The very first thing you need to know about Truc Vert is how to say it. Named for a French beach, you can go one of two ways. You can be authentically ooh la la French and say True Vare (put a bit of flair into that would you) or self-deprecatingly British and mumble Truck Verte. They don’t seem to mind which is handy as I’m just not sure I can pull off a Franglais accent without a glass of champagne in hand.
To help me on my way, one is pressed into my hand almost immediately after entering. The restaurant is intimately lit with soft focus lighting, white linen tablecloths, an entire wall (yes, WALL) of wine and edible treats laid out in nooks and crannies, leading you to ignore your dining companions and try and see how many different treats you can spot.
My fellow bloggers & I are here to try Truc Vert’s new winter menu, designed to warm the cockles of your heart when the snow falls, the wind blows and the rain pours (The latter being the most likely). They’ve designed an 8-course menu, probably on the assumption that bloggers are gluttonous creatures who require a lot of food to keep them happy. Well, they got that right then.
Course 1: Pumpkin soup shot.
Let me offer you an analogy to explain how good this soup is. It’s so good that I would drink shots of this on a night out instead of any brand of alcohol you may wish to offer me instead. Well, except for champagne, you know I have a fondness for all things sparkly.
This shot is creamy but not bland, a hint of warming spice and subtle notes of truffle oil permeate and I could have eaten more. A lot more.
Course 2: Vanilla-cured salmon tartar with yoghurt, cucumber and sieved egg
Truthfully, I’m not a fan. The salmon is ok, but it’s laid out in a perplexing fashion and I can’t work out what I’m meant to do with the leaves. And the sieved egg is exactly as odd as it sounds – think a devilled egg pushed through a sieve. Thankfully this is the only faux pas and we move swiftly along to far more delightful and delicious things to come. Spoiler alert, there are 2 desserts. Read on.
Course 3: Peppered venison carpaccio
Delicate and light, this is matched perfectly the slightly tart plum jelly cubes and pickled turnip and horseradish cream. The horseradish is on exactly the right level of spice, too much more and it would have overpowered the senses.
Course 4: Almond milk sorbet
I’ve always felt a bit sorry for the lactose intolerant, forced to seek out almond and soy milks. After trialling this delight of a palate cleanser though, made up of no more than almond milk (ok I’m not a cook, whatever else it is that’s required to make sorbets) and I could happily claim the tag of the lactose-free.
Course 5: Baked monkfish fillet with foie-gras crème caramel, puy lentils and ginger dressing
I’ve associated lentils with the Indian staple dhal my whole life and growing up with it, I naturally rebelled it. But these lentils, I could make exception for. A well-cooked piece of fish, some tasty lentils with a little too subtle ginger dressing and wonder of wonders, a foie gras crème caramel. Not a concoction I’ve ever trialled before, not even on a trip to Bordeaux once where the foie gras was so plentiful one was pretty much blasé towards it. Not a strong taste, but smooth as silk.
Course 6: Boneless rump of lamb
This course didn’t get the attention it deserved, I was flagging, 5 courses later and my 2nd main, I had to employ some sneaky tactics and save room for desserts. But don’t let that put you off, this is your classic winter warmer. Rich melt in the mouth lamb, crunchy and not gluggy parmesan gnocchi with a smooth rich sauce on the side.
Course 7: Selection of cheese with Truc Vert tomato chutney
Cheese is only one of my favourite things in the world and despite trying to save room for dessert, I of course snuck in a couple of bites. In the interests of research, you understand.
Course 8: Banana split
Nothing as American as a Sundae if you please, this version has poached banana ice cream (I ate this in total silence, which should give you an idea of how fantastic it was), a white chocolate crepe and dark chocolate sauce which were good but just couldn’t live up to the banana ice cream. And you could argue it offers up at least one of your five-a-day
Course 9: Delice de chocolat
A chocolate mousse on a praline base with a chocolate ganache, chocolate jelly with a subtle hazelnut sauce. Sublime. Despite being so full, I could barely speak let alone engage in intelligent conversation, this was a must-eat.
Since the mere recounting of all this food is inducing me to have a little post-dinner lie down, I will leave you with this final thought. Go and visit Truc Vert (however it is you’d like to say it). The owners Russell and Louise are a top bunch, they have great food and even better service and you couldn’t do better seeking out a warming spot to while away all of winter.
Truc Vert can be found at 42 North Audley Street, Mayfair W1K 6ZR. In human speak, that’s only a short walk from either Bond Street or Marble Arch stations. Menus can be found here, however this particular creation is part of their new winter menu, so do call them for more info if needed.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Truc Vert, but as always, opinions are my own.