For those unaware, the Truscott Arms opened two weeks ago, in the space formerly occupied by Idlewild. Keen readers will remember I reviewed the Idlewild burger back in January, concluding it was an ‘expensive disappointment’. Two weeks later, Idlewild closed down. Thankfully it was due to theatre chap Andrew Fishwick buying the pub, and completely revamping it into the Truscott, rather than the vast influence wielded by this blog (ahem).
I was at the opening night on the 25th with locals @gabrielladriver, @steph_gay, and @richardgay, and managed to have a quick chat with Andrew about (what else?) their burger. I was impressed already. He explained that their chef, Etienne, had settled on a 80% Aberdeen Angus and 20% Wagyu beef ratio, with a brioche bun (good call I said, robust), and only two toppings – foie gras or bone marrow. A very bold move. The chips would also be cooked in Wagyu beef fat. You can see how I’d be excited.
I went on Friday lunchtime with local jewelleryologist (she assures me it’s a word) and luxury PR, @jujurowe. The burger’s on the ‘bar menu’ at a North-West London record price of £14 (and that’s without the toppings. Being a man ‘in-between jobs’, I declined the foie gras or bone marrow extras at £5 each). Juliet ordered medium-rare and I went with medium. The (lovely, and clearly very passionate) chef himself came to explain why medium-rare wouldn’t be possible (the burger would just fall to pieces), but even, so mine was definitely well done.
Anyway, the burger itself is very good. Clearly good quality meat, well-seasoned, and satisfyingly crisp on the outside. I would have probably preferred a slice of cheese on it, although I’m sure Etienne would disagree. The brioche bun was delightfully light (a mere 45g I’m told) yet held together perfectly, something many menus seem to struggle with.
The chips, however, were the highlight here. I can’t print what Juliet said about them, but let’s just go with exceptional, and certainly some of the best chips I’ve ever tasted. Etienne explained they were triple cooked in Wagyu fat (something he’d learned when working for Heston Blumental), resulting in very light, crispy, and soft chips. Personally I wasn’t so keen on the dipping sauce, a sort of tomato and basil affair that was a bit too thin to make any impact, but the chips certainly didn’t need this.
In a nutshell, a very good, if slightly minimalist, and very expensive burger. The service was great throughout, and I’ll definitely be back to try the rest of Etienne’s menu and wish Andrew and co the best of luck – it’s a great new venue.
Total: 7.5. Very good burger, if expensive. Good service, nice new pub addition to W9.