Time Out says
A London Bridge restaurant from an ex-Fat Duck duo.
We don’t normally comment on current affairs in our restaurant reviews, as it quickly dates them. But today, I make an exception. The state of the restaurant industry is best summed up for me by a picture shared on Instagram, of a blackboard outside a restaurant (not this one) that read: ‘Remember when the Titanic was sinking and the band continued to play? Well, we’re the band.’ So, for as long as London’s restaurants are open, Time Out will continue to review them. And if they temporarily have to close, we will celebrate and support them in other ways.
As it happens, Trivet is precisely the sort of place you’ll want to plan ahead for, so you have something swish in the diary to look forward to. On a site once home to the excellent but ill-fated Londrino, it is a restaurant that has smart, special-occasion vibes, but with bags of warmth and staff so sweet, so charming, you’ll want to put them in your pocket and take them home.
But this, really, is a place for people who are serious about food. It comes to us from a pair with pedigree: Jonny Lake and Isa Bal. For more than a decade, they served as The Fat’s Duck head chef and head sommelier, respectively. Not that this is the kind of place where you’ll be handed an iPod to accompany your meal. The style of the food is quietly meticulous: there’s flair, but also restraint.
We swooned over a plate of pici (that worm-like pasta we all can’t get enough of), rich and creamy with the satisfying bite of artichoke as well as the subtle seafoody-ness of Cornish crab. Equally simple – or was it? – was a duo of seared scallops, their char-marks wide and well-spaced, like the rump of a zebra. Alongside them, braised lengths of barbucine, the little-seen, frilly-edged cousin of chicory, its bitter notes singing against the sweetness of the molluscs. Oh, and a grand finale that has to be in my top pastries of the year: an almond and cherry tart (yes, a little like a bakewell), that was chewy and buttery but crunchy, too. And came with a scoop of cardamom gelato for good measure. I could go on: a flawless, almost silky main course of iberico pluma (pork loin) with beetroot and shiitake mushrooms, or the nearly-but-not-quite-as-good chicken with a vinegar sauce (the vinegar was woefully meek, is all).
Would I change anything else? Not much. I don’t mind that the room looks just like when it was Londrino, in fact, good on them for not throwing out the still-quite-new interiors – all swish contemporary woods in geometric shapes – for the sake of it. Just the lights… How many times do I have to say this? Please: turn them down.
But hey, Trivet, you’re pretty special. See you on the other side.
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £180.|
|Do you own this business?|