Intrigued by the combination of Italian and Japanese cuisine we were curious to see how that manifested, in a menu and an interior.
The strip of Dalston Lane that Angelina is on has always been a little forgotten about, a place between better places. However, with Allpress, a well-known coffee establishment, across the road these two places make this area a new destination- just away from the hustle and bustle of the forever popular Dalston.
The interior is a subtle marriage of the two cuisines the restaurant claims to be inspired by, its neither over the top Italian nor Japanese; the furniture is edging toward Italian lux yet the lighting (the most stylised element) is definitely a nod to the Japanese side. While the space is simply designed, with white walls and black fixtures, the tables transcend the space to the sophistication one would expect for a high-end restaurant, with a beautiful variety of contrasting marble. This marble certainly creates a beautiful setting for the abundance of small plates that arrive at the table throughout the meal. Despite the chefs making very little noise, the open kitchen creates a buzz of energy, in an otherwise calm environment, which definitely makes us want to request a seat at the counter next time we visit.
The menu is a chef’s choice menu, changing regularly. The starters come as a selection of 6 small plates, all with their own individual sauces to compliment the flavours. The tempura nettle leaf filled with sausage was beautiful to see and taste making that the highlight of the first course. The mains followed over two courses, 2 full portions split between our 2 individual plates. Both mains were a fantastic fusion of flavours, the green caviar to accompany sausage and clams being the most memorable. Already feeling very satisfied, the dessert finished it all off wonderfully; roasted peaches with chocolate amaretto sorbet and a miso crumble – a perfect balance of both Italian and Japanese tastes.
Very delighted by the food, the environment and the service we were about to leave but were excited to find a tiny speak easy style cocktail bar hidden on the way to the bathrooms. With no advertisement on their website or in the space it is a very humble affair, that is certainly making us want to return to see the bar in action. If the food is anything to go by, we expect the cocktails to be superb!