La Trompette opened in 2001, taking over premises that used to house La Dordogne, a perpetually disappointing and, to me at least, inexplicably popular neighbourhood restaurant. La Trompette was the first serious restaurant in Chiswick, and put the area on the culinary map when it earned a Michelin star in 2008. Since early 2013 the chef has been Rob Weston, who had previously been head chef of The Square under Phil Howard.
There was a tasting menu at £65, while at lunch the a la carte three-course lunch was available at a bargain £35 compared to £55 at dinner. As ever here, the wine list was interesting and affordable by the standards of London. The list started as low as £25 and ranged up to £760, but with a lot of choice in the sub £40 range. Example labels were Te Mata Gamay Noir 2015 at £39.50 for a wine that will you can find in the high street for £16, Mullineux Old Vines Syrah 2014 from Swartland at £65 compared to its retail price of £22, and By Farr Farrside Pinot Noir 2011 at £120 for a wine that will set you back £51 in a shop. Of the posher wines, Brunello Di Montalcino from Cupano 2009 was £200 compared to its shop price of £84, and Solaia Marchesi di Antinori 1995 was £400 versus its current market value of £178. There were some quite rare bottles, such as Guigal La Turque 1994 at £400 for a label that, if you could find it, would currently set you back £293 to buy. Bread was sourdough that was made in the kitchen, and was excellent, with a nice crust and light texture (16/20).
A nibble of seaweed crisp was topped with taramasalata, bottarga (dried grey mullet roe) and nasturtium leaves. This was quite salty but the crisp was very delicate (14/20). Venison salami was cured from scratch in the kitchen and served with honeymoon melon as a nibble. I liked the venison though I am not sure what the melon really added (14/20).
Suckling pig agnolotti was served with sweetcorn, kohlrabi and pancetta, along with a pool of the roasting juices. This had good flavour, and the kohlrabi worked well with the richness of the pork (15/20). Scallop (from Dorset) was served with sea herbs, shimeji mushrooms and yuzu butter. The scallop itself was unexceptional, though the mushrooms were good and the acidity of the yuzu worked nicely with what little inherent natural sweetness could be detected from the carefully cooked scallop (15/20).
Herb crusted chicken was served with creamed potatoes, sweet corn, yellow beans and oregano. The chicken was carefully cooked, the beans and sweet corn a pleasant accompaniment, and the mash was quite rich (15/20). Roasted and braised Berkshire deer came with black lentils, turnips, garden beets and blackberries. This was the best savoury dish, the deer carefully cooked and having plenty of flavour, the beetroot and turnips an earthy contrast, the acidity in the blackberries cutting nicely through the richness of the meat and its cooking juices (easily 16/20).
A strawberry soufflé was pleasant but was rather soggier in texture than ideal, and was a touch oversweet to my taste (13/20). Much better was Muscavado custard tart with roast cherries and crème fraiche. The pastry was good, the filling suitable wobbly, and the cherries balanced the richness of the custard very well (16/20). Coffee is now much improved, supplied by Union Coffee, a vast step up in quality from the Musetti that they used to serve here. The bill, with some pleasant wine, came to £80 a head, the lunch itself being £35 each. If you went for dinner and shared a modest bottle of wine (easy to find here) then a typical cost per head might be around £85.
Service was friendly and very capable. La Trompette remains a very enjoyable and reliable restaurant, with an appealing menu and pleasant environment, along with good service. It offers particularly reasonable value for money at lunch, this being enhanced by its unusually fairly priced wine list.Book