Obscene isn’t a word many restaurateurs hope to see used in conjunction with their new offering, but in the case of Sackville’s — of Sackville Street, W1 — I trust they’ll understand. They might even take it as a badge of honour. Sackville’s is a newly opened truffle-based restaurant: burgers with truffle mayo, Wagyu rib-eye with truffle dust fries, baked poussin with truffle seasoning. Starters of carpaccio, asparagus and soup all arrive with some sort of truffly flourish. Are you getting the picture? There is an obscene amount of truffle being whipped and blitzed and shaved around here.
But it works. Sackville’s is genteel, intimate — about 40 seats upstairs, cocktail bar downstairs — with a strong, beautiful cocktail list by the very talented Monica Berg. I love the deep turquoise velvety booths, the deft attention to glassware and the cocktail-menu font filled with names such as Bubbles are Forever — a rhubarb champagne fizz. Executive chef Wayne Dixon, formerly of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill, sources all the truffles from Istria in Croatia.
And yes, if one feels truffle is a bit of an overrated foodie quirk, that it tastes a bit like athlete’s foot, Sackville’s is possibly not the dining destination for you. For what it’s worth I noticed a chopped salad, a side of heirloom tomatoes and a falafel burger that might suffice.
But if one has a passion for fungi of the financially crippling nature, then Sackville’s is a sort of London must-do. It’s a Savile Row, pre-Mahiki, up late, silly money, Beast and Boujis sort of crowd. It’s fun. Obscene fun, but fun nevertheless.
Particularly obscene is the burger called The Sackville, which has a patty made from heart of Wagyu rib-eye, topped with plentiful seared foie gras and truffle mayo, wrapped in a brioche bun. It is £38. Truffle fries are an extra £6. For £30 Sackville’s will shave an extra 10g of truffle on to any burger — or any other dish — should one glance at one’s truffly entrées and truffly sides and think, ‘Hmmm, I feel this dinner just isn’t quite truffly enough.’
My dining companion ordered The Sackville, quibbling wildly in a Russell Brand manner about the lottery of fate that encouraged its very existence, making dry requests that I pre-book a private ambulance for when the inevitable heart attack occurred. But then his meal arrived and it was swiftly hoovered up.
The Sackville burger, I pondered, is exactly what one imagines The Queen receives when she rings Buckingham Palace room service for ‘a quick snack’. It’s the sort of burger The Wolf of Wall Street might order before cajoling his housekeeper into smuggling $3m into Switzerland in her knickers. It is the sort of burger that could start a bloody revolution, resulting in Jeremy Corbyn as president, daily guillotine sessions at Tower Hill and a new national anthem penned by Sleaford Mods.
In my tepid defence, I did not have The Sackville. I ordered the USDA beef short-rib with creamed potatoes, truffle drizzle and a side of very good truffle mac ’n’ cheese. It was, after all, 10pm by the time we reached dinner, having been at The Proms and mastered Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto by heart — concert pianists tend to go big on enjoying applause. If you’re in a similar position, Sackville’s serves until 11pm. One does wonder who saunters in at 11pm and orders The Fat Pat: Wagyu patty, Angus patty, tomato relish, peppered pancetta and melted Emmental. Or tackles the pudding selection featuring a chocolate fondant burger and a tequila lime pie served with salted popcorn. We ordered the bourbon walnut whip: two spheres of boozy chocolate ice cream and hazelnut praline.
I must have enjoyed myself as I specifically remember telling the maître d’ — called Jesus — that I would be back, in a good-spirited way, not a threat. Come the revolution, I’ll be at Sackville’s eating truffle risotto.
1 Bubbles are Forever £13
1 A Stitch in Time £13
1 glass Nyetimber £14
1 glass Côtes du Rhône £8.50
1 short-rib £28
1 The Sackville £38
1 mac ’n’ cheese £6
1 fries and truffle £6
1 walnut whip £8
8A Sackville Street, W1 (020 7734 3623; sackvilleslondon.com)