Open Mon–Sat midday–5.30pm, 6pm–11pm; Sun midday 5.30pm–10pm
‘Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae – The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary’ – I’m not entirely sure why a restaurant is named after a catholic prayer. The last thing I wanted to think of while indulging on wine and food is religion. However, French restaurant Angelus – owned by ex-head sommelier of La Gavroche Thierry Thomasin – is cosy and warmly-lit with exposed beams hinting at the good ole’ days when it was a pub.
We started with a glass of the house bubbly (£11.50) which was flirtatiously fruity with its tickly fine bubbles. I left the wine to the experts (I couldn’t face the 870-page wine list). As my friend Kim and I were perusing the menu, the waitor brought us the house special fois gras crème brulee with hazelnut bread (£14). It was exceptional with a crunchy caramelised sesame topping. It quickly became apparent that this was going to be a decadent evening.
I started with scallops and tiger prawn ravioli (£15), which was perfectly executed and beautifully presented with orange teardrops of star anise puree and glittering nuggets of pickled ginger. Kim went all out for the French experience and chose frog’s legs and snails (£12) – sweet with roasted garlic and not as daunting as I thought (frog tastes rather like chicken and snail tastes like rich mussels).
I was a little saddened by the slim bread selection of brown or white (a seeded or sourdough would have been nice). Also, there weren’t any bread plates which left us picking crumbs from our cleavages.
I decided to go for a Glenburnie Estate beef (£35) which came perfectly rare, soft but not fleshy. It had an impressive depth of flavour from the rich sauce reduction infused with morel mushrooms. However, it was slightly over-seasoned. Bacon-stuffed quail (£26) was Kim’s choice, which was accompanied by crunchy duck fat-roasted potatoes.
Not wanting to deprive ourselves of anything, we opted for the selection of desserts (£19), which were accompanied by two sweet wines, one of which was poetically named ‘The tears of the sky’ (£9). My personal favourite was the cherry chocolate cake which was intense yet fluffy. Kim preferred the basil ice-cream which was creamy with a floral basil hint. Admittedly, we didn’t enjoy the strawberries with black pepper but we may just be purists, while the passionfruit soufflé was slightly overcooked.
We left indulged, slightly drunk and desperately craving a trip to Paris…
Meal for two plus wine and service around £150.