Posted on Thursday, 14th November 2013
Angler seafood restaurant is part of the D&D Group and located on the seventh floor of the glamorous South Place Hotel. The dining room is elegant, yet unimposing with a relaxed sophistication to it, and its floor to ceiling windows and outdoor terrace provides exciting views of the city. The executive chef is Tony Fleming who previously worked with Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and the three Michelin-starred Oak Room. Tony has also cooked at Oxo Tower, The Great Eastern Hotel and at One Aldwych. Seafood has always been his specialty, and at Angler, this has translated into a British seafood menu with a contemporary twist that saw it awarded a Michelin star in September 2013.
The dinner got off to a smashing start with some of the loveliest langoustines (£5 each) that I have ever tried. These Orkney Islanders were mouthwatering with a delectable sweetness and were firm in texture. If this was anything to go by, the other crustacean options of shellfish platter, clams and crab would no doubt have been exquisite as well. The breads were also heavenly and moreish. Served warm and eaten with the beautiful salted butter made for something moreish.
A starter of langoustine and lobster cocktail (£18.50) sparkled for they were succulent and juicy, again showcasing the excellence of the shellfish. A lavishly creamy cocktail sauce with baby gem lettuce and brown shrimp was bold and daring. It packed a punch with its hints of tobasco and Worchester, which lifted what could have otherwise been a simple cocktail sauce. The result was something rather scintillating.
For something meaty, roasted quail (£16.50) was delicious with its robust flavour. The accompanying seared foie gras was also rich and flavoursome, and the finishing touches of pain d’épice and caramelised apples added spice and sweetness.
To mains, and a roast fillet of halibut (£27.50) was heavenly. It was an incredible piece of fish, beautifully moist and perfectly booked. But the choice of a squid ragout as an accompaniment was rather perplexing. Although the ragout was tasty, it was also rather rich and salty, and weighed heavily against the delicate halibut. The squid was also chewy. A delicate fennel purée and crunchy sea purslane made up the base of the dish.
An angler and lobster pie (£21.50) was tasty and comforting with a fluffy mashed potato topping and generous amounts of moist fish and scrummy lobster. But although it was tasty, the saucy filling didn’t quite have the wow factor, and the use of button mushrooms in the filling detracted from the dish.
We couldn’t get enough of an excellent hazelnut cake (£7) with salted caramel and lime and vanilla sorbet. Not only was the cake moist and buttery, it had been broken up into smaller crunchy pieces, with the crunchiness intensifying its moreish texture. The sorbet was wonderfully refreshing and zingy, and worked wonderfully with the cake. The fabulous salted caramel left us wanting more.
A molten chocolate fondant (£7.50) was delicious and gave way to a centre that oozed with chocolate-y goodness. The accompanying pistachio ice cream was smooth and creamy, but perhaps a touch strong in pistachio flavour and not quite in sync with the chocolate.
The quality and flavour of the seafood was nothing short of spectacular and it was obvious that no expense was spared in sourcing only the best from throughout the British Isles. We may not have found the mains as mesmerising as the starters, but the excellence of the seafood definitely warrants a visit to Angler. The restaurant’s location in a five-star city hotel could have made for a stuffy experience, but this was not the case. We found our Italian waiter utterly charming and very professional.
Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 4/5
Prices: About £35 to £65 for three courses, excludes drinks and service.