When I initially heard the name of the restaurant “Anglo”, I was very puzzled. Is that the name of a dog? My confusion was compounded as when typing the name into the oracle (Google), I was told that it was a restaurant serving Asian food. Unless I’ve missed something major, or someone has managed to re-brand all islands as being part of Asia, I was not sure how British cuisine could fit the bill.
Anglo is a restaurant that follows the Japanese model of food more closely. Not letting the guests choose the food. In Japan, at more upmarket eateries I have visited, the chef will just ask you what type of foods you don’t like. He will then construct your meal with the choicest cuts that he has fetched from Tsukiji fish market at 5am the same day. The tuna auction there is a sight to behold as special trading sign language is used to indicate price, which seems fairly incomprehensible to me with my limited Japanese. Although, later, I found out that it was a special trading vernacular as my Japanese friend also found it incomprehensible.
As we sat down at Anglo, we were presented with the menu. Although menu maybe a slightly inappropriate word as you don’t really get much choice except whether you would like to shell out more money for some premium ingredients. We went for the standard offering. Anticipation built with giving up our culinary freedom.
At first I was suspicious as this looked like chocolate under some wood shavings. It tasted anything but. Crispy, clean and surprisingly meaty, this little bite went down quickly in one happy mouthful.
Smoked bone marrow seems to be one of those overdone dishes. Almost as bad as salted caramel nowadays. Overdone yet thankfully, here the brilliance of this deep taste shone through.
I made a rookie mistake here. I brought the tart up to my face and sniffed it. Bad idea. Just like icing sugar, the leek flew up into my nose. I then sneezed. Green went everywhere. Lesson learnt, something to avoid in the future. Especially when eating something as yummy as this. The tart gave welcome bite and body to the light leek fluff.
A delightfully creamy and light butter. I had yeast ice cream the other day. That was exceptional too. I think what they need to do next is make some yeast bread. Except, that’s what goes in all bread. Duh…
To be lathered lovingly all over this bread. This was one of the best breads that I have had in recent memory. Springy where it was meant to be soft, crunchy where it was meant to be hard, meltingly supple with a crusty exterior hiding an exquisite taste inside. This alone was a reason to come back.
It had a very clean taste. Too clean for me as I hungered for something with more depth. A little disappointing after the first couple of dishes.
This was a delicate and worthy return to the dishes we had enjoyed earlier. With a light subdued, flaky flavour and everyone’s favourite root vegetable, celeriac, it combined together to produce something that made me want to visit the seaside. Not to enjoy the sea but rather the food. Seafood.
Here, things started to fall apart a bit. Not literally in this case as the partridge had been carefully deboned and repackaged into an easy to eat ball. Just that this dish failed to live up to what had gone before. The partridge seemed a bit chewy and overcooked. Good thing that it was too small to cause any lingering disappointment, as at least it wasn’t a huge piece of meat so limiting the disappointment. Maybe I am being a bit harsh here but this was a dish which detracted from the night out. Could have been so much more.
Interesting but not really inspiring. If I wanted cheese on toast, I could have stayed at home.
With a trace of beer in the cream below, this was unusual. Crunchy and soft, creamy and almost nutty, the paradox of sensations worked well here.
What I found most fascinating about this was the almost perfect circles of apples. So perfect that they almost looked like they had popped out of a packet. When I bit into them, they may very well have as they tasted so perfect that if I was a suspicious man, I might have thought that they were jellies dyed to look like apple. The ricotta was excellent, almost like a level 2 ice cream. I say level 2 because this is what ice cream dreams it can be. A good way to end.
The problem with starting with your best first is that it sets you up to disappoint. Trying to outdo yourself with each successive dish is even harder with a no choice menu. There can be little excuse that your diners picked the wrong things if the food does not match expectations. So with initial impressions massaged by the first few dishes, I expected the stratospheric trajectory to continue. Although soaring with the clouds at points, as my journey continued, I ran into some turbulence. Although if all flights of chef’s fancies were like Anglo, I could definitely do with more. Just that a smoother ride would have clinched the deal. I generally don’t like to spill some of the wine.
A quiet eating 7.5/10.
Dinner (all of the above) was GBP45 excluding drinks and service.
30 St Cross St
London EC1N 8UH