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La Trompette

5 Devonshire Road, Chiswick, London, England, W4 2EU, United Kingdom

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La Trompette was Chiswick’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, and helped put the area on the culinary map when it opened back in 2001. La Trompette gained a Michelin star in 2008 that it has held ever since.  These days the head chef is Rob Weston, formerly head chef of The Square under Phil Howard. There was a tasting menu at £70 or a la carte with three courses at £57.50.

The wine list has always been interesting and tolerably priced here. Example references were the Abruzzo red wine Farmese Gran Sasso La Bella Addormentata 2006 at £30 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £11, Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2007 at £55 compared to its retail price of £22, and Kumeu River Estate Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 at £105 for a label that will set you back £34 in a shop. At the prestige end of the list, Guigal La Landonne 2006 was £370 compared to its retail price of £218 and the same maker’s sublime La Mouline 2005 was £790 for a wine that has a current market value of £550.

A nibble of prawn cracker with ewe milk curds and nasturtium leaf was decent enough, though not especially exciting (13/20). Much better was an Orkney scallop, cooked lightly and served in its shell with seaweed, almonds and yuzu butter (15/20). The sourdough bread served this evening had excellent texture, and I believe is made from scratch in the kitchen.

Calf sweetbread had pleasing texture, its mild flavour complemented by pearl barley, cobnut pesto and cep fondue resting in a meat jus (16/20). My main course was venison, specifically Berkshire fallow deer, served with crisp galette potato and a series of root vegetables including swede, carrots and beetroot, as well as quince to provide some balancing acidity (15/20).  

Bramley apple crumble soufflé with vanilla ice cream was very enjoyable (16/20), as were some excellent lemon beignets that Homer Simpson would have heartily approved (16/20). Service was excellent as usual. The bill came to £138 per person, though that was with quite a lot of good wine to drink and some extra dishes. If you just had a regular order and shared a bottle of modest wine then a typical cost per head might be around £95.

At a lunch a few days later there were nibbles of crackers with ewe curd, honey, black olive dust and grated cheese. This wasn’t an entirely obvious flavour combination, and the topping elements were tiny relative to the cracker, so had limited impact (13/20). By contrast the sourdough bread served here was excellent, having a particularly good crust (16/20). 

Skate and crème fraiche was mixed with oyster, prawns, cucumber and apple, along with iced lettuce and oyster cream. This was simple but quite refreshing, the acidity of the apple working nicely with the seafood (15/20). Hand-rolled linguine came with aged Parmesan and a shaving of white Alba truffles. The pasta had nice texture and the Parmesan was all that was needed as addition to the pasta given the powerful scent of white truffles (15/20).

Roast French guinea hen was served with creamed polenta, spinach, sweetcorn and girolles. The bird was cooked carefully and the various elements, including an undeclared pickled vegetable, worked nicely together  (15/20). My dining companion had Herdwick lamb, which was served as both shoulder and saddle. This was cooked medium rare and came with hispi cabbage, glazed cabbage and roast potatoes; this looked good and seemed to go down well.

We skipped dessert but were brought excellent lemon curd beignets, with a crisp sugary coating and lemon curd filling whose acidity cut well through the sweetness (16/20). Coffee was excellent. I was being treated by a friend today so didn’t see the bill. Service was professional as always here. 

La Trompette has lasted as long as it has because it has a good all round offer: an appealing menu, nice service, a moderately priced wine list and competent food that is consistent. This is not a place for culinary fireworks and neither does it intend to be such a place. At the busy dinner service there was a touch of inconsistency. Although my dishes were fine, one or two others that I sampled, such as the ravioli of green vegetables, were less good, it suffering from a rather tough piece of kale and almost entirely missing the advertised bite of chilli. Nonetheless, overall the meal was capable and the evening very enjoyable. The lunch a few days later was on a more even keel.  

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Further reviews: 08th Sep 2017 | 05th Jan 2017 | 11th Jul 2013 | 13th Dec 2012

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