The scene Bathed in light with high ceilings, the Truscott’s upstairs dining room is all about simple elegance and the food. While the venue supports emerging artists through its in-house arts programme, the most distinct decorative feature is the window through the pass into the kitchen.
The grub On a refreshingly small, ever-changing menu, there are four starter choices. After the waiter’s spiel about its 48-hour journey (Scottish waters to curing to London smokehouse to plate), my date and I have to go for the Hansen-Lydersen smoked salmon (thick-sliced to showcase its firm, silky goodness) with cider jelly, pickled cucumber and dill.
We also get England-based Dutch Eel Co’s smoked eel with foie gras, sous vide (vacuum-packed) pineapple and little beetroots – a curious combo but its acidic/ fatty counterbalance is bliss. What’s next? Wild Welsh sea bass? Supreme of chicken and truffle mash?
Not when there’s a 35-day dry aged ribeye for two. It’s sous vide, too, at 70°C we’re told – higher than the standard 60°C and for that it’s tender without losing texture. The melting fat isn’t given top billing but deserves it. With fondant potatoes, roast beetroot, grelot onion and sauce bordelaise (red wine gravy with bone marrow), there’s a choice of added foie gras or bone marrow – the latter makes sense.
For dessert, the lemon curd is the right side of tart with young rhubarb batons, while a rich chocolate ganache is offset by raspberries and a pineapple sorbet. We’re happy campers.
Behind the bar Being the upstairs of a mighty fine pub is an advantage, with London Fields and Camden Hells lager on tap (from £4.40 a pint); a selection of sherries (from £6 a glass) and a positively diverse wine list (from £5/ £18 a glass/ bottle).
Bill please Starters from £6.50; mains from £12.50; desserts from £5.
Verdict Unpretentious, proper food-lovers’ treat with a touch of class.
55 Shirland Rd, Maida Vale, W9 2JDress
Tube | Warwick Avenue