Tartufo London has been on my list of places to try for a while and I had been saving it for a visit from my dad and his wife as they love Italian food and truffles and last time I went more creative, with Gymkhana (which I LOVE), I totally struck out.
The dinner menu is a set menu and you can choose 2, 3 or 4 courses and the prices (£30, £35 and £40) are not bad considering most of the dishes revolve around truffles (black truffles to be clear and not to make anyone too hopeful) and they are very generous with them.
The restaurant is located at the lower floor of No. 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel in Chelsea (http://www.no11cadogangardens.com/aboutus-en.html) and is intimate and romantic.
What we ate:
We all had a mix of different things, some with app and main, some with app and dessert and one of us with main and dessert. To start off the meal they bring some toasts with ham mousse and also arancini with cheese.
Carpaccio di Manzo & Tartufo: beef Carpaccio, Parmesan Cream and Autumn Salad & Truffle – the carpaccio was a very generous portion, and even more generous was the amount of black truffle shavings on top. But it lacked seasoning. I grew up with carpaccios in Brazil that always have Parmesan shavings on top and it could have helped the dish tremendously. Also, some citrus touches could have been nice but I am not sure citrus+truffles works. It just lacked some wow factor but at least it was beautiful. Btw, love the fact that those tiny leaves are referred to as autumn salad…
Tortellini Al Tartufo Nero: Autumn Truffle Tortellini Fresh Walnut & Mascarpone – this was very rich and tasty. The pasta was well cooked and even though the portion was on the smallish side (but it was a primi which means you are supposed to order more…), it was rich and filling.
Risotto Ai Porcini e Tartufo: ceps risotto, with taleggio sauce and truffle shaving was very good and once again, rich. The tortellini was better but still a good risotto.
Cervo & Tartufo: Roasted Saddle of Venison with savoy cabbage & chestnut pumpkin purée: The venison was delicious but the little parcels of chestnuts enveloped in cabbage were not very good. The chestnut and pumpkin puree was also too sweet and we don’t tend to love too much sweetness on our main courses.
Uovo e Funghi & Tartufo: Soft poached duck egg with cauliflower velouté and surrounded with wild mushroom & Truffle was absolutely delicious. The egg was perfectly cooked, the cauliflower puree was smooth as velvet and I got an overdose of mushrooms and truffles which was perfect.
Chestnut Mousse and Dark Chocolate Vanilla Sauce & Poppy Seed Meringue: my dad had high hopes for this as he loves chestnuts but it was way too bland. You could barely taste the chestnut and the only thing with a real taste was the chocolate shell around it.
Dark Chocolate Crunch Hazelnut, Praline & Lemon Ice cream: served as a chocolate bar that packed good flavor but was overly hard and very difficult to cut. But we managed to break it as it was worth the effort. We also managed to avoid the lemon flavor as lemon with chocolate and hazelnut is the opposite of a good combination.
In sum: romantic and cute place (we were surrounded by couples likely celebrating birthdays and anniversaries). The food was good, some tasty dishes and some less so but service was weak. It took forever to get a glass of wine or for my dad’s wife to get her diet coke (maybe they had to go buy some as they probably didn’t think it was the best pairing with the truffles…..). Also, we didn’t get bread or petit fours while other tables did (and yes, I do have food envy so was keeping track). Just seemed choppy and slow.
Tartufo London http://www.tartufolondon.co.uk/
11 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 2RJ
+4420 7730 6383