Imagine a local restaurant transported by the Tardis into Mayfair. Truc Vert is no central London sophisticate, what with the deli products on wooden shelves and the Sam Smith’s beer on the menu (Heineken was offered when we asked if there was anything else). The jazz duo may have been too loud as well, but when it came to the food it was hard to find any gripes.
From a menu heavy with French influences, plus the occasional Asian slant, an onion soup was creamier than the standard, with subtle flavouring, and packed with meltingly soft onions. Another starter – sautéed squid, with stir-fried beansprouts, mangetout, pak choi, egg noodle salad and harissa dressing – was a great combination, the squid soft and fresh, the harissa adding just the right warmth. Swordfish steak with niçoise salad and coriander chilli struck a similarly fresh, fusion note, while artichoke and ricotta tortellini were dense, unctuous and deeply flavoured.
Only a lemon and cinnamon custard missed the mark; it was fine, but not the luxurious pudding that suits being served in a tiny portion. But that’s not much to complain about. On the whole, this was winning food.