Mirror-gilled Angler is found on the buzzy seventh floor of the South Place Hotel, complete with a super-slick interior and an in-demand terrace. Having established itself a name as one of the best seafood restaurants in London, it’s no surprise that the very best produce is hauled in at Angler, foraged from coastlines and shores to develop skilled cookery with more than your average soul.
We were set to sample the tasting menu with matching wines to showcase the best signature dishes from executive chef, Gary Foulkes. To start with the snacks, there was a squid ink cracker with smoked cod’s roe, a marvellous truffle cheese gougere and tartlet with onion purée and chive foam. As some of the highlights of the evening, these amuse bouches had layers of flavour that perfectly matched one another and built with each taste.
Kicking off the rest of the proceedings was a showstopper of a starter. Topped with a translucent tangy apple gel sheet, the Dorset crab was elegant and light with a mild avocado purée. Nashi pear added sweetness that contrasted with the subtle fire of wasabi, and the dish was prettily finished with shiso flowers.
Throughout the evening, the impassioned sommelier provided excellent pairings. In addition, a Seedlip tasting vinegar mocktail cleverly cleansed the palate after each course. The first wine to try was a white Rivaner which was mineral yet full bodied with a fresh herb-like finish. The matching dish of red prawns came in the style of Italian crudo with Mediterranean touches, peppered with taramasalata and Greek basil. Pleasing crunch from micro croutons and the sour tang of blood orange gave texture and bite to the dish.
Enhanced with morels which had absorbed the buttery white wine garlic sauce, the Cornish squid was tender whilst maintaining a light touch with light morsels of surf clams.
Fresh yet indulgent, mackerel tartare had light oyster cream, apple sticks and a lemony crème fraiche running through. A Santorini white to match from the Argyros estate had fresh characteristics from its breezy volcanic climes.
Wild turbot was a healthy, cleansing dish, unseasoned and pure in a pool of smokey bonito dashi. Japanese mushrooms added an exotic edge to contrast with the other rich plates. The matching Pinot Blanc from Alsace had a complex character with a crisp and grassy finish to complement the dish.
Roast quail was quintessentially British yet combined with an Italian touch, featuring indulgent cannelloni stuffed with shredded quail and parmesan. The ingenious cauliflower cheese emulsion was rich in flavour but light in texture, while the whiskey velouté added richness along with the mild pear.
Bold in flavour with smoked anchovy, the 21-day aged Herdwick lamb was balanced by Swiss chard. The crispy artichoke was a clever pairing, cutting through the richness of the lamb well.
With tang-smacking sour notes, the Yorkshire rhubarb for dessert packed a punch as the perfect palate cleanser with Greek basil, a sable Breton biscuit base, and finished off with a dash of ginger beer. This was by far our favourite of the two desserts.
A pleasing mix of textures was to be found on the hazelnut chocolate pavé, featuring a crunchy chocolate brittle with dulce de leche ice cream, and coffee jelly. A nutty Puerto Fino sherry to match provided the right balance.
Immaculately beautiful petits fours came in the form of delightful handmade miso chocolate and a white chocolate yuzu truffle. Meanwhile the sweet and lightly sparkling brachetto negro wine from Piedmont had a light yet unashamedly strawberry finish. The evening had displayed a masterclass in technical cookery excellence and brilliant service standards, showing that this destination restaurant boasts appeal to a far wider audience than purely a City clientele. This was a delicious end to a wonderful tasting odyssey menu at Angler, bringing a high-end Michelin starred culinary haul to London.
3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF