The 18-bed boutique townhouse, Henrietta Hotel in the heart of Covent Garden is also home to a bistro of its namesake. Head chef Sylvain Roucayrol, Perpignan-born, brings to this bijou restaurant a menu inspired by southwest France, the Basque country and the Catalan region in northern Spain.
A French restaurant in Covent Garden
Admittedly, I was curious how this very meaty cuisine would translate to a vegetarian palate. There was only one way to find out.
On entry you walk past a small bar serving excellent cocktails. I think we can all guess what I ended my meal with, right?
Walking through the space, it’s beautifully designed with terracotta tiles, oak flooring, low wooden and velvet seating, an open kitchen and glass roofs. Creating the feeling of being sat in a super sophisticated yet relaxed conservatory.
The menu comprises mainly of snacks and small plates designed to share, which was perfect for my lunchtime cravings.
Intrigued, the grilled avocado, burratina and mint oil started the proceedings. I’ve never grilled my avo, always smashed, sliced or on lazy days eaten it straight out of the skin.
Grilling is a game changer, it completely elevates the flavour. Extra creamy with a layer of smokiness – seriously yummy.
Moving on to the baked feta with warm cobra bean salad. The feta coated in toasted sesame seeds tasted divine with the perfectly dressed salad greens.
The barbequed cauliflower with chilli and sesame sauce was the showstopper served with a steak knife. Definitely needed to help carve up the beautifully charred vegetable. With subtle tones of chilli and just the right bite, it’s probably one of the best whole barbequed caulis I’ve eaten.
And to finish the savoury selection on the perfect note, a portion of chips with a sprinkling of paprika.
For a more meaty offering, there is the marinated lamb cutlets with black olives and aubergine or the Ibaiama pork balls with tomato sauce and quail egg. If a taste of the sea is on the agenda, the line caught tuna comes as a tartare with tahini and truffle or there is cod with artichokes and white beans barigoule.
The warm chocolate mousse with Black Mountain whiskey ice cream won the pudding contest. Indulgent and slightly naughty, I added my favourite friend the espresso martini – They were a match made in heaven!
Henrietta Bistro, certainly impressed this veggie with all it’s plant-based Basque style tapas offerings. This place could be in the running to become my new Covent Garden go-to haunt!
Henrietta Bistro | Henrietta Hotel | 14-15 Henrietta St | London | WC2E 8QG
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