Friday, 25 April 2014

Upstairs at The Truscott: GF fine dining perfection

I do eat out at a lot of fine dining restaurants and on the most part they handle gluten free diets incredibly well, adapting dishes from their menus along the way. I am occasionally saddened however when I see my companion's extra crunchy something here, their extra fried something there, that have been dutifully removed from my plate. After all, the chefs spend so long balancing these plates and trying to create perfection, it's often a little sad to removed a couple of elements, usually those that add a crunchy texture.

Not so at The Truscott Arms' gloriously high ceilinged and elegant upstairs restaurant. It was with a wash of joy, a touch of disbelief and a little peep of an excited squeal that I discovered the GF marks all over the menu next to foodie items I don't usually get to try. Oyster beignet anyone?

I started with the field mushroom veloute with crisp hens eggs and truffle. Yes, you read that right, crisp. As in coated in something and fried. In this case, gluten free breadcrumbs, in a 100% gluten free frier, so no cross contamination issues there. It was a sublime dish, hearty umami flavours of the mushroom with the creamy yolk of the egg and the usually elusive crunch of the coating, bringing it all together in perfect harmony.

I also pinched some of my friend's scallops with chicken wing and MY does that blow bacon/pancetta/black pudding right of the "scallop's best friend" seat. Move over guys, scallop's new lover is a crisp confit piece of salty chicken wing.

Stone Bass
Next, along with what I must say was an excellent glass of Viognier, I tried the wild stone bass, palourde clams, artichokes, chanterelles and roasting juices. The fish was perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside and soft and flakey on the inside. A delightfully well balanced fish dish. Again I went over to my companion's plate for a cheeky little bite of their guinea fowl, which was moist and balanced with a smoked mash potato. There was a general amount of food envy that was going on, but it was extending out in all directions. Remember, when food sharing, or in life in general, it is better to give and receive. I'm not sure what all those people who are just giving or just receiving were thinking of.

Guinea Fowl
As you may know by now I'm not a terrific dessert eater, but was really pleased to see something other than creme brûlée, pannacotta or ice cream available for gluten free diners. The gluten free selection that evening was an orange and polenta cake with cardamom ice cream. They previously had a "Rhubarb and custard crumble" with ginger ice cream and gf oat crumble.

For cheese lovers it is a wonderful treat to have gluten free artisan crackers with cheese. In fact the dark imitation "rye" gluten free bread that was served throughout, from the marvellous gluten free baker Wild Thexon was truly the envy of my sourdough-eating companions.
"Rhubarb and custard" Gf oats

The menu changes frequently as new seasonal produce becomes available, but this is a place that is committed to providing the same experience for a gluten free diner as for anyone else, so I was assured that the majority of the menu will be naturally gluten free, including those crispy treats we long for.

This is a place for a romantic evening, a foodie treat or a real special occasion.

Gluten Free Knowledge: ★★★
Gluten Free Range: ★★★
Taste: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★

Verdict: Gluten free fine dining without the compromise


  1. A good find! The dishes sound wonderful and imaginative. been looking for a place to get good rhubarb and custard. Will have to try this out sometime.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Can't believe that after all lulu book review articles people still believe in gluten. Only few of us can have this intolerance. How many times should it be repeated? Another marketing trick, open your eyes.

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