So the festive season is fully in swing now and Steve and I thought we'd try and find some calm amidst the social tornado that comes round this time of year with a dinner date at the much lauded Anchovy in Richmond.
We arrived on time for our 8 pm reservation behind some other diners. There seemed to be a little confusion with the people in front of us and then we were shown to two stools at the window bar. It was right next to the front door which I thought might become annoying but it didn't turn out so.
Drinks and water took a little while but after a slow start things took on a better speed and the service became more attentive and personal.
- Pork crackling, toasted fennel
- Wok tossed garlic shoots, spice salt
The crackling crackled and then melted in the mouth and was light and tasty with the spices sprinkled on it. The garlic shoots had a tasty char to them and were liberally doused with something tongue tinglingly warm. Both dishes were great to share with a glass of wine and a street view.
- Spanner crab, bun rieu mayo, brioche toast, finger lime
- Vietnamese blood pudding, ginger, cosberg
I had the crab which had the texture of scrambled egg and then little pearls of sharp finger lime burst on the tongue. The crab and brioche was sweet with the brioche adding a layer of toastiness. This was delicious.
The blood pudding was like a lettuce wrap and again very flavoursome.
- Smoked beef rump carpaccio, green chilli, soybean sprouts
- Drop noodles, duck, celtuce, curry vinaigrette
I really enjoyed the sesame oil notes in the rump carpacio and the pickled almst fermented like soybean sprouts that were covered by the blanket of beef slices. The green chilli dressing certainly packed a punch of heat. Another tasty and successful dish.
The drop noodles were the follow up punch. The curry vinaigrette is more like a curry paste that the noodles soaked up and the duck meat was tender and tasty. To me it was more Malaysian than Vietnamese which tends to have more delicate flavours but this was still a very welcome course which was well received.
We loved the strong flavours of all the savoury dishes we had and we felt that every course was of a consistently good standard. We had to wait a little while for our mains because we were behind a couple of larger tables. We were also offered to move to two high stools at the bar if we wished as a party hadn't showed up at the time but we didn't think it would be any more comfortable there. The wooden stools are a little hard after a while if I am to be critical.
My other comment would be that with all the great flavours, sauces and glazes with the dishes we had as our main course, I'd have loved a little steamed rice just to soak everything up.
We were pretty full after all that but our friendly waitress convinced us that the strawberry dessert was the way to go. She promised us it would be light and wouldn't take long to come out so we jumped on board:
Pretty in shades of pink and red; this is my kind of citrussy, fresh dessert. The soursop curd was like a tropical cheescake filling and I loved the intense strawberry notes of the sorbet with the light lemon cake. We made short work of it!
Great evening, great and interesting food that is really very tasty. I'd definitely come back.