The Ten Cases Covent Garden
I go out with girlfriends on a reasonably regular basis. And, it can be a challenge to find the right sort of place. A nice, friendly bistro that doesn’t cost the earth in Central London. From checking out reviews, The 10 Cases might just be a good bet
Pubs are not really what we are looking for and nor are chain restaurants of the pizza express/café rouge type. It’s good to do something different – but there’s always someone who doesn’t want spicy food or doesn’t like Chinese. And usually there’s someone who doesn’t want to eat more than a snack. Oh, and ideally, we don’t like to be too far from Waterloo – because one of our group has a trip back to deepest darkest Surrey! Finally, we like wine, but we don’t want to pay too much for it.
You get the picture? Finding somewhere that suits everyone can be quite a challenge.
I’m pleased to say last night’s foray to 10 Cases with just one friend seemed to tick the right boxes. The premise of this bistro in Covent Garden is that their wine list is constantly changing, based on 10 cases at a time. It’s not large, I would guess space for 20 diners plus eight at the bar, though there’s a private room downstairs which can be booked without charge for up to 19 people.
There’s a good but manageable wine list with bottles from £20 upward (reasonable value in Covent Garden) and a small range of food. The whole premise of The 10 Cases was that they would buy 10 cases of each listed wine, and once it was gone they’d stock something else, so expect a regularly changing wine list. And the nice thing about the food at the 10 Cases is that you get the impression no one is going to mind if you sit there all evening eating quails eggs and saucisson, while if you want something more substantial there’s a shortish bistro type menu with options like whole plaice, duck breast, rump steak and pollack all coming in at around £17. We were in a bit of a wicked mood and went for the rather extravagant but utterly delicious fillet steak with fois gras.
Well, we did share our pudding of pear and almond tart. The pudding list is probably the most limited section of the menu, substituting cheese just doesn’t work for me! And all restaurants need a chocolate option…even if it’s just truffles to go with the coffee. Other than that, really we had no problems with the limited menu. Perhaps we were just lucky and liked what was on offer that day. Our bill was just over £100 for the two of us, but most of that was the £28 a head fillet steak with fois gras, which was NOT in any way mean sized!
All in, the experience was great. The atmosphere was lively without being ‘in your face’ and the staff were very friendly. And, most importantly, the loos are VERY smart and clean. This is important. It sets the place apart from tackier bistros and bars in the Covent Garden area. You don’t feel as if you are in a tourist destination. In fact it really does have a ‘neighbourhood’ feel to it.
I’d go back again to the 10 cases without hesitation. It’s also somewhere I’d happily eat alone if I was shopping in Covent Garden. So for me, a big thumbs up.