Sometime’s we all need a little treat – and what better occasion than a birthday! To be specific, two birthdays, as both my and Blai’s birthdays fall in the month of July. I’d been wanting to try La Trompette for a while after reading such marvellous reviews online, and the fact that they were recently awarded their first Michelin star didn’t hurt either, and so I booked a table for the two of us last Sunday at 7pm. We turned out to be the second couple in the restaurant, following close at the heels of the first couple. The restaurant did fill up throughout the night with many groups coming in at about 8pm.
After ordering, the bread basket made its way to our table and we were presented with a choice of three breads; there was a walnut bread flecked with bits of raisin, a heavily speckled black olive bread, and a white bread heavy with olive oil. Needless to say, throughout the course of our meal, we managed to try all three. All three were extremely delicious and perhaps we ate more than we should have. Upon inquiring, we were told that they baked all the bread daily on the premises.
I started with the Confit sea trout, crab and cucumber salad, crab croquettes, vichyssoise and pea shoots:
There were two generous slices of soft, melting fish sat in a bit of vichyssoise, acting more as a sauce than a soup. Inside the lettuce parcel was the crab and cucumber salad – just lots of crab meat with a bit of diced cucumber in a mayonnaise dressing. While the salad contained white crab meat, the crunchy crab croquettes were made of brown meat. I loved this dish.
Blai had the Soft polenta, English asparagus, cured ham, poached egg, black truffle and olive dressing:
While everything on the plate was very well cooked and delicious, Blai did not feel that all the ingredients worked altogether as a single dish. This was the only minor thing we could quibble about. Of the bits I did try, I very much liked the truffle and olive dressing and thought it worked well with the egg and polenta. I can understand though – I feel that some hams can be too assertive when combined with other ingredients.
For my main, I chose the Breast of duck, pastilla of confit leg, hot foie gras, cherry compote and caramelized endive:
The breast was cooked as I requested (pink inside) and sat on a bed of spinach. It was incredibly meaty and the cherry compote was beautiful with it. I never would have thought of caramelizing endive as they had here but its bitterness combined with just about everything on the plate, especially the foie gras and compote. A gorgeous dish.
After much deliberation, Blai settled with the Braised legs of poulet noir, with potato gnocchi, leek hearts, vin jaune and tarragon:
I tried a bit of everything off his plate and I can vouch that that chicken was as soft as it looks. It just fell off the bone and the sauce that went with it….mmmmm. We ended up having a discussion about what “yellow wine” was and we thought it was perhaps a typo and should be vin jeune, a young, not aged wine. However, it turns out that there is a vin jaune that is similar to sherry. Whatever it was, it made that sauce so wonderful! The gnocchi was chewy and potatoey and reminiscent of a German potato dumpling.
All the desserts sounded good but I chose the one that really stood out for me. This was the Fresh citrus fruits, banana sorbet, passion fruit jelly, Earl Grey tea, financiers:
Rarely does a dessert make me sit up and say, “Wow!”, and this one did. The photo doesn’t do this dessert justice – it doesn’t show that underneath that Earl Grey tea granité was a layer of citrus fruit segments, and under that was a scoop of banana sorbet, and under that was the passion fruit jelly. While all the ingredients sound disparate, together they blend together: the creaminess of the banana, the citrus note of the fruits and the tea, the zing of the passion fruit. Gorgeous. The financiers were equally fabulous, but I knew they would be after the quality of the bread!
Blai opted for another dessert that sounded just as refreshing, the Iced coconut parfait with lime granité, tropical fruits and lychee sorbet:
With the creamy coconut parfait sitting on a pastry base, his dessert was more substantial than mine but still very light and summery. I again only tried a bit of it and it was very good and judging by the way Blai cleaned his plate, I would say that he adored it too!
After dessert, I had an espresso, while they offered some hot water steeped with lemon to Blai as a refreshing alternative. Or as my brother so eloquently put it – “it sounds like you kinda drank a finger bowl”. But honestly, it was nice and really helped us relax and it possibly aided digestion; who knows? Alongside came these chocolate truffles:
Looking at these photos again is killing me; I cannot wait to return to La Trompette! Of course, this is unlikely to be very soon as all this deliciousness comes at a price; I would never try to convince anyone that this place is a budget restaurant! Two three course menus, 1 bottle of sparkling water, 1 glass of a red Bordeaux, 1 espresso, 1 hot water with lemon (no charge!) – this all came to £100 for the two of us.
5-7 Devonshire Road
London W4 2EU