Anglo

Restaurants, British Farringdon
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Beethoven’s Ninth, for ‘foodies’.

I hate the word ‘foodie’. It makes me feel like I’ve accidentally used the wrong kind of washing powder: faintly itchy. But sometimes, naff though it is, it’s necessary. Here, in a small Clerkenwell dining room, the boundaries of what, lest we forget, is ultimately a form of fuel for your body – are pushed into the arena of high culture. Of culinary artistry. Anglo is a restaurant for ‘foodies’.

At dinner, there’s only a tasting menu (it’s à la carte at lunch), billed as ‘intros’ plus seven courses. Make that three intros, plus bread (with yeast butter, obvs) then a further seven courses. That’s eleven courses for £45, which is pretty decent. Amazingly, you won’t finish feeling like Mr Creosote at the end (google it, kids). That’s because even the progression of plates is all a part of the masterplan: to deliver up a careful, masterful composition. This is not a meal, it’s a symphony. It’s Beethoven’s Ninth.

One elegant dish saw a sous-vide piece of cod cooked to just the right side of translucent, topped with a delicately briny blob of roe and tendrils of sea fennel, then served with a golden cube of not just potato, but sublime smoked potato. Around it, a single circular swirl of black-as-the-night, sticky squid ink reduction was painted onto the plate. Later, there was Hebridean mutton served three ways, accompanied by a small heap of black olives brunoise (as in, cut into teeny-tiny, absurdly pretty little cubes) and half a roasted apricot, itself under a tumble of Liliputian petals. Never mind what’ll happen to your tastebuds – by the time you reach item 11, your Instagram account will be exploding. Even the first dessert (there are three, excluding a baked cheese course) comes with serious ‘ooh-aah’ factor, a bowl of cherries being accompanied by deliciously malty hay ice cream and nitro-frozen crumbs of delicate horseradish.

So, a place for devout ‘foodies’. Yet, if gastronomy is not your religion, Anglo’s serious approach may be a little off-putting. Every dish was explained in detail. The lights were up too bright (all the better to see the food, presumably). So take my advice: BYOF (bring your own fun) and come along with a small handful of friends. What kind? You know exactly what kind.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Anglo
Contact:
Address: 30 St Cross St
London
EC1N 8UH
Opening hours: Lunch served Tue-Fri 12.30-2.30pm. Dinner served Tue-Sat 6.30-9.30pm
Transport: Tube: Farringdon
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £130.
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Tastemaker

Scrumptious meal at Anglo a few weeks ago. We had the 7 course tasting menu and it really delivered on the food front. You certainly won't starve at Anglo (it's a lot of food to plough through!) and I loved the fact that we got three desserts (my dream). The chocolate dessert was absolutely gorgeous, and I really enjoyed the starter courses too. I felt the fish course let it down slightly but overall it was a really delicious meal. So, food-wise, five stars all round. 


Atmosphere wise, I think Anglo loses a star or two for me. It feels like a concrete canteen, which I expect is the idea but it's a bit sterile. The temperature inside goes from rather too hot to too cold in an instant when the door is open. The lighting was very bright which doesn't lend itself to the gorgeous food that is being served. No one likes eating under the startling light of day (neon). 


I think with small tweaks to the lighting and a little more attention on the decor - even some small touches to make it a little less cold-feeling - would push this fab eatery to five stars for me. Regardless, I'd return on the basis of the food alone.