There can be no doubt that Angler is one of our best local restaurants. Merely a stagger away atop the South Place Hotel (a few steps along from HSBC Moorgate), Angler has dazzled with its Michelin star quality for over 7 years and we have been lucky enough to review new menu releases regularly. The brilliant news of the moment is that Executive Chef, Gary Foulkes, is now inviting us in for Saturday lunches on the Angler Terrace – making for a perfect weekend option for us locals!
The Terrace transports you to Provence with its fully glazed rooftop garden room and its retractable roof. Heaters kick into life on cold days so every day is a conservatory day here.
Seating is spacious (especially important right now) and the Angler is up on point with all the latest protection measures such as barcode menus.
The menu will vary but will always be jaw-dropping. You can elect to have 3 courses for £45 or 6 courses for £60 if the boat is being pushed out.
Bread first and the Angler beer bread with caramelised yeast & malt butter arrives. This bread sings the glory of Marmite and could be eaten by itself because it is so well seasoned.
Angler beer bread with caramelised yeast & malt butter
The malt butter just tips things over to a level of bliss but do try not to pig out on the bread (if you can resist!).
36 month aged Parmesan gougères
We were spoilt for choice with the canapés. Depending on the day, you may also be able to enjoy the (slightly bigger than bite sized balls of heavenly) Parmesan gougères or the delicately delicious squid ink crackers. This was my first interaction with squid ink anything; the crackers melt in your mouth and follow-up with a brazen salty taramasalata kick.
Squid ink cracker with taramasalata, espelette pepper
Our third canapé was a couple of cheese and onion tarts. The pastry was delicately crisp and thin and the common taste combination of cheddar and onion was made incredible with the sweet caramelisation of the onion and the addition of garlic to the mix.
Montgomery cheddar, caramelised onion & black garlic tart
Our 3 courses began with a mackerel tartare. I’m not normally a fan of sashimi, but the gentle texture and subtle flavour were spot on. The combination of mackerel with the apple tasted amazing and the crispy onion crumbs added a perfect crunch to this beautiful creation.
Tartare of Cornish mackerel with oyster cream, green apple and shiso
My partner chose the exceptionally well prepared Moules marinière accompanied by a small toastie with finely diced mussles. Remember the sensation when you want to pick up the plate and lick every drop at the end of a dish?
Moules marinière with white wine, garlic and parsley sauce
There were two main courses on offer: at the fundamental level, these were fish and chips, and chicken pie, but the reality takes these listings to a new level!
The fish was light and flaky and the batter felt deliciously guilty without being oily and greasy. The chips were a magnificence of mille-feuille-like potato slices.
Fish & chips with Truman’s beer battered fish…
… Angler chips and tartar hollandaise
For me, the chicken pie was the best dish of the day. All the flavours married together dreamily and there was not a thing on my plate that didn’t deserve to be there. Every mouthful of a new taste felt like “oh yes, that tastes even more wonderful”. One other thing: this was the BEST MASHED POTATO I HAVE EVER EATEN and I still think about it to this day.
Chicken & tarragon pithivier with Scottish girolles, kabocha squash and roast chicken sauce
We normally get to this point in a restaurant review and I think to myself that there is very little that I can’t be happy about eating next; this is pudding, after all, and what can go wrong! One typically accepts that a tart dessert will be a triangle of joy and will come with ice cream or cream!
Obviously, eating at a starred restaurant is altogether a different deal. Here you are feasting on the artwork and the innovation, and the magical combination of flavours and textures which are skilfully crammed into such beautiful creations. Like flying first class, I’m not too sure I’m going to be able to enjoy standard fare with gusto ever again, to be honest!
P.B.C (peanut, banana, chocolate)
One of the desserts was simply annotated as PBC. It was incredible: a delicious banana ice cream quenelle balanced perfectly on top of a generous peanut and chocolate mousse ball resting on a small but sensational biscuit.
The other dessert was based on Greek yoghurt. I thought the pie had been my favourite meal of the day, but now I changed my mind! This masterpiece was a construction of Greek yoghurt and honey ice cream with delicious blobs of banana jelly and banana ice cream, too. You must try this one!
Greek yogurt, blossom honey, banana, hazelnut
Obviously, you don’t have to choose the Saturday menu when you come. On our day, there was a couple a few tables away from us who were having the (very tempting) Tasting Menu. We also spoke to another younger couple from France who were on a budget tour but the Angler was on their “must do” list. Enough said!
As I’m writing, we’re about to go back into lockdown, but I highly recommend a visit for Saturday lunch when our sentences are over.
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF
020 3215 1260
One last thing before I leave you – this was a really magical review and the food is divine. When I started to write it up, I had to break off to have some lunch because my taste buds and tummy were getting angry, having to relive this magnificent meal only on pen and paper!