A place this special was worth the cross-London travel. Strikingly stylish in black and white and hung with Japanese paper lanterns, the warmth of the welcome and the buzz of the open kitchen makes Dalston’s Angelina instantly inviting.
Seated along the marble topped bar above the main restaurant floor, we got a perfect view of the chef’s team’s masterful precision, plating up their exquisite Italian-Japanese fusion multi-coursed menus. My aperitif Yuzuyu cocktail appeared looking like a glass of lemon meringue pie but was full of heat and ginger, showing all may not be as it seems here.
Delicately beautiful dishes arrived, like little plates of artwork, only to blow me away with their combinations of texture and flavour. Of the “breads” course the focaccia, caprino and rhubarb was a delight vying for first place with the rich venison tartare.
Slivers of seafood ceviche came topped with strawberries or mandarin jelly, creating surprising fruity-salty sensations.
Allow me to recommend the optional lightly crispy courgette flower, stuffed with creamy ricotta and topped with a generous dollop of black caviar. The Angelina wine list focuses on indigenous varietals which typify the region, and a pairing of six rare Italian wines is currently offered.
The match of the night was the silky smooth Primosic Ribolla Gialla Riserva, undoubtably the best orange wine I have ever had and a fantastic companion to the expertly prepared springtime agnolotti pasta.
There is a rather special 1993 Barolo too, but my heart was stolen by the Barbera D’Alba Vigna Francia 2015, a bold choice with the succulently grilled chicken, but one that I shall be salivating over for days to come.