menu changes quite frequently and you can choose a menu with either 2 or 3 courses. The dishes came in quite a small portion but they were full of flavour. Also, who knew healthy food could taste so good! I loved the dish I ordered which was Smoked Pork Belly with Heritage Carrots and Pickled Mustard Seed (pictured below). Just to warn you it is not super expensive but is definitely not a cheap restaurant either. 

Tom
moderatorStaff Writer

A great new find! Went here for lunch which was extremely good value for the quality - £28 for three courses. Started with (a somewhat odd) bacon scone and clotted cream which was surprisingly good. And the following rabbit pasta dish was absolutely superb. Service was excellent and the waitors/chefs very friendly - one tip, if you like seeing the kitchen at work, book a table downstairs. WIll be back.

pamape

Brilliantly pale but polished colours, very minimalist design. Excellent food, though had a bit of a glitch with ordering the right wine. Highly recommended.

Dee
Tastemaker

I was highly anticipating our visit to the famous Frenchie that just opened in Covent Garden after never being lucky enough to book a table in the Paris location. The menu was very limited and after being recommend aggressively by the waitress to order a couple of dishes we did not have any interest in, we picked the bacon scones, the truffled eggs, the tartar, the rabbit pappardelle and the Kintora Pork. The bacon scones never made it to our table because they already had run out of it, so if you want to try them, order them early. That was a disappointment and the rest of the dishes were ok. What saved the night was the delicious Banofee dessert. The whole experience was underwhelming,but if i ever go back, i'll be having the bacon scones and banofee.