What could be better than dining on the streets of Paris? Well, try the streets of Islington where Assiette Anglaise takes it’s place in the leafy suburb.
We arrived for dinner at 7:30 to be greeted by a very welcoming waiter who allowed us to sit wherever we liked. Luckily for us the weather was one of the first of the summer variety in London, so we sat outside. We were offered an aperitif and chose a Gallia French Lager, in hindsight I should have opted for a Champagne Jean Paul-Deville or a French Martini which consists of Vestal Rye Black Label, Chambord & pineapple juice.
I must of course tell you about the interior of Assiette Anglaise; the first thing you notice is the dominating marble oval bar that sits in the centre of the establishment, with shiny glasses hanging from above it. Tables are positioned around it allowing for intimate moments without being sparse. The style is simple but with bright colours in some of the objects which lead your eye around the room with their cute little tea tins and trinkets.
Now I’m not one for fancy small plates, I like filling portions, however the way in which these plates are so beautifully crafted, you wouldn’t feel like spoiling it with a big lump of mashed potato. The chef has clearly thought about his flavour and colour combinations.
To start we both had Quail breast, confit leg, semolina gnocchi, chestnut & beetroot. The different textures worked so well together, especially the crispy lettuce against the smooth gnocchi.
For our main course we had Rabbit leg pancetta, creamed leeks, carrot & mustard and Slow cooked pork belly, salt & vinegar cabbage, pear & soy glaze, both of which melted in our mouths. There were lots of appetising sides to choose from, we chose Minted Jersey Royals to share. The wine was chosen for us to compliment both the duck and pork dishes together (from SW France).
For dessert we had White chocolate & strawberry cheese cake and Cheese & fruit selection, pear & saffron chutney. Both were rich and satisfying.
As we ate the locals arrived for their bit of France on a Saturday evening and they were all dressed well for the occasion.
You could never feel rushed in this place; the courses arrive as if by magic exactly when you would like them, so that you can enjoy your wine and the atmosphere. I honestly don’t know how they time it all so well, if they have a watchful eye on you, you don’t feel it.
This is an all day place where you can start your day with a wad of papers and a lengthy brunch, move on to a array of staters with a glass of red and feast into the night. It’s rare to find places like this that serve great food, have attentive, friendly staff and with a relaxed atmosphere.
So if you can’t quite make it to France, pay Assiette Anglaise a visit …