Michelin starred La Trompette resides in Chiswick and comes from the restaurant empire of Nigel Platts-Martin. He owns The Glasshouse, Chez Bruze, The Square and The Ledbury which hold quite a few Michelin stars between them so we had high hopes for our dinner.
We arrived on a Monday evening and it was very busy. White table cloths covered each table yet the atmosphere was relaxed. One table had a crying baby in a push chair and another family were dining with their two young children. The place had a family friendly neighbourhood vibe.
The price of the meal was clear from the beginning – £42.50 for three courses. That was all that was on offer – which we liked. Simple pricing meant there would be no ghastly surprises at the end.
A selection of breads started proceedings. The black olive Danish tasted a little stale, like it had been made yesterday. The tomato topped focaccia was more enjoyable but neither set our world on fire. The lack of an amuse bouche also disappointed us thoroughly.
I decided to order the only starter with a supplement (£5) which was saute of scallops and octopus with gazpacho Anduluz. I had doubts when ordering this dish – a cold gazpacho with hot scallops? Our waiter assured me it worked perfectly as he had similar reservations himself but loved the taste when he tried it. To be honest, I still have those doubts. It wasn’t disgusting, but a warm sauce instead of a cold gazpacho would have made for a more enjoyable plate of food. The dish looked vibrant and colourful with perfectly cooked scallops but the octopus was tough. I think the £5 supplement was unnecessary.
My gentleman companion’s confit pork and ham toterllone with minestrone broth was lovely. The pasta was thin and delicate with a rich filling packed with ham flavour. The minestrone broth however was tasteless.
My main of slow roast pork belly and cheek with mustard onions, carrot puree, pomme sarladaise and Madeira was tasty but it wasn’t faultless. The pork belly had very little meat on it and a lot of fat – more so than your average pork belly but it did have a lovely crunchy crackling top. The carrot puree had an overwhelming taste of butter and nothing else. And for some reason, both main course plates were as hot as molten lava – so hot they hurt to touch.
My gentleman companion ordered the barbecue glazed chicken with sweet corn, spring cabbage, green beans and new potatoes. This was a hearty portion – the chicken breast was huge. The sweet corn puree was sweet and flavoursome and the barbecue sauce had a rich twang to it.
For dessert my chocolate marquise, with salted caramel ice cream, fudge and peanut butter was a game of two halves. The flavour combinations were divine and the peanut butter and salted caramel ice cream were absolutely heavenly but the chocolate marquise was far too thick and stodgy. It required my lips having to work very hard to scrape a mouthful off the spoon.
My gentleman companion opted for the mango and lychee jelly with vanilla ice cream, coconut, lime and Viennese biscuit. As soon as he picked up the biscuit it instantly crumbled into a million pieces which was annoying. The mango and lychee jelly was topped with a vanilla pannacotta (not ice cream) which all tasted delightful. The final layer was a tangy lime foam which exploded with citrus flavour in your mouth – it was very clever.
As we payed the bill we were served some chocolate truffles that were deliciously rich yet light and very enjoyable.
Our dinner at La Trompette was very pleasant indeed and very affordable for a Michelin starred restaurant. However, each dish had its weaknesses and nothing we ate was perfect. We wouldn’t feel the need to return in a hurry but we were glad we went.