Sunday 18 January 2009

Private dining at Tuttons, Covent Garden, central London

A smart brasserie in a serious tourist trap, Tuttons has a couple of private rooms in its vault that you can hire for free provided you meet the minimum spend on food, drink and service. With their rough walls, arched ceilings, white table cloths and candles mounted in traditional candelabras, these rooms have character, while the service by the white-shirted waiters is professional and tolerant. Even on the cheapest menu (£25 a head), the food is generally very good. To start, you can opt for soup, a mozzarella and basil tortellini, which melts in the mouth, or a couple of tasty discs of goats cheese served with baby artichokes. Among the three main courses, the breast of chicken, served with tagliatelle, broad beans & wild mushrooms, is full of flavour, while the honey glazed pork fillet, with potatoes and roasted apple, also gets good reviews. The mains portions are small, but the hefty and delicious warm chocolate brownie, doused in vanilla ice cream and plenty of chocolate sauce, will fill you up. To drink, you can shell out close to a fiver for a pint of Grolsch or a large bottle of London Pride. Offering much more choice and slightly better value is the New World-dominated wine list, on which bottles start at £15, climbing to £42. Tuttons is pricey, but polished. 7/10