UPDATE 11th August 2016: Truffles has closed.
I remember going to Truffles a few years ago and was charmed by the food, the ambience and cosy decor. Truffles was a French restaurant that served escargot, mussel velouté and, as the third course of a four course set meal, a huge cheese board. The background music was (obviously) French chanson. I was very sad to see the restaurant close as it seemed to be doing well and it was a lovely treat. So, I was pleased to find out that while I was away on a long trip to Australia, Truffles had reopened as Truffles of Southsea!
The restaurant had been refurbished completely. One of the charms for me of the old Truffles was the cosiness – pictures on the wall, dim lighting and ornaments. However, times change and the new decor – open, clean lines and a seaside feel – is relaxing and rather lovely. The restaurant now markets itself as serving British food ‘with a modern French twist.’
We have visited Truffles regularly this year – we have tried their lunch menu, ‘dine with wine’ option (available weekday evenings) and the wine pairing Wednesday option where each course is accompanied by a glass of wine to complement the food. Most recently, we went to the jazz evening. Each occasion has been highly enjoyable – the food was delicious and cooked and presented with care. Vegetarians and fish eaters are also well catered for. The wine pairing evenings have also introduced us to the revelation that is dessert wine. I had previously never thought to have dessert wine as I am not a fan of sweet wine but with the right dessert… Yum!
The food is different to the Truffles of old – no more huge cheese boards – and the menus change very regularly, often reflecting what is in season. Our most enjoyable evening has to be the St George’s Day dinner, which included a wine pairing with each course and some readings from Dickens by a local actor. I’m sure I recognised him from the Portsmouth Come Dine With Me 😀 A small basket of delicious freshly baked home made bread rolls were brought to us with our drinks. The starter of very seasonal St George’s mushroom risotto was one of the nicest risottos I have eaten. And my main course? This was beef wellington but as a non meat eater, they cooked me a salmon wellington especially and it was lovely!
Desserts are, as one would expect, delicious – I can’t name them all but peanut butter parfait and chocolate marquise will do, served with a glass of dessert wine of course. Coffee is accompanied by home made petit fours – we had fudge and chocolate truffles.
So, you can probably tell from this review that I love this place. The a la carte option is more expensive and admittedly, we have not tried it. Also, the portion sizes on the set menus can be a little small so you do need the three courses if you want to feel full.
Their lunch menu is great value at currently £10.95 for 2 courses or £13.95 for 3 courses. If we take into account the quality of the food and the care taken to cook it, this is excellent value. Truffles, long may you stay!
Truffles of Southsea
67, Castle Road
Hampshire. PO5 3AY
Typical cost per person excluding drinks: Up to £15 (lunch);Up to £25 (2 course dinner, a la carte menu)