Tasting menus are every food lover’s dream but they can be very stale and soulless affairs in pompous dining rooms. Luckily the founder of Anglo, Mark Jarvis has delivered one of the most understated and accessible tasting menus around. He has previously worked at Zuma and Le Manoir, whilst head chef, Jack Cashmore worked at Belgium’s In De Wulf and together you can’t help but feel they are embarking on an incredible culinary journey with Anglo.
The dining room is comfortably low-key and rightly so as the focus is on the food here. You do get the feeling Mark has put all his own time and money into this project. In the evening, they offer a tasting menu and have a wine/beer pairing to match each course and helpfully they have a chalk board on display to entice you to imbibe.
They might say it’s intro plus 7 courses, but the 3 amuse-bouche offerings are so well made you feel like you are enjoying a 10 course tasting menu. Note they don’t use grandiose French words like amuse-bouche on their menus. The beetroot crisp is beautifully delicate tasting and clearly is more time-consuming to make than it appears, apart from the crisp, there is finely chopped beetroot along with beetroot puree. The other intros are equally thoughtful in its construction, the salmon tartare with dashi jelly is graced with summery flowers. The burnt leek tartlet was like eating leek-infused snow with a touch of smokiness.
If you didn’t know Mark is a patriot, just look at his dishes: St. George’s mushrooms with onions and sour cream. The mushrooms were fleshy in texture and had deep floral aromas. The plate might be large but the ingredients petite; this isn’t just about satisfying your appetite, this is a discovery of the art of food.
The main courses are possibly the strongest part of Anglo’s tasting menu. Every component of the aged longhorn beef with wild hops and oysters was extremely well sourced, the marbling on the beef was comparable to the best around the world. The Stone Bass, white asparagus and Cornish mussels was a firm favourite of mine. The fillet had a meaty density and was clearly fresh enough that it didn’t flake off into multi-pieces on the slight application of force. The Cornish mussels were so gentle, they tasted like silky clouds.
Showing the lack of pretension in this menu, there is even a course of cheese and onion on malt loaf. It might be simple in construction, but tasted no less superior than any of the other courses. If you have no work the following day, their wine/beer pairing is highly recommended. They tend to pick more quirkier options like the multifaceted, refreshing white rabbit Riesling.
Start forming an orderly queue now, because at £45 per person, this is the best value tasting menu you will find in London and currently they are so busy, they can’t even take walk-ins.
Interior photo courtesy of Ian Sargeant and food photos courtesy of Charles Dardenne.