True surprise as kimonos and pork belly form the order of the day
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Watch us put this philosophy into practice this Saturday at the Twickenham Farmers market between 9am-1pm.
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Restaurants in Brentford
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The new kid on the block on the Brentford restaurant scene is True Provenance, ideally located at the end of Ferry Quays with huge windows overlooking the Thames.
True Provenance bills itself as using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients and a sneak preview of the menu included dishes such as ham hock and duck breast. So we were surprised to find a Japanese flag in the window, a large table of kimono clad Japanese guests and a karaoke machine parked in the restaurant on the Saturday evening we visited.
In fact, for that night only the restaurant was running 2 menus simultaneously: a Japanese set dinner or a more classically Modern British menu. We opted for the Japanese set meal and then spent the rest of the evening enviously ogling food on the other tables who had gone for the more traditional menu.
Our meal kicked off with some sushi and sashimi. The sushi looked a bit more like a seaweed Swiss roll than the sushi we've had before and the sashimi was nice although so modestly portioned it was hard to be certain.
We then were given what was billed as pork belly in miso broth but really appeared to be slow roast belly of pork in a Thai inspired soup. The third course also surprised as it was described as Teriyaki salmon but transpired to be grilled salmon on a bed of cucumber with creme fraiche and olive oil. Once I stopped hunting for the elusive Teriyaki sauce, I found I loved this combination and kept extolling the virtues of cooked cucumber until my companion cracked and begged me to stop.
My partner jumped ship at this point and opted for a gooseberry fool from the traditional menu for dessert whereas I faithfully stuck with the Japanese dinner and had a red bean ice cream. In fact, I had the better choice and made sure my dinner companion was fully aware of it but only after I had gulped it down.
The karaoke machine then leapt into action with the proprietor launching bravely into Close to You. Terrified I might be pressed into singing - or even worse, having another drink and then insisting on singing - we left just as one of the guests from the Japanese table took to the microphone.
Dinner with a bottle of wine came to £76 for two which seemed a fair price, especially as we had been given a complimentary glass of champagne when we arrived.
I think True Provenance is trialling this location before deciding whether to become a permanent Brentford fixture. I hope they do carry on as I think a return visit to sample their other, perhaps more confidently executed, dishes would be well worthwhile. And while I suspect the owners might not fare too well on Pop Idol, they were certainly brilliant hosts.
11 June, 2008