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Anyone bemoaning the increasing dominance of big restaurant groups in London should visit this Farringdon newcomer. Anglo is a pocket-sized, pared-back British bistro serving high-end food in simple surrounds at just £45 for a no-choice, seven-course dinner (lunch is à la carte). It’s co-cheffed by two young rising stars, Mark Jarvis and Jack Cashmore, whose eclectic collective CV ranges from The Bingham, Le Manoir and Zuma to In De Wulf in Belgium. The pair have no airs and graces, though: delivering food to the table themselves and giving mercifully brief explanations of the dishes, followed by a touching smile. You’ll be smiling, too: the tasting menu brings big plates of small portions – exciting, beautifully fashioned assemblies of rare intensity. The flavours of each course segue harmoniously into the next, but we were particularly smitten by the bracingly acrid edge of a burnt leek tartlet; a delicate, petal-scattered scallop tartare with a deeply flavoured dashi; and the contrast between the saline tang of fat little mussels and the rich meatiness of ruby-red Devon beef – not to mention the cloud of house-whipped butter to spread on soft sourdough. To drink, nearly everything on the snappy European wine list costs less than £40 and is mostly available by the glass; there are beer and cider pairings, too. Our only complaint concerns the long waits between courses and glasses being topped up. On the other hand, the pleasure of not feeling rushed is yet another reason to cherish this endearingly independent one-off.
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...
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