I had wanted to visit Trinity for a long time. I had heard nothing but good things, and after a two day work experience stint there, I knew that I wanted out of the kitchen and into the dining room!
My sister had moved out not too long ago and I thought it the perfect opportunity if I meet up with her to give Trinity a visit (any excuse to eat out!), oh… and I was missing her of course!
Walking towards the restaurant and looking inside I began to feel quite apprehensive about going in. Seeing the array of suits and shirts inside and there was I in my Super Dry t-shirt (hopefully I’ll get some sort of sponsorship deal for that) and jeans; albeit they were my best ones. Despite my casual wear we were made to feel very welcome and relaxed upon entry.
Unlike Gordon Ramsey’s Royal Hospital Road, this time I was paying and it was Trinity’s value for money that sealed the deal for me. Three courses for a £25 lunch, at a restaurant many feel deserve a Michelin star, seemed too good a deal to turn down. As well as this, it was not like many other lunch menu’s that give limited choice; it was the usual A la Carte dinner menu.
Service started smoothly (not intended alliteration), with our orders taken swiftly. I went for the smoked duck, with blackberry and duck tongue fritters to start and rabbit with nettle and chanterelles for main. For me it was a meal of firsts, having never eaten Rabbit, nettle, or indeed tongue before. My sister went for a mackerel starter and sea bream for her main.
We were given a few sourdough rolls served with a cheesy whipped butter (nicer than I have made it sound) and was impressed. The bread was delicious and converted me round to the wonders of sourdough.
On top of this we were then given cubes of fried cheese with a hay mayonnaise (I have also never eaten hay before). I love a bit of cheese, especially after it has been submerged in oil and this was a step up from what I have had before and as for the hay, I can see why those horses love it so much! Good start!
Our starter soon arrived and it looked very appetising, simple, effective presentation. The thin slices of smoked duck, topped with a touch of sea salt, paired with the sweet, yet slightly tart blackberry worked very well together. The ingredients were left to speak for themselves and Head Chef Adam Byatt had every right to be confident in leaving the dish alone. The star player of the dish was the tongue. Encased in a lovely, light batter I quickly ate the lot; never did I think I would be so joyous from eating a few duck tongues! Before I got a chance to pinch a bit of my sister’s mackerel, it had gone. She assures me it was very nice. If anyone wants my own opinion on this dish then I’m open for someone to pay for me to go and try it; I would hate to think I’m not thorough enough in my reviews!
My first bathroom break was upon me. While I wasn’t blown away (and I have been by a toilet in the past – I really am a sucker for a good bog) they were nice enough.
After a fairly long wait for the main, at the edge of acceptable timing, it was served. Contrary to what the menu stated, my dish was served with a broth. After being poured over the whole dish and acting as a dissolving agent for the blobs of nettle puree, I tucked in.
I was extremely disappointed with my main. I felt there was too much liquid for the dish; so much so, nettle and rabbit soup would have been a more appropriate name for the dish! Perhaps it was my personal preference but I was not a fan of the nettle. For me it left a bitter taste in the mouth, literally! Perhaps sub-consciously it felt as if the nettle still had its sting. The rabbit was served both as fillets and a leg. The leg was the only saving feature of the dish. A plate of them, garnished with some duck tongues would have gone down a treat. The fillets of rabbit themselves were very average; perhaps with a nicer accompaniment and the leg, the dish would have been far more successful. The mushrooms, of which I had eagerly awaited and was one of the main reasons I had gone for the dish, were a letdown and I feel were made a spongy texture by the broth.
We thought about going to a lovely looking bakery round the corner for dessert, as the choices on the menu weren’t particularly to our liking. However, I was intrigued by the fig dish, served with a crème fraiche ice cream, honey and cobble nuts. My sister went for the quince Pavlova.
We were pleasantly surprised when the desserts arrived; both looked very nice and appealing. Mine was a simple dessert; grilled figs, with an ice cream, a bit of honey and some nuts. However, as the simple starter had delivered in flavour, so did this. Beautifully grilled figs, worked perfectly with the silky smooth and slightly bitter tasting ice cream. Matched with some of the honey and some crumbly bits for some texture, it was a triumph.
From what I tasted it seems that when Trinity stick to simple, but effective flavour combinations done well, they are able to provide dishes of high quality, both in flavour and presentation. Its relaxed waiting team made us feel at ease, whilst being attentive and informative.
Michelin star, I’m not so sure. I think its current status as a firm local favourite, with an aspiration of greater things is where it should be at the moment. For me, it just falls short of that first coveted Michelin star. Despite this, I would readily recommend it, and think that a Michelin star will be on its way soon, if those few cracks are ironed out.
Food – 7.5
Service – 8
Toilets – 7
Overall – 8/10 – The value for money of their lunch time menu, means that you can enjoy a lovely meal for good value for money. Their dinner service on the other hand is expensive, but you won’t find many better restaurants around without a Michelin star.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. – Sorry about the horizontal nature of the photos, my sister is to blame!
My next blog will be on my Top 5 most exciting restaurants in London at the moment- which will be posted on the 10th January.
Eat, drink and be merry! Happy Christmas and new year to you all!