We had dinner at Charlie’s, Michelin-starred owner-chef, Adam Byatt’s latest venture (and his first one north of the river) last Thursday. It was only Day Four, but the restaurant was already humming along with clockwork efficiency. Head Chef, Matt Starling was ex-Fera at the Claridge’s, but Adam himself was there to make sure the kitchen seamlessly delivers what customers already familiar with his style at Trinity can expect.
I’m not a Trinity regular, so am not familiar with the nuances of that place, but my dining companion was, and pointed out the ‘Trinity touches’ which defined the place - radishes with cod roe-mayo dip reminiscent of taramosalata, and the triangular-shaped bread rolls, served hot off the oven.
Fried courgette flowers with truffle honey - the crisp wands of crisp-fried courgette flowers were slightly sticky from the truffle honey. Flavours were very subtle but the textures were spot-on.
Dressed Cornish crab salad- the way I liked it with lots of brown crab meat. Such delicate plating, served with wisp-thin toasts.
Roasted Yorkshire grouse, blackberries and bread sauce - I was a great fan of Pierre Koffmann and remembered he had a rather similar dish - grouse with bread sauce at La Tante Claire back in the 1990s. The version here tasted every bit as good, if not better. Pâté-smeared Melba toasts added an extra depth of flavour, whilst the blackberries provided a sharp tangy lift which cuts through the richness of the dish. A beautiful symphony of flavours.
Wild turbot cooked on the bone, with Palourde clams, lemon, garlic and chili - the wild turbot used here has inestimably more flavoursome flesh, and with a more toothsome bite texture-wise, as compared to the farmed variety.
Here, the fish was paired with clams to give the dish a more enhanced shellfish flavour. Addition of the garlic & chili was very subtle and was barely discernible.
Side - Fine beans with toasted hazelnuts
Raspberry and pistachio tartlet - if you do come & dine here, do NOT miss this, the tartlet was simply amazing - perfectly balanced flavours from the fresh raspberries and the sauce, amazing textures from the shortcrust pastry and the pistachio-inflected custard-cream base.
Mille feuille - this was also pretty amazing. There is no way one can eat a mille-feuille neatly, and Charlie’s version has a rather resilient, rather than delicately-crisp, puff pastry, making it impossible to cut-through. Flavours were amazing.
I honestly have no idea what the other desserts on the menu would taste like, but if I’m to come back here again - I am simply going to order these two desserts again!
White chocolate macarons which came with the coffee
My dining companion recognised a few Trinity faces among the quietly efficient wait-staff, with their careful, concise movements, and meticulous attention to detail when serving. The whole place exuded a comfortable, almost “casual” vibe, amidst its sumptuous dining room.
The restaurant also offers a daily special dish from the trolley, which looked rather interesting. Not sure how often they change this, but I took a snap of the lunch menu displayed outside the restaurant as we left.
Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP
Tel: +44 207 5184004