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Friday, December 21, 2012
Duck on charred log and hay butter treat at wild wolf house
House of Wolf is a Victorian steam-punk inspired lair of iniquity complete with an apothecary bar, cabaret stage and fainting room.
But the top floor, a very attractive wood-clad, Alpine lodge looking affair, is given over to the dining side of things.
And in keeping with the off-key nature of the rest of the place, the kitchen is inhabited by different chefs on a short term basis – on our visit by the experimental and enthusiastic Blanche and Shock.
They’re all about the experience at House of Wolf, so it’s the whole taster menu or nothing, which is a fairly steep £45, or a bit more with matching drinks.
House of Wolf 181 Upper Street N1 1RQ
Tel: 0207 2881470 Web: www.houseofwolf.co.uk
Taster menu from around £45
Children: Yes Disabled access: No
Nothing on the menu was simple – even the bread came with hay-infused butter –and there were some interesting flavours on offer, including things I had tried before like oxalis leaf and hawberries.
The net result was a mixture of great courses, and some which were a bit over the top.
The latter included the raw prawns with lardo, mallow oil and bitter hogweed. A brave effort, but the fish, creaminess and pork fat seemed to be wrestling for supremacy in my mouth.
The duck, however, was triumphant. It came served on a charred log with a glass full of aromatic chestnut smoke, unleashed when the platter was put in front of you.
The breast was pink and tender, the confit was full of flavour and the artichoke was a nice, fleshy aside.
Another hit was the fantastic beef, succulent flesh with thick rind of fat lending flavour to the meat, cooked to perfection with a crispy edge.
Also worthy of note was their version of ceviche – sea bass “cooked” in dill vinegar. Another bold attempt, but on the whole I prefer mine with chilli and lime.
Overall I reckon three out of the six courses were very good, which isn’t a bad ratio with this level of experimentation – which was akin to eating out in a forest.
A special mention to the staff, who knew all the complicated dishes by heart, and allowed us to sample about six wines before we chose.
Not one for safe eaters, but if you like to live life on the culinary edge, House of Wolf is well worth a look.