Sunday 8 December 2013

Angler Restaurant, South Place Hotel, central London

A Michelin-starred fish restaurant on the seventh floor of a smart modern hotel in the city, Angler is surprisingly good value. In the run up to Christmas, Angler offers a three course festive menu, with a complimentary glass of Devaux Grande Reserve champagne, for £45. Soon after you sit down, you might be brought an anonymous, yet tasty, appetiser, followed by some mouthwatering warm ciabatta bread. Among the starters, the crab cannelloni, served with buttered leeks, lobster and ginger bisque, is subtle, but delicious. The tubular cannelloni appears to be topped with black caviar, as well as the bisque.  For a main course, the perfectly cooked seared salmon, served with chestnut puree and queen scallops bourguignon, provides a fine balance of flavours and textures. For a desert, there are a couple of tempting sweet options on the festive menu, but the British cheese selection can make a fine finale. You get a blue cheese, a creamy cheese and a hard cheese, plus biscuits and raisin bread.  The a la carte menu is equally interesting and thoughtful. Without exception, the dishes are beautifully presented and the service is well-polished. On the massive wine list, the bottles start at about twenty quid, but the 2012 Sauvignon Gris, Kadun Vineyard, Vina Leyda (£36), from Chile makes a good accompaniment for fish. It is crisp with some zing. Predominantly white and silver, Angler's decor is cool and contemporary, yet comfortable. Large sloping windows illuminate the long dining area, while a patterned mirrored ceiling reflects light on to the crisp white tablecloths. Angler deserves to be a destination restaurant. 9/10