Opened in 2001, La Trompette is an off-shoot of the Square; while going for a simpler style of cooking, in its own way the place is just as successful. In 2008 it finally gained a Michelin star. The chef was Anthony Boyd, who was previously the head chef at The Glasshouse in Kew, but this changed as of the end of 2012. The restaurant will be expanded, extending into the next door building, in early 2013, and when it reopens will have as head chef Rob Weston, the long time right-hand man of Phil Howard at The Square, which is good news for Chiswick. A December 2012 meal was of a similar standard to the one below, other than one rather tasteless scallop starter.
At a February 2012 meal, warm smoked eel was topped with a mayonnaise of egg and wasabi served with beetroots flavoured with balsamic vinegar. The beetroot was good, the mayonnaise pleasant though without much evident wasabi flavour. In any case I seriously doubt that real wasabi root was used here: the usual coloured horseradish that is passed off in London as wasabi was presumably used. The dish was pleasant, though the eel (from Somerset) was not particularly exciting (14/20). Organic salmon ballotine was served with crème fraiche, a little caviar on top and pickled cucumber on the side. Again this was a nice enough dish, but the salmon had limited flavour (14/20).
The best dish of the night was venison, with loin of venison and also haché (i.e. chopped) venison served with red cabbage, onion puree and poivrade (pepper) sauce. The venison was cooked pink and had plenty of flavour, seasoning was good and the sauce had reasonable depth; there was a hint of mustard too, which enlivened the dish nicely (16/20). Sea bass was pan-fried, served with Jerusalem artichoke puree, parsley root, roast salsify and red wine vinaigrette. The sea bass was timed well, the vinaigrette good, though the puree was a little lumpy (14/20).
My mango sorbet with shortbread was very enjoyable, the biscuits having good texture and there being plenty of mango flavour in the sorbet (15/20). The “Black forest ice cream” had cherry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream spheres with slivers of chocolate and a cherry to garnish, and was also very pleasant (15/20). Service was excellent, our Australian waitress friendly and efficient. Desserts aside, the meal was closer to 14/20 than 15/20 level, a far cry from the glory days of la Trompette when Ollie Couillard was cooking.
RT @Winemag: Top Cape Town restaurant The Test Kitchen closes https://t.co/weLQfaeHMB