Camden Passage, Islington (Angel), London. N1 8EG
Having had a Tastecard for almost 8 months and not used it a great deal (although easily having saved the £30 I paid for it), I decided that it might be nice to use it to visit restaurants that would usually be out of my budget and live it up a little (no I’m not turning my back on big, juicy burgers) and more to the point eat some steak!
A Tastecard gives 2 for 1 meals (all courses) for two people and booking online in advance was very easy. The deal is not available on Friday and Saturdays or throughout December but that still gives plenty of time to try Fredericks.
Fredericks is located on Camden Passage in Angel and only about 3 minutes from the tube so a very easy location to get to. The place itself has a nice upmarket bar at the front and a spacious, airy and very elegant restaurant to the rear with a great outdoor dining area for in the summer. Being more than a class above my usual restaurant, on my first visit (I have now been twice probably giving away that a good score is coming!) I felt very underdressed in a polo shirt and on my returned ensured shirt and shoes were out in force!
Not only is the price and standard way above average, so is the service with all the touches of class that would be expected in such a venue. Attentive without being too visible, helpful but not patronising and overall pleasant throughout.
Right onto the main part, the food. On both visits I have ordered the Thai crab cake with oriental salad and chilli jam (£10.50). The crab is really tasty and the chilli jam adds a touch of spice and sweetness. The oriental salad if I’m being picky is a little bland in comparison however a little chilli jam soon sorted that out. Coincidently, on both visits my company for the night both ordered the Salt & pepper squid (£9.50) with chilli sauce with good feedback on both occasions.
As this whole upmarket dining experience was mainly based around eating more steak (anyone that knows me will not be at all surprised about this!) so on my first visit I ordered the Côte de boeuf with chips and a béarnaise sauce (£25.00). The steak was good but nothing special although the chips are excellent, really excellent. The steak was a little too fatty for my tastes although was tasty but not quite up to the standard of the rest of the food here. On my first visit with Emma she ordered the Welsh rack of lamb, chimichurri sauce and apricot & pistachio quinoa (£25.00) and gave good ratings all round (and as already mentioned in this blog, I never doubt Ems when it comes to food) so on my follow up visit both of us ordered the lamb and I can confirm it was as good as Emma says it was. Cooked nice and pink and with a light dressing of mint sauce the lamb was very tender and there was plenty of it. We also ordered a side of the excellent fries (still as good) and some new potatoes (good although a little bland).
Between my two visits I have no tried 3 of the desserts (all £6.50 each); Pine nut cheesecake and blackberries, Cherry crumble with almond ice cream and Champagne & Summer fruit panna cotta. I can safely say that all 3 were really, really nice despite overall not being a sweet or dessert type of person (although having dessert is becoming far too common). The crumble was really juicy and the almond ice cream was amazing (thanks Anna for letting me try!), the panna cotta is a nice refreshing dish which was great on my first visit being almost 30 degrees outside and my favourite, the cheesecake is rich and tasty and fills you up just like it should do!
I like nearly everything about Fredericks. With a bottle of wine and a Tastecard, two people can eat a 3 course meal for around £80 (including service) in a stylish restaurant with great service. Whilst this is not the type of place I would visit every week or with a group of friends (I’m not sure Fredericks would be too happy with that either!) this is a great place for a special occasion or a treat every-now-and-again. There isn’t really anything I can fault…