Four Degree St George’s Wharf Vauxhall – Review

Peter Morrell and his wife enjoy the location, aesthetics, food and service in this sophisticated Japanese/European Fusion restaurant

View from Four Degree

View from Four Degree

Four Degree 10

Four Degree

Four Degree Interior

Four Degree Interior

Crispy Wonton Starter

Crispy Wonton Starter

Baby Spare Rib Starter

Baby Spare Rib Starter

Despite once being the home of an 18th century pleasure garden Vauxhall has always been viewed as something of a backwater. Then in 2008 the U.S. Government acquired a parcel of land for their new London Embassy. Suddenly the area became a magnet to developers who in the last decade have constructed a large stock of luxury housing.

This influx of new residents has in turn attracted restaurateurs to cater for this burgeoning market. One of the most prominent of these new restaurants is Four Degree, the first UK opening for a company that already has establishments in Beijing and Hong Kong. This new location holds prime position on St George’s Wharf where the two storey restaurant is fronted by a large riverside terrace for al fresco drink and dining.

It’s enviable position is matched by its internal décor and layout. I took a look around before eating, cool grey colours on the walls and furnishings are dramatically punctuated by stunning and colourful artwork. Touches of glamour are provided by celebrity florist Larry Walshe with his floral installations and there are stunning light sculptures by renowned designer Tom Dixon.

On the mezzanine level are private dining spaces and the incomparable Macallan Whisky Lounge. Here you will find the best examples of Macallan including the recently released 40 year old as well as the 1946 reserve. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the heady heights of these gems there is a range of Scottish, Irish, Japanese and even Italian whiskies to suit any budget. When the door of the Lounge opens a combination of peat smoke and aromas from the cigar humidor create an unmissable sensory experience.

We started with a drink at the central bar which is a real focal point of the dining space. As we chose our cocktails one of the mixologists gave us a small glass of pre-mixed negroni from Nginious, a perfect gin and vermouth balance. The cocktail menu is split into three sections, Past, Present and Future, I had the Ryoho which was a Bloody Mary with distinct Japanese twists and featured yuzu sake, yellow tomato juice and flavoured with subtle herbs and spices from Japan. My wife had a far more sedate French 75, gin topped with champagne.

The menu has been created by Head Chef Ricardo Garcia who has worked in many Michelin starred restaurants. He has put together an inventive array of dishes that showcase the best of East and West. There were appetisers to sharpen the appetite which included plump steamed edamame beans which we nibbled with our cocktails, other options included vegetable tempura and oysters. There was also an extensive selection of sushi and sashimi.

The starters offered an array of tempting dishes, big pulls were the foie-gras teriyaki and the sea bass with yuzu truffle dressing, two good examples of the culinary fusion. My wife chose the crispy tacos from the appetiser section and I had the baby spare ribs.

The taco shells were made by deep frying wonton skins, there were three, the first filled with duck rillettes made with leg meat and miso, the second was fish tartar and the third guacamole with a caviar and avocado salsa. all three were very well executed and had bright and precise flavours. My pork ribs had been caramelised and the meat was meltingly tender, the sauce had great depth and had been spiced with sansho pepper.

The starters had been beautifully presented on dishes that had been carefully designed and decorated and this is one thing I particularly like about Japanese dining. The friendly staff, the décor of the room, the food and the crockery even the chop stick rest was a ceramic edamame bean, all combine to create a total aesthetic experience.

The list of mains showed as much ingenuity as the starters, again there were fusions, corn fed baby chicken with spicy teriyaki sauce and lamb chops with Japanese yam potato were two and at the more expensive end of the menu was Waygu beef.

My wife ordered the black cod miso and I chose the braised pork belly, presentation of both dishes was excellent. The cod had a sauce of miso paste, soy, sake and mirin and was served with homemade pickles. The complex sauce created a unique taste and flavour experience to savour and was highly enjoyable.

My pork had a powerful and pungent sauce of soy, sake and mirin, and the flavour packed meat literally dissolved it was so tender.

The wine list was well curated and had examples from across the globe with strong representation from France and the USA. We wanted something light and aromatic so chose the Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc from the Colchagua Valley in Chile which was a reasonable £26.00 a bottle. This had good tropical notes in the bouquet which were joined by citrus flavours on the palate. The well balanced acidity matched the food and the finish was fresh and fruity.

Desserts were beyond us but the banana miso and coconut mousse looked particularly appealing.

The location, décor, quality of service, attention to detail and food had made this an exceptional immersive dining experience that I can thoroughly recommend.

Four Degree
2C St George Wharf,
London SW8 2LE
0203 096 3198
info@fourdegree.co.uk

https://fourdegree.co.uk/

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