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Test Driving Angelina - Japan meets Italy in this Dalston delivery

roomHere's our dinner from Angelina (minus dessert)

What can you tell us about Angelina?

Based in Dalston (the restaurant is on Kingsland Road), Angelina is fairly unique in London as it creates menus based on two cuisines - Italian and Japanese. If that idea has left you thinking "but does that actually work?" then let us assure you that it most certainly does, particularly when done with the care seen here. The restaurant has been an ongoing success in Dalston since it opened, winning a fan in Jay Rayner who called it "a sweet venture, so cheerfully fanboyish in its devotion to the subtleties of both cooking traditions".

And is this a meal kit or standard delivery?

A standard delivery, with a teeny bit of plating required. It's all very simple, though. Much as we love meal kits, it's sometimes something of a joy to have everything on the table so quick. Some of the food is served cold, some may need some reheating - but a guide to that reheating is also included. 

It's essentially a feast that you can either bring to the table at once and graze, or do as we did and work your way through 1-2 dishes at a time. 

So what's on the menu?

It changes regularly - the one we had is on for another weekend before a refresh. So order asap if you want everything that we had or, alternatively, the following will give you a flavour of what to expect. 

It's a five dish meal plus snacks - and you can add on extras too. Here's what we had:

roomKicking off with snacks - sourdough focaccia with tuna n'duja, monkfish karaage (with salsa verde dip) and olive ascolane (with tonkatsu dip). A good start and top marks in particular for the tuna n'duja (a mainstay of the menu). That's confit tuna, raw tuna, nduja, lardo and aromatics - and really is extraordinarily good.

roomMaguro (tuna) tartare, chicoria & sweet potato cracker - we love tuna tartare and these little bite-sized snacks are loaded up and ready to go. 

FennelFennel, robiola, blood orange & pistachio - it may look a bit messy, but it all pairs together very well. 

roomBavette katsu with vialone nano & gremolata - another good example of both the way the cuisines crossover, but also how considerable thought is applied to the contrasting textures.

roomTagliolini tsukemen with octopus & egg - where Italian pasta marries into a Japanese-style dish. 

roomTsukemen are dipping noodles and this dish just needs the broth to be warmed. (Shot taken just before cackhanded chopstick skills lost a fair few noodles into the broth...)

roomKaraage chicken - this is something you can have as an added extra (£6) and one of their top dishes in the restaurant. Hard to go wrong with chicken karaage, as proven here. 

roomBigne, gianduja & yuzu creme - finally this filled dessert has welcomingly light pastry - an ideal end to the meal unless...

room... you also opt for the Formaggio Bento (an extra £15), their cheese take on the bento box. The soft cheese - Robiola, made from a blend of sheep's, cows and goat's milk, was the definite winner here. We would have liked to see some more types of softer cheese to contrast with the harder options though. 

What about drinks?

The tiny bar at the original Angelina was such a hit, that they opened a standalone bar, Golden Gai, in Soho. Bagged cocktails are available from their delivery service and, based on our experience, definitely pick one of these as an added extra. They also have a matched wine option - with a half bottle each of white, red and dessert wine. 

roomThe Golden Gai gimlet - vodka, bergamot and mint bitters. Even for people, namely us, who aren't mint fans, this was an absolutely excellent cocktail. Cocktails are £14 for two serves - or you can choose all three (a Negroni and a Smoke Signal too) for £35. 

Anything else? 

We like the idea of their "Morning After Cook-at-Home Breakfast for Two" which has House-Cured Truffle Salmon, Rich Yolk Eggs, Sourdough Focaccia and Furikake. Sounds like a perfect Sunday morning breakfast. 

Overall thoughts 

We've been hearing great things about Angelina ever since it opened - but regrettably hadn't made it in person to the actual restaurant. From this, we now see the error of our ways. This delivery shows them operating at a high level, with a truly unique set menu in which every dish was a winner - and it's good value on top of all that. With brand new menus every month, we think this is well worth getting in for a weekend treat. 

Hot Dinners were sent this as a gift by Angelina. Prices correct at time of publication. 

 

More about Angelina

Where is it? 56 Dalston Ln, Dalston, London E8 3AH

How much: Each set menu is £34 per person. 

Delivery range: 2.5 miles from the restaurant or collection

How to order: Order online

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @angelina.dalston,

 

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