Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.
A Basque-influenced small-plates spot at Covent Garden’s boutique Henrietta hotel.
The bistro at the boutique Henrietta Hotel remains best known for an old tenant: it’s where chef Ollie Dabbous cooked in the period between his eponymous restaurant and Mayfair’s Hide. But more fool the unaware. Under Sylvain Roucayrol, it’s become an extremely decent Basque-influenced spot with a chic mid-century-styled dining area and a menu of small plates that err from conventionally delicious to actively interesting.
Of the former, there were little bar snacks of salty cecina ham flecked with fennel seeds and smoky jamon croquetas fashioned from cloud-light bechamel. A dessert of crema Catalana was positively ambrosial. All great, though, to be fair, not exactly groundbreaking. Flashes of invention included the densely chewy raisins scattered across a plate of scallop ceviche, and the freeze-dried strawberry powder dusting a kick-ass burrata – the subtle sweet-sharpness cutting through the clean taste of the mozzarella and its pool of basil oil.
There were two clear highlights. First, dinky cubes of tuna tartare, served on a smear of excellent tahini and liberally covered with sheaves of truffle. The delicate combo of fungal notes, sparklingly fresh fish and sesame nuttiness was genuinely wizard. Less subtle was a picture-perfect burger: rich Basque beef topped with cured txistorra sausage and lardo. It was expensive, but good value. Save a near-argument over an erroneously served mussel escabeche – we didn’t order it, they insisted on leaving it anyway and then seemed peeved when we flagged its inclusion on the bill – service was extremely affable. Henrietta is an ace little Covent Garden spot that more than deserves to step out of the shadow of its former chef.
The new head chef Sylvain Roucayrol born in Perpignan, will bring a menu inspired by southwest France, the Basque country and the Catalunyan region of northern Spain, reaching across to Corsica. Regional highlights will sit alongside modern adaptations, all being full of flavour, colour and personality.
The menu will comprise snacks and plates, designed to share. Guests can choose from a selection of French Pastis served to share including Pastis 51, Pastis Henri Bardouin, Casanis alongside Kintoa ham from the Basque country served with piment d’Espelette or Getaria Anchovies with housemade balsamic and chilli paste. Light, fresh dishes for the summer months will include a Pea salad with xipister (a delicious garlic and Espelette vinaigrette) and Brocciu, a creamy Corsican cheese and Asparagus with razor clams and wild garlic. Daily specials will also be available.
Guests can enjoy a dynamic atmosphere into the after hours with a late night menu and seasonal cocktails available until 1am.
Henrietta Hotel serves breakfast, lunch, dinner
Breakfast: Monday – Sunday: 7:00am-10:30am
Lunch: Monday – Saturday: Midday-2:30pm
Dinner daily: 5:30pm – 11:00pm
(Dinner is served until 9pm on Sundays)