Fat Duck emigrants Isa Bal and Jonny Lake have created something exceptional in Bermondsey, with a unique chronological wine list
Trivet is the new restaurant that’s home to the talents of chef Jonny Lake and sommelier Isa Bal, both of whom clocked up over a decade at destination restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray.
It’s based in Bermondsey, and the dining room has a relaxed, slightly sparse, clean-lined Scandi look, with an open kitchen and an appealing bar area.
The softly-spoken Bal has come up with one of the most innovative wine lists I’ve yet encountered, arranged chronologically. It’s based around the history of wine, the bottles being grouped in ages, beginning with Georgia and Armenia at 7000 BC and then heading forwards, finishing on Mars (in the future: clearly there’s no Martian wine just yet).
The list is very well priced, and the by-the-glass list is full of interest. There aren’t many places where you can get Werlitsch’s Ex Vero II by the glass (£14.500. There’s a strong representation from Turkey, Armenia and Georgia, which is welcomed.
The food isn’t anything like the Fat Duck, in that you have starters, mains and dessert (there’s no set lunch here; starters are just under £20 and mains are £30-40, with desserts in the teens.
Both dishes I chose were exceptional. Among the best food I’ve eaten this year.
Artichoke, sourdough broth and autumn truffle
Iberico pluma, beetroot and shiitake mushroom
To drink: we began with Paul Bara Rosé Champagne (elegant, focused), then a glass of Ex Vero II 2015 (one of my very favourite wines: still good in this vintage, but Isa doesn’t think it is the best), and then a brilliant Armenian red that’s all fragrant, pure, sappy and utterly drinkable.
This is not a cheap eat, with its lack of a set lunch, but it is incredibly good, and the wine is very well priced – and it’s a list quite unlike any other, and superbly chosen. Isa and Jonny say they are doing something informal, and after the Fat Duck I guess it is, but I think Trivet could become a gastronomic destination itself.