Having heard great things about Trinity, I'm surprised it's taken me so long to grace its tables. But then friend Ben, quite the Trinity regular (and trusted eating accomplice, having married the woman who arranged another excellent dinner at La Petite Maison), made a booking for 6 of us one night this week, reserving the £20 prix fix menu (for 3 courses). The time had come.
The ragout of smoked haddock, orzo pasta and peas served in a deep bowl was sumptuous, and TPG's summery chilled pea and mint soup was almost as good.
My salad of beef rump with bone marrow beignet, sweet celeriac puree, white onion fondant "and meat juices" was as fresh, pleasing and colourful to the eye as it was to the palate. (The mug shots by Blackberry do the dish no justice). Those who have gripes about food served on black plates might quibble, but would be satisfactorily muted at first bite.
The slow cooked belly of middle white pork with hot potato soup, apple and watercress was enjoyed with equal enthusiasm by my fellow diners. Only poor TPG, with his rather bland fillet of Loch Duart salmon, was left gaping jealously at the surrounding dishes. Even the dainty, zingy ragout of broad beans and lemon puree didn't save him. I flung him the odd sliver of beef to put him out of his misery.
The cox apple tarte fine with liquorice ice cream was another delight in simplicity, even if presentation was a little odd. Our affable waiter happily offered to swap the liquorice ice cream to the orange and poppyseed ice cream for those interested - probably a good move since the apple and liquorice sound like they won't match well, and they don't. However, each element was individually lovely.
It's a happy circumstance that cheeses are also an option instead of dessert as part of the prix fixe menu (although, sadly, you have to choose 1 of the 3 cheeses on offer).
At £20 for 3 courses, the prix fixe option is most certainly a bargain (although - as usual - we ended up spending double once wine and service was factored in). If you want the prix fixe deal, you must reserve it in advance (Mon-Thurs only). Apart from a bit of a wait for menus and waters at the start, service was excellent - helpful, friendly and relaxed. The decor is nothing earth shattering but fairly light and airy - even more so on a warm summer's evening when the windows were thrown open to the outside world.
Various other menu options are also available. A la carte prices range between £8-£12 for entrees and £18-£24 for mains (or £30 for the lobster dish). These prices are certainly reasonable for food and service of this quality.
An absolute must for local Clapham Commoners, and well worth a trip for the rest of us.
Trinity, 4 The Polygon, Clapham, London, SW4 0JG (Tel: 020 7622 1199)