Top-flight, Michelin-starred seafood in The City
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Seafood
Address : South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, The City, London, EC2M 2AF, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.anglerrestaurant.com
Opening Times : 12pm-2.30pm & 6pm-10pm
Closest Tube : Liverpool Street Tube Station, Moorgate
Angler is located on the seventh floor of South Place Hotel, a design-forward boutique hotel opened by heavy-hitting restaurant group D&D and situated in Moorgate, a kind of nexus for the creative energies of The City and Shoreditch. The long and elegant dining room features floor-to-ceiling windows running the length of the space, with a muted colour palette and sleek, modern décor drawing one's attention to the ascendant landscape of The City's skyline. The piece de resistance of Angler is a specially commissioned mirrored ceiling designed by Grace & Webb, which opens up the room even more and imbues it with lightness and clarity. Coupled with crisp white tablecloths, the setting rivets the attention on the clean simplicity of the seafood. Nestled in the eastern corner is a chef's table, a PDR with views into both the kitchen and out to the Heron Tower, which would serve well for celebrating with a larger group.
Before getting into the cooking, we'd be remiss not to mention the head sommelier Benoit Allauzen, who elevated the meal to a higher echelon with his savvy and refined wine pairings. Both Fleming and Allauzen hail from top class backgrounds. Alongside stints at Orrery and The Greenhouse, Mr Allauzen worked as head sommelier at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong, while Mr Fleming plied his trade at Marco Pierre White's triple Michelin-starred The Oak Room and then The Oxo Tower. It's readily apparent that they work well together - the wine teases out new nuances and accents in cooking that is sophisticated yet pays respect to the basic appeal of the ingredients. Taking everything together, it's easy to see why the Michelin guide allocated Fleming a star for this excellent experience.
The first such combination was a shellfish ravioli which was more of a raviolo, one large dome of pasta stuffed with langoustine, crab and lobster meat, and bedded on a fennel and ginger slaw. It was paired with a Limoux Chardonnay from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, near Carcassonne, which had just the right balance of body, oak and tannin. However, the second pairing tidily stole the show. An Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinto Noir was juicy and lively, and meshed gregariously, never overwhelmingly, with an earthy ragout of julienned squid with fennel puree and sea purslane, which was served underneath a fleshy fillet of turbot. That being said, the Dover Sole Meuniere was some of the best we've ever had, particularly when served with a bowl of frites that played out in the mouth like potato glass. Dessert followed suit. The idea of a white chocolate ganache with coconut, mango and basil puts me on my heels, but in actuality it was a delicate, harmonious work of gastronomy where the constituent parts merged into a seamless whole. It was the perfect full stop for a meal punctuated with brilliance.