The Truscott Arms' new alfresco terrace dining proves that in Maida Vale, going out is the new staying in.
Next time you're inviting friends over, why not invite them for great cocktails, great food and save yourself the bother of cooking and washing up. The Truscott arms has created a gorgeous little terrace at the back of their already popular establishment, and owner Andrew Fishwick invited us along to check it out.
So let's get to know the people that are putting on the show for you and your friends.
Andrew (above) is a wonderfully enthusiastic entrepreneur, generous host and all round friendly fellow. Certainly the kind of chap you'd want an invite for dinner from, safe in the knowledge he'd chose something interesting and thought provoking.
Aidan McGee, skilful master of the kitchen, has a rare talent among chefs of feeling just as comfortable front of house, whilst exuding an air of measured responsibility and passion for the hectic Head Chef life at the pass.
I found the wait staff to have a polite demeanour, were all very well trained and not just knowledgeable about the food and drink but interested and interesting too.
With relaxed dining seating, the terrace was comfortable and spacious. Indeed deceptively spacious for it's intimate setting, the feeling of outdoors was superb even though our evening visit saw various thunderstorms. Not a second thought was paid to the rain as the environment below was dry, organised and classy with cocktails and interesting tidbits to sample, Aiden and his team had certainty excelled.
On the menu we had a fab selection:
Pigs cheek and pigs ears (PIGS EARS ARE MY NEW FAVOURITE THING thanks Aiden!)
Fluffy and crisp pork scratchings (similar to the awesome Mexican Chicharrón...)
Truscott Crabdog (Cornish crab, pickled cucumber, chives and brioche)
Ham hock (Pressed ham hock, pickles, mustard, chervil)
Goats cheese (Red onion, filo pastry)
Strawberries (Mint granita, lemon cream)
Chocolate Mousse (Regent’s Park honeycomb, yoghurt sorbet)
So why all the fuss? Sure there are bountiful supplies at WholeFoods and artisan ingredients at your beck and call, but putting such fabulous ingredients to use in a professional way, with masterful confidence certainly bridges the gap between home cooking and professional cheffing.
With delights such as Cornish crab, veal sweetbreads and Ballindalloch beef, the menu is testament to Aiden's passion for real flavour, and to produce the same tip top quality for a room full of dinners proves the difference between eating in, and eating to impress.
To drink, we had:
Lady Truscott (Lavender infused Chase gin, muddled blackberries on crushed ice laced with Myrtle)
Lemongrass Drop (St Germain, Chase vodka, pineapple juice, lemongrass)
Maison Williams Chase Provenance Rosé
What made me happy is throughout the whole evening, there was none of the pretentiousness associated with most top class restaurants, Andrew and Aiden have specifically chosen their menu to ensure you are wowed by culinary prowess, whilst humbled by honest ingredients; It's something few restaurants achieve.
To provide top quality food whilst also such an excellently stocked bar on the ground floor, it's nice to know you can shift from desperate pint after work to fabulous tasty food once your finer halves arrive.
Whilst on the topic of beers, I was please to see so many great beers on tap. The Truscott Arms has got the ever so popular Camden Hells range, and other interesting choices like Signature brews and Orchard Pig cider. I certainly loved the Signature Backstage IPA - what a thirst quencher!
The wine list is equally as well mannered with selections from across the globe. In fact as wine enthusiasts themselves, they've taken a great deal of time and care in choosing the wine, trying each and every one. I guess someone had to do it! From Croatia to Japan and Lebanon to Hungary, their selections reflect the delicious vibrancy of the countries from which they came.
Speaking of which every Wednesday there's a great evening of Argentinian wine which I hope to bring you a review of soon! (get your malbec taste buds ready).
The team at The Truscott Arms are happy, top notch and deserving of praise. For those either in the local area or travelling from afar I reckon it's definitely a choice well made.
55 Shirland Rd