Romance is undoubtedly in the air this autumn with our founder, Laura Bartlett getting engaged recently. Team Coco has been looking for the ultimate romantic treat this autumn. Getting the acclaimed Coco Couple stamp of approval is The Truffle Hut at Le Pont de la Tour, which has returned once again this year to celebrate this coveted culinary gold.
Words like rustic and cosy have been invented to describe this intimate venue. The exclusive table of 2 is surrounded by hanging lights, cushions and furs with an inner wall comprised of carefully crafted tree trunks and bark and a roof comprised entirely of moss. You have your own private heater along with a dedicated server and stupendous views of Tower Bridge. For those looking for the perfect location to propose to someone, celebrate an anniversary, looking for a honeymoon extravaganza, you would struggle to find anywhere more impressive than the truffle hut.
The price might seem steep at £200 for two people, but this unique meal shouldn’t be simply judged in terms of is it value for money but rather how do I impress a loved one with the most magical experience possible. The offering does come with a 5-course truffle tasting menu along with a bottle of Moet & Chandon.
The first dish was arguably the most successful: wild mushrooms egg cocotte, truffle sabayon. A baked egg dish made infinitely more high-end by the addition of umami-rich wild mushrooms and truffle. It had been cooked to just the right temperature so that it wasn’t overcooked inside and still had an inviting, soft, runny centre.
Terrine of duck liver can taste incredibly gamey if not done properly and that was not the case at Le Pont de laTour. The extremely rich tastes were well-matched by apple and raisin chutney; both of which you can spread on a perfectly-toasted truffle brioche. The roasted halibut dish was very well-portioned and just in case you hadn’t enjoyed enough Champagne, the dish was served with a Champagne sauce.
My favourite of the main courses was the breast of poulet noir, baby leeks, chicken jus and generous amounts of black truffle. This type of free-range chicken has been reared by the French house ‘Label Rouge’ and is highly popular with chefs across the country due to its incredible flavour, whilst the meat is particularly juicy and succulent.
The final dessert course: Crème caramel infused with truffles and golden raisins was a marmite kind of dessert. With every mouthful, your brain is telling you this shouldn’t have earthy, meaty notes but personally, I thought it worked in terms of finding the next winning savoury/sweet combination akin to flavours like salted caramel. Although, my dining companion thought it was just too boundary-pushing for his traditional palate.
Londoners are notoriously fickled and have little restaurant loyalty, but in these challenging times, it is great to see a class act like Le Pont de la Tour still setting the bar on offering refined cuisine in romantic surroundings.