Made a return visit after a gap of a couple of years to La Trompette in Chiswick. The area was livelier than I remembered, lots more interesting shops and restaurants.
The weather was good so the full length windows were open to effectively extend the restaurant into the outside space.
We had a very relaxing meal, with good food and friendly service in very pleasant surroundings. This is very much the sort of place where you can enjoy indulging in the wine list and taking your time over the cheese board.
Out of all the Nigel Platts-Martins restaurants we have been too, this one is actually our least favorite, not that there is anything wrong with it. It is still a very good restaurant, it’s just that The Glasshouse, Chez Bruce and The Ledbury are better. So if you are in the area this would be a real treat, but I still prefer to make the trip out to Wandsworth for Chez Bruce or Notting Hill for The Ledbury.
Marks out of 10
UPDATE: April 2013 – La Trompette has been refurbished since our last visit, it now has a more spacious dining room, private dining facilities and a new kitchen. There is also a new Head Chef – Rob Weston.
Timing will always impact on dining experiences. Our trip out to Kew was on a lovely spring day, the sun was shining. It was also the day after our rather disappointing meal at Dinner by Heston, so we were desperate to have a very special lunch. The Glasshouse is the only restaurant in the Nigel Platts-Martins stable of restaurants we had not been to and it most certainly delivered that special touch. There is nothing over-hyped about this place, it’s not somewhere to be seen, it’s just everything a good neighbourhood restaurant should be.
The food and service were spot on. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable Sommelier was delightful. Letting us try out some additional wines to compliment our food.
I started with the perfectly made salmon and skate ravioli and my companion went for the smoked eel, a stunning starter full of flavour. For main course I had something I am sure Heston would have called “Rock Pool” or “Seaside on a plate” and delivered with an iPod playing the sounds of the sea. It was an amazing looking fish dish with a crispy baby squid sitting on top of a bed of silver mullet, surrounded by more crispy squid rings and olives. The flavour combinations and texture were perfect, it tasted as beautiful as it looked. My companions main course was more conventional, he went for the delicious daube of beef.
The Glasshouse has a fairly comprehensive cheese board – lots of British cheeses, as well as some French and Spanish ones, so we decided to share a cheese plate. It was matched with multiple glasses of wine. Then for dessert I had some light moist ginger cake with rhubarb ice cream and a sauce that had the lovely intense flavour of ginger beer. My companion had the Rum Baba. The one dessert the sommelier did not match a wine with, being soaked as it was in boozy rum. However as the dessert wine list was extensive (it even included two different PX‘s), we just had to try more wine. I had a glass of the Ice Cider (my dessert was not an ideal match for this, but I just wanted more of the wine I had tried with the cheese), the sommelier also let me try some of the wine she would have matched with the ginger cake, it was a smooth and subtle wine that complimented the ginger flavours in my dessert beautifully. My companion went for the raisin flavoured PX.
We drank a bit more than planned, but left the restaurant happy and in no doubt that we would return again. Indeed we are thinking, maybe it’s time to repeat the whole Nigel Platts Martin circuit again, starting with La Trompette.
We finally got around to trying out Chez Bruce in Wandsworth. So many people had raved about it over the years. In fact it was first recommended to me about 15 years ago when I lived in the area. Isn’t it annoying when other people are right, I really wish I had listened and started eating there then. I might have better fitted into the age group of the clientele too, who are typically 30 somethings.
The food which is often described as Modern British, actually has lots of different influences, French, Italian and Nordic.
To start my companion had the Gravadlax and beetroot club sandwich with herring salade lyonaise and horseradish, which was sublime. It definitely gets his vote for best starter of the year. I had the middle white pork terrine with warm potato salad and sauce gribiche which was also excellent. We accompanied these dishes with a carafe of rather stunning Pouilly Fuisse wine.
For main course my companion had the beautifully moist and tender venison loin with potato rosti and squash puree. A wonderful dish.
My Shetland salmon and scallops with Jerusalem artichoke puree, gnocchi, prosciutto and chaterelles, worked well combining fish and meat flavours beautifully.
As you can tell from all the superlatives I have used so far we really rated this place. It became our post Christmas treat, actually eclipsing Koffmanns, which is saying something.
Chez Bruce is very relaxing and not somewhere you would want to rush, so we extended our meal by having a cheese course matched with a lovely glass of chilled Rasteau 2007, Domaine De Trapadis, before “resting” and continuing on to dessert. For dessert we focused on the lighter dishes. The beautiful poached pear with honey and stem ginger ice cream and the prune and armagnac ice cream, accompanied by a refreshing glass of Muscat d’Asti.
We had no room for coffee and truffles, but did manage to squeeze in a small piece of shortbread, offered at the end of meal. Best shortbread I have ever had, with a hint of caramel, it was quite lovely.
We then asked for the bill, expecting it to be excessive as we had rather indulged ourselves. We were pleasantly surprised at how reasonable it was.
Chez Bruce is a part of Nigel Platts-Martins stable of restaurants. Holding its own against it’s sibling restaurants which include The Square, The Ledbury, La Trompette and The Glasshouse. Nothing jars here (not even the bread), the food, the service levels and the atmosphere seem just right. I certainly won’t be waiting another 15 years to return.