Saturday, November 18, 2006

The truth about truc vert

We had left booking the restaurant for tonight rather late and had failed to secure a small corner of Restaurant 22; The Bridge (sister restaurant to the Three Horseshoes) was full as well so we went for truc vert just outside Cambridge They have a small but perfectly formed menu and we all found some tasty things to try. LLcT went for the Charcuterie selection from the side orders as he craved meat (for a change!) and chased that with the Roast Kangaroo Loin fillet, sweet corn pancakes, spiced broccoli and redcurrant jus. D opted for the Crab cakes with pickled cucumber, mixed leaves and coconut and herbs mayonnaise followed by the Roast Whole Sea Bass with wilted spinach, crispy Parma ham and lemon butter sauce, MC chose Pan fried Scallops, julienne of vegetables and mango sweet chilli dressing and then Grilled Rib eye with stilton and chive mash potatoes and red wine jus. I selected an old favourite - Warm smoked Haddock, artichokes, asparagus, watercress and hollandaise sauce with Roast Rack of Lamb with (more) artichokes and brie risotto and rosemary jus for my main and a side of the Mash potatoes with parmesan to share (a little!) Everything we had tasted very pleasant though obviously after my fabulous Tom Aikens experience, it paled somewhat in comparison. The most marked difference was not the food but the very odd service and presentation. We were delivered the water, but no glasses. None of the plates were warm so the food went cold too quickly (and the restaurant itself is a little nippy). The strangest thing was the deep and wide bowl my lamb was served in. I myself favour the large serving platter for a bit of drama but whereas a salad or a pasta (as long as everything is chopped into bite sized pieces) works well in a bowl any dish that requires deftly removing tasty morsels of meat from a bone, you need a flat surface to cut on. I was quite surprised that by the end of my main course I felt strangely uncomfortable from trying to cut food in such an unnatural posture, I’m sure Mr. Aiken would never make such a schoolboy error!
D and I shared a very fine Warm Dark Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and flaked almonds.

There was another (completely irrational) thing that annoyed me! The menu had been written with the use of random capitalization, which I have transcribed accurately for your delectation. Perhaps it’s a style quirk or could it possibly be just in error. Some of my favourites are crème Fraîche, Grilled Rib eye and Parmesan (with the incredible disappearing P’s). Picky I know!

I think the food at truc vert was well cooked and very tasty and probably worthy of two forks but (ignoring the menu style) the slightly odd service and bizarre plating removed one of their forks – harsh but fair! I would be very happy to go again and see if they can sort out their crockery.

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