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BARBICAN LIFE


Monday to Wednesday and until 1 am Thursday and Friday.


The Anthologist Goldfish City


Jillian Maclean has had a rapid success in the bar/restaurant business. Drake and Morgan named after seafarers Sir Francis Drake and Sir Henry Morgan – both in reality pretty ruthless buccaneers whatever the history books may say about them, and perhaps an apt name for a company involved in the cut-throat bar/restaurant business. Drake and Morgan already has four establishments under its belt, and is to open a fifth in the Heron Tower on Bishopsgate soon once the building is completed, yet the company was only started in 2008. The bar/restaurants tend to share menus, but each has its own individual style and decor. They draw heavily on a U.S.-style formula and have proven extremely successful. They open early in the day for breakfast and remain open until late. The wine lists are extensive – and an interesting touch is one can order wine flights to sample three different wines from different parts of the world, but all employing the same grape varieties – for example three pinot noirs – one French, one from New Zealand and one Chilean, Wine prices are reasonable by today’s standards. The only downside really is that the Anthologist can be noisy – all part of the modern day atmosphere one might say, but perhaps appealing more to the young and young at heart than the old. However if one can reserve one of the tables in a raised area in the windows at the west end of the restaurant these are a little insulated from the main hubbub. The Anthologist also has a deli – and a special cocktail bar staffed by a mixologist – and time can be booked at this bar just sampling the various cocktails on offer. The range of cocktails is wide and includes ‘skinny’ low calorie versions for those who are more figure conscious than the writer. Reservations are advisable for the restaurant section particularly on Thursdays and Fridays when it can be extremely busy. Call 0845 468 0101. The website is www.theanthologistbar.co.uk . Opening hours are 8 am to 11 pm


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I might have passed the third restaurant by without a strong recommendation from the duty manager at The Anthologist who reckoned the food is truly excellent. It is immediately next door to Bar Battu on the west side and at first glance looks like a standard small Chinese restaurant complete with take-away menus in a dispenser by the door. But if one ventures inside Goldfish City has a much more plush and enticing interior than first impressions might suggest. Indeed it is an offshoot of the extremely successful Goldfish restaurant in Hampstead and part of the Privilege group of Asian restaurants which has been making a great name for their cuisine and ambience.


Goldfish tries to be a little bit of ‘all things to all men’ with broader-than-just- Chinese menu and an extensive take- away menu including dim sum and well


prestigious Chinese eateries - will expand its waistline this summer with a unique new dining emporium in the heart of London’s Square Mile. Possessing the same confident, celebrity-loved appeal of the Hampstead original, Goldfish City will instead offer a completely new Chinese brasserie style experience for time-poor individuals tired of sandwiches or packaged sushi. Focusing on fresh, fragrant and innovative Chinese cooking, the venue’s gourmet A La Carte Menu and authentic dim sum trolley of steamed, aromatic parcels will revolutionise the way City professionals and high profile figures do lunch. The emphasis is on speed, efficiency and


priced bento boxes, but of course this latter may particularly appeal to local office workers strapped for time who may want to have something out of the ordinary to eat at their desks. It also has a karaoke bar/restaurant in the basement, luckily insulated from the more formal dining area on the ground floor probably to extend its appeal to office parties and visiting Japanese businessmen! But it is the a la carte menu which is the restaurant’s principal selling point. One particular positive is that the head chef – who has had some extensive experience at top Eastern hotels – does not believe in the typical Chinese restaurant flavour cure-all of monosodium glutamate. Overall it is definitely a cut above


Goldfish - one of London’s most


fresh, exciting flavours – a winning combination in an area lacking gourmet, award-winning Asian food. Better still, the restaurant’s three spacious floors also incorporate an expertly manned and relaxed basement cocktail bar, private VIP area and Tokyo-inspired karaoke booth. It’s the ultimate destination venue the City has been waiting for virtually any other Chinese restaurant in the area. Dishes include non- traditional versions of Chinese regional dishes from across that huge nation, plus various elements of other Asian cuisines and fusion dishes encompassing some European elements. The result is a very interesting new eating experience. In its own words, the food presentation is “deliberately minimalist so the food takes centre stage, the entire menu is studded with inspired Chinese delicacies, including a fragrant seafood ramen miso (£7.80), opalescent emerald green spinach and prawn dumplings (£2.20) the most famous, head chef Kevin Chow’s award-winning Mocha Ribs (£7.80), a signature dish that features a champagne marinade and coating of Varlhona dark chocolate and coffee bean – an intense choice that’s bound to appeal to the more robust palates that frequent the City.” Whether this actually appeals depends on taste and reviews of the restaurant seem mixed on this particular speciality dish – some love it, some are not so sure, but all seem to have tried it. Universal acclaim though is given to the sea bass and to the soft shell crab – Chinese-style seafood seems to be a particular strength. Like the other restaurants covered here Goldfish City, at 46 Gresham Street, is open Monday to Friday only. Hours are 12.00 -2.30 and 6.00 to 10.30. Tel: 0207 726 0308 for bookings. Website: http://www.restaurantprivilege. com/goldfish-city


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