Fish-focused Angler is a blessing for City diners who are surprised – and delighted – to find “such an atmospheric restaurant” on their home turf. With its relaxed vibe, beautiful minimalist interiors and stunning, glass-fronted setting atop the South Place hotel, it’s no wonder this place wins plaudits, although Gary Foulkes’ “outstanding” seafood cookery is the real star here.
For starters, we reckon his super-clean tartares are probably London’s best – look out for the mackerel version dotted with oyster cream, apple sticks and leaves of shiso or a tuna riff involving avocado purée and wasabi. Alternatively, kick off with roast Orkney scallop partnered by Tokyo turnips, glazed pork ribs and almonds.
It’s all about showcasing the finest fish the kitchen can lay its hands on: slices of just-poached Cornish lobster in delicate ajo blanco with melon and sprightly lobster summer rolls on the side; turbot, quivering on a mound of Japanese mushrooms and buckwheat noodles in the lightest dashi broth; a fat chunk of golden roasted cod with grilled squid, glossy meat sauce and buttery girolles.
Angler may be a seafood specialist, but meat eaters aren’t ignored (witness roast Lancashire duck with beetroot, offal tart and quince), and desserts are no afterthought either: raspberry and rice pudding soufflé with lemon verbena ice cream is a reminder of the indulgent creations Foulkes served up at his previous home, The Square in Mayfair.
Service can’t be faulted, and the sommelier is eager to “share his knowledge” of the wine list, while flexible set lunch menus (choose two, three or six courses) offer something for every budget.