One of the most exciting eateries opening in north London for ages, House of Wolf claims to be a multi-functional, multi-sensory pleasure palace. So what exactly does that mean? Well, the three-floored steam punk den houses a regular bar on the ground floor and by regular, we mean stag heads on the wall and great live music, but venture up the stairs and thats where the real fun begins. The first floor is a cocktail lovers dream with an apothecary bar mixing weird and wonderful concoctions from Stephen Quainton and his teams own syrups and elixirs, all beneath a large sign reading prescriptions. Try the Scotch Cobbler with Glenmorangie whisky, house syrup, whole white poached peaches and dry sherry. Its medicine, but better.
Travel further into the attic and the dining experience really begins. With a constantly evolving mix of guest chefs each doing a month residency, you never know what sort of cuisine is in store. But one thing youre guaranteed of, its going to be great. When ELLE visited, Blanch & Shock were in the kitchen and we were treated to a myriad of delights. Tender mackerel was accompanied by beetroot as chunky as potato skins, and the mouthwatering pork came with broccoli. In total, all five courses were perfectly sized to satisfy but not bloat and the tasting menu price of around £45 (prices change slightly depending on guest chefs) was great value. Add £25 to your price, and youll also receive a wine pairing option, all served by friendly and incredibly knowledgeable staff. If you prefer, to go off the wine list, it is carefully thought out and although not a cheap evening, this is an experience to treat yourself to.
All this culinary invention needs a venue to match and House of Wolf certainly has that in its Upper Street, Angel, location. With views overlooking Islington Town Hall, this screams relaxed speakeasy (the strict no-booking, no-entry system simply adds to the exclusivity) and the brick walls, green sofas, wooden beams and stunning chandeliers teeter just on the right side of pretention. And all to a laid-back soundtrack of The Beatles and David Bowie. Just dont forget to book well in advance. The waiting list is already growing.
The ELLEuk Score
Style of food: Experimental
Good for: Special occasion; first date; with friends
Address: 181 Upper Street? Islington ?London? N1 1RQ; (020) 7288 1470
Opening times: Tuesday-Saturday: 6pm-late; Sunday: 12pm-late; Monday: closed
Average price per person for two-course meal without wine: Around £45 for five course tasting menu
Price per bottle of house wine: £17, Les Betes Rousses Blanc
Price of glass of house wine: £4.50
Price of bottle of house prosecco: £28, Acrobello Prosecco Vino Spumante
Price of glass of house prosecco: £6
Private dining: No
Garden/al fresco dining? No
Best table? All
Who goes? The hipster foodies of North London
Nearest tube: Highbury and Islington