Sunday, 2 July 2017


Having visited the Gilbert Scott at London St Pancreas before this blog was born and really enjoying it we were glad to see that chef owner Marcus Wareing also looked after Tredwells near to the Cambridge theatre. Close to the Seven Dials which we were visiting to see a show, we took a look at the menu and we were instantly sold so we booked a table and headed down one Friday evening to go check it out.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly welcome team and were taken straight up to the 1st floor mezzanine area over looking the busy St Martin's Lane outside. The dining area is very refined with tall ceiling to floor mirrors giving the dining area a bright and airy feel. There were pristine white tablecloths on all the tables whilst the staff were immaculately turned out. I felt slightly under dressed in my T shirt but I was never made to feel out of place or uncomfortable at all. Menus were presented to us quite swiftly as well as the extensive wine list. It all looked so good!
Upon the recommendation of our server we decided to forego the wine and sample some of the cocktails instead, in particular a rhubarb concoction that had apparently been created by the bar team that day as a summer special. It seemed to be quite the popular as I noticed a couple of other diners sipping on them around the restaurant. We were told it would be refreshing which was needed on the hot day that we came and this was most defiantly true even it did pack quite the alcoholic punch. I loved the candied rhubarb stalk used as decoration as well. Very inventive!

Now that we were watered, it was time to be fed so we dived straight into the stunning looking menu. For our first starter we went for the tomato, ricotta and pesto dish. You know you're eating fancy when the portions are small but it did look so pretty as it arrived at the table and when the quality of the ingredients are as good as this you don't need to have too much crammed onto your plate. The tomatoes were some of the best we've ever had, so fresh and vibrant whilst being the perfect compliment to the soft ricotta hidden underneath. A true masterclass in vegetarian eating on a plate.

I decided to have the duck raviolo for my starter. I get worried when I see things like raviolo written on a menu as it normally means you're going to be getting a tiny bit of pasta on your plate and whilst you do only get one it is so generously stuffed with perfectly cooked duck meat that you don't feel like you're being short changed. The mixture of the sesame, peanut and pickled cucumber served with it is a classic Asian combination and they were all balanced just right. It's like the finest crispy duck pancake you've ever eaten which for me is like stepping into heaven. Delicious!

Onto the mains now (after ordering another rhubarb cocktail of course!) and for our first main we went with the roasted cauliflower with saffron alioli, cornichon, capers and lemon. Again, these are flavors that classically go well with each other but the presentation sets it apart from your average vegetarian dish. It's so pretty to look at you almost feel guilty for touching it. The cauliflower was nice and tender with a yummy bit of char to it to give it a bit of bitterness that is counterbalanced with the sharp, tangy flavors of the lemon and caper. Again; another example of how meat free cuisine can be done to fine dining standards.

My main was the corn fed chicken breast with buttermilk fried thigh and jalapeno cornbread. This ain't no KFC! The chicken breast was perfectly cooked, so moist and juicy that my knife just slid right through it like butter. That jalapeno cornbread had just the right amount of spice to it so it didn't overpower the rest of the dish and melted in my mouth. Best cornbread ever! When you think it couldn't get better you get onto that thigh. Officially the best piece of chicken I've ever eaten. The combination of the crunchy coating with moist chicken cannot be described with any superlatives that I know. I just wished there was more!

The great thing about small fancy plates is that there is always room for desserts and so we ordered one each. First up was the chocolate tart. Anyone who loves chocolate is going to adore this celebration of cocoa. The chocolate slab is so smooth, rich and bitter that it won't be to everyone's tastes but if you love your chocolate dark then you're onto a winner. Splodges of cream and curd along the top of the chocolate and on the side not only look pretty but they also add a bit of sharp tanginess to cut through the bitterness of the chocolate. This is a piece of dessert heaven!

The final dish of our meal was my dessert and I decided to go for the peanut butter parfait. I'm not really a fan of peanut butter to be honest but for some reason I was drawn to this pudding and whatever it was that made me order it I'm glad that it happened. The parfait was soft and smooth with the peanut butter flavour being present but not overpowering. The balance was just right. The popcorn on top of the parfait gives the crunch and the marscapone and raspberries tie everything together to once again create a plate of perfection. I can't fault it.

Now that I think about it I don't think I can find fault in anything during our visit to Tredwells. The venue is exquisite, staff delightful and knowledgeable of their product and the food is just brilliant. I'd go as far to say that I enjoyed it more than the Gilbert Scott! Marcus Wareing has done a cracking job with Tredwells and I can't wait to come back again. No need to "Tred" carefully when thinking about coming to Tredwells, it's "Well" good!

To find out more about Tredwells, take a look at the menus or to have a browse at Marcus Wareing's other venues head over to their website by clicking here!

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