A recent £1m+ refurbishment has transformed Tuttons’ décor and food. The well placed Covent Garden eatery has a lot to offer a wide variety of clientele with both its bar and restaurant menus. The service is attentive and most importantly the food is well-presented and delicious.
A dark wood theme is nicely balanced, with plenty of mirrors, lighting and splashes of red from the seating. The bar offers smaller tables and plenty of standing room while the ample outdoor terrace with parasols and patio heaters appeal to al fresco lovers. The view over the piazza is a great setting and the corner building offers large windows for guests to enjoy the view.
The well-equipped bar serves drinks (including cocktails) and snacks, while the restaurant offers a pre-theatre menu, kids menu and à la carte, so the mood changes through the day and into the evening. The mix of diners have just the right amount of room between tables allowing for comfort and privacy with a background of chatter. The downstairs Vaults is a private dining room for up to 30.
The website, with slight syntax issues, describes the fare as “Quintessentially delicious English food” – and that’s exactly what it is – in decent (but not overpowering) portion sizes. The main menu is ideal for a lunch through to dinner, with plenty of dishes in both starter and main course sizes - the open wild mushroom ravioli being a prime example. For £7.95 (£15.25 main) you get a huge portion of deliciously flavoured, and not overcooked, mushrooms with a rich pasta and creamy sauce. The tower is topped by rocket and pistou dressing (made with garlic, basil and olive oil), providing a tasty contrast and variety throughout the dish. The pressed Sussex ham hock with rye bread (£7.50) is succulent and is contrasted well by the spectacular piquant mustard piccalilli.
Main courses are split into grills and roasts, fish & shellfish, and salads & pasta, ranging from the deliciously traditional cauliflower, leek and Montgomery cheddar bake at £13.75 (and available as a £3.50 side) to £32 for a 28 day aged rib of beef. The moist, well flavoured pan-roasted corn-fed chicken breast is served with a well-balanced selection of Charlotte potatoes, asparagus, pearl onions and a red wine and tarragon sauce. Matchstick chips accompany the nicely pink Buckinghamshire veal wrapped in Parma ham (£21.95) and are perfect for dipping into the runny yolk of the free range duck egg that's just beneath a topping of lemon, fried capers, sage and anchovy butter. It’s difficult to pick out the individual flavours but the combination works very well.
The dessert menu contains plenty of English favourites and the Kentish raspberry cheesecake (£6.50) is a far cry from the usual; the crumb is served as a loose bed, with the raspberry filled topping light, but with a rich creamy layer balancing on top. Chocaholics need look no further than the dark and white chocolate brownie (£6); it's moist, rich and made gooey by a splash of chocolate sauce and a generous helping of Dorset clotted cream.
Tuttons is definitely taking its wine seriously – with the notable addition of Paul Tuttons’ New Zealand wines. The big bonus is the choice of two different glass sizes, a carafe or the whole bottle. The house red is Fuzion Tempranillo Malbec, an easy drinking Argentinian medium bodied wine with berry and spice hints and a long finish (£4.75/£6.00/£11.85/£16.95). The Côtes du Rhône Vidal Fleury is light but well flavoured – an ideal summer option with tastes of elderflower and rosehip. A selection of wines are marked to indicate favourites for quality at their level – a great guide for those who don't have intimate knowledge of wine and would like to avoid selection by familiarity or price alone. Sparkling wines start at £29 (£7 per glass) with a West Sussex wine being the highlighted favourite at £12 per glass.
Beers and ciders are also on offer from £3.95 per bottle with draught London Pride £4.95 per pint. Cocktails echo the variety, presentation and deliciousness of the food. Again there’s something for everyone with classics (£9.50 and £9) and signature cocktails (£8.50) from the traditional Bloody Mary to the more innovative Orange & Rhubarb Martini.
The Last Word
With a great location, wide menu appeal and new look, Tuttons is definitely worth a try – there’s nothing to not like and plenty to commend it. The food really does look like the pictures on the website, and tastes even better.