Baldwin Ho reviews Brother Marcus – the newest food offering in London’s Angel.
With the recent opening of Brother Marcus in Angel, the young owners are really showing signs of coming of age with an altogether more sophisticated offering compared to their much-loved cafe in Balham. How they've managed to secure a restaurant space in the much-coveted Camden Passage within a short walking distance from Angel station is already some achievement.
With their Balham branch, it was often the case that the owners would get hands-on with the decorating of the venue and apart from being great cooks, they’re also DIY experts. With the Angel branch, they've hired outside help to design and furnish their latest venture and this is quite apparent from the clean design to soothing touches like a living wall.
They've run plenty of supper clubs at the Balham branch to test the culinary skills of co-founder Tasos and this is very much in evidence in the expanded menu at their new branch along with a distinct Cretan touch which reflects on Tasos' upbringing.
Whilst, they haven't reinvented the wheel, I do like the way their menu has been divided into snack, earth, sea, land, and dessert, so for those who are after something a little lighter, the options are clear to see. They do have some very strong vegetarian options: we opted for the fried cauliflower and kassoundi and chargrilled aubergine with mint, chilli, lemon zest, and pomegranate.
There are plenty of restaurants offering fried cauliflower these days and generally, I find the first few bites to be very appetising especially mixed in with a mustard-like sauce like kassoundi but it somehow feels quite repetitive after your umpteenth bite of this vegetable. Hence, I found it very interesting to see on their website, the dish has been updated recently to crispy cauliflower two ways. Whilst the aubergine was all about the taste of summer with those seasonal ingredients bringing sunshine and vitality to the dish.
With such a menu, you almost feel compelled to order at least one dish from each section, so we moved onto the marinated sardines, grated tomatoes, spring onion and sweet Turkish pepper. Sardines often have an unwarranted label of being extremely fishy tasting, but here they most definitely didn't taste that way with the mountain of spring onions and tomatoes on the base offering a well-balanced flavour profile.
Finally, we moved onto their signature dish: cracked pork belly, Metaxa and date glaze with apple labneh and walnuts. The crispy skin was as crunchy as I've tasted in recent memory whilst the date glaze added a delightful sweetness to the dish and the Metaxa gave the dish an unmistakable Cretan feel.
Metaxa makes a welcome return for dessert with a sticky toffee pudding that uses the famous spirit. With Brother Marcus growing from strength to strength, one must suspect a sponsorship from Metaxa must be in the pipeline soon.
Make your booking for Brother Marcus.
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