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Truc Vert - A touch of inner-city sophistication

Reviewed by Jacklyn Swiecicki

Having eaten at Truc Vert before, I knew well in advance that I was in store for a gastronomic treat. Immediately upon entry it was clear that the service was set to be impeccable. Our host for the evening, Jeff, escorted us to our seats taking us through the soft candlelit restaurant to our table which was beautifully presented, and quite formal. Despite the fact that Truc Vert has a renowned reputation of being a rustic delicatessen-style eatery by day, the evening ambiance is somewhat more refined and delightful - with all the expectations of fine dining being met, without being too stuffy or pretentious.

Whilst perusing the faultless menu, Jeff recommended we try an aperitif of champagne with a dash of blackberry liqueur. A fine recommendation, as this was a flirty and sophisticated start to our evening. For our entree my companion and I shared some grilled Tiger prawns accompanied alongside grilled vegetables and couscous (£9.95). The prawns were fabulous. Still firm and succulent. Meanwhile the grilled vegetables were cooked to enhance their own natural flavours, such as the smokiness of the peppers and the light freshness of the courgettes.

Whilst nibbling on some thin slices of homemade bread and butter, Jeff suggested we try a New Zealand wine to accompany our main dishes of South African ostrich steak for me (£16.50), and grilled tuna steak and risotto for my friend (£16.95). My ostrich steak came with tender and textured braised red cabbage, soft ripe figs, all highlighted by a sweet cherry jus with a crumbling of blue cheese. Although, it may seem that there was a lot going on on my plate, this dish was carefully thought out, and everything just worked amazingly together, in just the right portions. Despite the ostrich steak being pink and cooked lightly, the meat itself seemed a tad tough, however this was in no way an insult to the chef. My companions tuna steak was, as always, nicely grilled and full of flavour. The risotto was grainy and superbly flavoured thanks to the salty feta cheese. Our 2006 Clayridge bottle of wine matched our meals perfectly (£30). Light enough for my guests tuna steak, yet meaty enough for my ostrich.

Despite us lingering over all of our savoury dishes, dessert was a non-negotiable must. The lemon meringue tart (£4.95) was tangy and light with the meringue maintaining a firm, yet soft texture. However the sauce in which it was served, was slightly too sweet and in my opinion unnecessary. Our gluttony didn't end there. We also indulged in a warm chocolate pudding served with vanilla ice cream (£4.95). Divine gooey chocolate flowed out of the pudding when the soft crust was lightly tapped. The choice of dark chocolate was perfection, without being sickly sweet. This dessert was bliss, and words cannot describe how luxurious the whole process was. You must experience it for yourselves.

The menu at Truc Vert changes daily, therefore it is priceless to have a host such as Jeff, who can cater to your tastes with his knowledge of seasonal dishes and wines. Don't be afraid to ask, when help this good is on hand, it should be utilised to achieve the ultimate culinary experience.

Truc Vert is a special place. Not only is the food immaculate, the whole experience is truly memorable. Whether you drop by for a tasty rustic lunch, or reserve a table for an evening meal, Truc Vert is definitely a restaurant that will tempt your return and indulge all of your senses.

Truc Vert
42 North Audley Street
020 7491 9988

Jacklyn Swiecicki

UK Restaurant Reviews – The Best Of The Dine Online Restaurant Reviews 2001 - 2010

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