Monday, July 12, 2010

The Anthologist - A Bookmark in the Anthology of an Avid Eater

Well, it's been a rather busy week of eating in a few of London's newest restaurants, in which one of the highlights was undoubtedly The Anthologist, on the outskirts of The City on Gresham Street.

I hadn't heard about the restaurant cum bar until last week, but it appeared that lots of others had because it was packed to the rafters, impressive, even for a Thursday night.

Because of the location, there were the expected city types hanging around - lawyers, bankers et al - a friendly crowd refreshingly lacking any of that 'Oi you stepped on my toe' rabble you'd find in my Brixton local (joking ahem).

Especially pleasant becuase the standard of clientele was not too displeasing in the looks department either, making me very glad that I'd decided not to go with the hoboesque hole-y jeans and wifebeater remaining in the clean non-taken-to-Glasto pile of clothes in the wardrobe in the morning.

Menu-wise, it was quite a random assortment of international flavours - one glance took in dishes from Thailand, Italy and, of course, some good old British standards. For mains I ordered the steak and chips.

There's always some kind of residual guilt thing going on when I know I'm going to write something up for the blog and I order something a bit dull like steak and chips. But as soon as I tucked into the plate of meat they served up I sent a silent thank you to the rebel in me. It was amazing.

For something so simple, so many restaurants get steak and chips so wrong - the meat's too tough, it's overdone, it's dry, it's flavourless, it's all fat and no lean - just a few from the catalogue, and that's only the steak. But this was excellent. The steak was blue, just as requested, almost overwhelmingly juicy and bursting with flavour. The chips were crunchy and chippy. Fluffy and yummy. Nuff said.

The truffled chips were equally good!

The dessert list was like a roll call of all your favourite little friends coming out to play; Eton Mess, Chocolate Brownie, Creme Brulee - nothing too adventurous but all well executed and testament to the fresh ingredients. As we're slap bang in the middle of strawberry season, it seemed like a crime to shy away from the Eton Mess, so much so that we both had it. Another unregretted decision.

And then, when the wine/cocktails had been drunk and the food had been eaten, it was time to leave. I can't speak for Farzana but I was fairly preoccupied carefully hiding the food baby that had magically appeared - sidling out of the restaurant sideways might have made me look a bit weird but better than looking a bit pregnant (a suspicion that was only reinforced by the fact that someone offered me their seat on the tube on the way home... though he was cute and it turned out he was just young, Australian and polite, or at least so he claimed later).


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