Next door to Littleduck the Picklery and opposite Allpress Coffee roasters in Dalston, a new Japanese-Italian restaurant will open next February. Angelina promises to “present an experience like no other” and “a multi-cultural mash-up.”
One in which “fresh, indigenous ingredients and traditional, handed-down techniques are playfully, yet respectfully, reimagined by Angelina’s culinary craftsmen; delivering a truly original concept.” Customers are told that although Italy and Japan are a long away from each other, the two countries share something: That their food is regional, seasonal, and “created with minimal meddling and the deepest respect.” Food designed “to bring people together.”
Angelina, as real-life 2018 attempt to demonstrate that harmony is described in official materials as “an informal and superlatively social experience serving a daily eight-plate sharing menu...”
Dishes on that menu will include unagi risotto with burnt soy butter and dashi; cavolo nero, tonkotsu, egg and keta caviar; and black sesame and milk chocolate panna cotta.
Tokyo’s Shinjuku district is the source of inspiration for the small “hidden drinking den,” which has been named Golden Gai. The bar seats just six people, apparently making it one of east London’s smallest bars. About Golden Gai, the owners say the following: “Debauchery and night-time naughtiness is actively encouraged in this low-lit hideaway as the cocktails and shots flow and iPhones are left at the door.”
They add that “only the highest quality Japanese and Italian tipples feature in Angelina’s carefully curated cocktail and wine menu.”
Angelina’s “talent” is described as a “highly experienced, passionate, maverick mix.” It includes owner-general manager Joshua Owens-Baigler, who has worked at the River Café, with Bistrotheque Group, Mark Hix, Bocca Di Lupo, and Artusi. Head chef, Daniele Ceforo also worked at Bocca di Lupo, Zoilo, as well as Café Murano and Enoteca Turi. Joining him will be Daphne’s ex-head chef, Robin Beparry, IDd in official materials as a “gregarious Welshman.”
Today’s announcement said: “In short, this team knows what it’s doing!”
Owens-Baigler on his ambitions for the restaurant: “We want the Angelina experience to be fun, friendly and above all a social occasion. We like the surrealism associated with challenging and poking fun at the way we now eat. Saying this, we are respectful of technique and tradition, looking to add to grandmother’s recipe, not run away from it.”
“Being Italian, I have always been passionate about Italian cuisine and started working in the kitchen at age 14. Angelina is an exciting project for me, working with new Japanese ingredients and techniques that will allow me to showcase my passion and creativity, as well as challenge me,” said Ceforo in a statement issued today.
The 40-cover space by London’s Anna Owens Designs is inspired by Japanese avant-garde fashion and combines “a modern, minimalist, monochromatic aesthetic with high-quality Italian materials and craftsmanship.” Homage is paid to Angelina’s Italian and — unspecified — Japanese ancestors with “quirky caricatures hand-painted” onto the walls of the bar. A Italian marble bar will be installed to overlook an open kitchen.
Angelina’s eight-plate sharing menu starts from £48 (optional wine pairing is an additional £45.) For the time-poor, a “Chef’s Choice Daily Plate” will served: £9 or £12, with a glass of wine.