Ben Ricci discovers a scrumptious selection at Truly's in Westbourne

The first thing to say before dining at Truly’s is to make sure you don’t eat anything all day beforehand. Don’t be fooled by its taster plates menu. They recommend three small plates per person, but in our opinion, two each is plenty.

We booked a table for two on a Saturday evening and the atmosphere was a perfect blend of chic and informal.

One of the highlights is the selection of introductory nibbles. The orange and chilli marinated olives are a real gem (£2), while the tear and share mini home-baked loaf is served hot from the oven with homemade garlic butter, (side step this if you’re plant-based of course) and served with a delightful sage pesto dip (£3.50).

The openers, quite frankly, blew our minds. The nature of the small plates taster menu means there is no traditional starter and main course divide. As each small plate is ready, it is served at your table. This makes for an interesting change, especially if you are a fan of sharing.

Another welcome addition is that the vegan selection takes the front page.

I opted for the burnt and braised Savoy cabbage served with red cabbage purée, pickled white cabbage, spiced dukkah nuts and cumin dressing (£5), served with a wild mushroom purée, crispy sage leaves and toasted hazelnuts, raspberry and maple vinaigrette (£4.50), with smoked swede steak and purple mash potato, pickled cauliflower and roasted chestnuts, with parsley purée and a cider vinaigrette (£7). In any normal day, I absolutely detest swede, but this little number was positively enchanting.

For meat and fish lovers, there is also a great selection to choose from too. Despite being plant-based, I have to say that the dry aged sirloin of beef served with blackberry and dark chocolate purée, truffled hasselback potato, salsify, pickled blackberry and juniper jus (£12.50), was a work of art. My good friend loved it immensely. As much as I’m vegan and very spirited about eating consciously, I do appreciate a decent chef’s creativity. To finish, the vegan matcha and coconut cheesecake with toasted cashew base, strawberry coulis, strawberry compote and mint syrup (£7), was very interesting.

Truly’s has only been open a couple of months and yet it has already risen high above most of the competition locally.

Culinary excellence personified.

Truly's, Seamoor Road, Westbourne 01202 757479