Having recently moved to Angel, I am also very happy to see an interesting new opening on the otherwise dire Upper Street (save for Pho Express, maybe Byron). We went for the 8 course tasting menu for £56, they also offer 4 courses for a very reasonable £28, plus there are added extra pre and post meal nibbles. On Friday night there's a 12 course menu and a roast on Sundays. Menus are designed in the style of a tube line, blue or red depending on the number of courses you opt for.
I arrived early so sat at the surprisingly empty bar area for a drink, there's a separate bar menu on offer downstairs which is available for walk ins. Cocktails were good and reasonably priced, albion highball (£7.50) for me and the John Salt martini (£4.50) for Art.
The tasting menu unfolded as follows:-
Nibbles - miso soup was the star, shortrib shin beignets with aioli were also great and in the
middle, potato crisps with orange marmalade
The bread was magnificent. Fruit loaf, rosemary bread, a little beer muffin and a cheese thin
came with 3 different butters served on Himalayan pink salt. Decadent.
The first of the 8 courses, 35 ingredient salad. Beautiful, simple and fresh, served on top
of some sour cream, apparently left out to 'mature' at 25 degrees for 3 days.
Ingredients are listed on an accompanying bit of paper.
Next up, hen of the woods. I expected egg but it's a mushroom, of course. Poached, then roasted, served on ketchup with douglas fir (xmas tree) crumbs, persimmon juice and lettuce.
Then a scallop sandwich with kiwi and culatello (parma ham). To be eaten with
your hands, winter truffle shaved at the table, lovely cider butter. I really liked this,
couldn't taste the truffle though.
Next up, the now famed chicken on a brick. Liver parfait with lingonberries,
sweetcorn, chicken skin and caramel. To be licked off the brick. We got involved.
creme fraiche, toasted almonds and dill. The texture of the salmon provided the
wow factor of this dish, it literally disintegrated when forked.
at the start of the meal, canaroli rice with vacherin cream, grilled cucumber vinegarette
with duck skin and chive oil. It was hearty and rich, loved the crispy skin.
kimchi, carrot puree, bok choi and a jug of cooking juice which was powerfully intense.
Loved this, again the texture of the meat was mind blowing, so so good.
Onto dessert and for both of us, this was a little disappointing. We wanted sweetness, and
sugar but instead we got fennel! Marinated in absinthe, with chewy rapeseed cake,
blackberries, lemon thyme and tonka bean ice cream. Nice, but not enough sugar for us.
And, I know it's a thing, savoury ingredients are used in desserts, but I'm not happy about it.
palate cleanser, then with gin which was a lovely end to the meal and I'd thoroughly
recommend you treat yourself to that as a digestiv.
sticky, a dessert proper. And there's the gin in the background.
We drank a bottle of La Casada for a very reasonable £20 and a couple more glasses when we ran out. The whole meal came to £90 a head, and with so many extras thrown in, and a fair bit of booze, it felt like pretty good value.
I enjoyed John Salt and would certainly return, the bar area with a chef's table at the front where a really interesting sounding selection of bar food is assembled entices me. The greasy chicken skin sandwich particularly appeals. Upstairs the chefs bring out and explain some of the dishes to you, which I think is a lovely thing. They even use my favourite skincare brand, Aesop, in the loos. Get down there, 5 and half months to go.
131 Upper Street