A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a new restaurant making waves on the luxury London food scene, Four Degree. Located in Vauxhall at One St George Wharf, this is a trendy Japanese restaurant with a European twist. We visited on a quiet Monday afternoon but soon enough business men and women from the surrounding offices started piling in for their impressive client lunches.
The first thing that struck me upon arrival was the beautiful decor. Clearly a lot of attention to detail went into the design here and I was taken on a quick tour of the whole restaurant so this could be explained in full. The designers have created a setting in which the Feng Shui is perfectly balanced, with each and every piece of furniture, every painting on the wall and every potted plant having its own part to play.
It’s clear from the outset that Four Degree is more than just a restaurant, it’s a place to gather with friends, somewhere to conduct business and somewhere to impress. There is a whiskey room on the mezzanine floor, filled with some of the world’s best and most expensive whiskeys.
Some of these actually belong to Four Degree regulars and are locked in the glass cabinets to which only they have the key. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these bottles you are free to drop by Four Degree whenever you desire to relax in the Macallan Whisky Lounge and enjoy your premium bottle.
I could’ve chosen to have a view looking out over the river, instead I chose to face inwards, looking at this stunning green and gold bar. The floating gold and silver bubbles were simply mesmerising, as was the bar tender. I’m talking about his cocktail making skills, of course! Watching him whip up these amazing concoctions was like watching a magician work his magic and I couldn’t wait to try one myself. Keep on reading to find out what these amazing cocktails actually looked like!
I’m sure you’re now wondering – how was the food? First up we shared a plate of fried camembert (a favourite of mine) with a lobster sauce and foie-gras teriyaki. I must admit I much preferred the camembert without the accompanying sauce but the teriyaki was a luxurious dish that I will remember for a long time. As someone who’s half Asian, half British, I’ve always loved fusion food but teriyaki foie-gras has to be at the top of the list for most luxurious fusion creations.
Our mains turned out to be even more lavish than the starters: poeler lobster with butter saffron butter rice and wagyu sukiyami. When I asked the staff for their recommendations, wagyu beef sukiyami was the top choice. I have never really understood how meat could ever be “melt in the mouth” until this point. I know that wagyu beef is supposed to be incredibly fatty and tender but these thin slices of wagyu were so tender it honestly seemed like it melted on my tongue.
The presentation of the lobster was particularly very impressive, especially given that the meat had already been separated from the shell in such a way that it was really easy to eat. The chef had clearly done this and then pieced it back together so kudos to the kitchen staff for their dedication to food presentation. And just look at those gorgeous colours 😍
My stomach was beginning to strain against my skirt but I just had to try the sushi menu, which I’d heard amazing things about. Sushi is my all time favourite food and in the end I wished that we’d just opted for sushi from the start. Not because the above mains weren’t great (they were), the sushi was just amazing.
On the left is the “Four Degree roll”, which you can see is an luxurious twist on sushi with caviar paste and gold leaf for detail. I have to confess I think caviar is a much better pairing with sushi than wasabi but I’m not sure I’ll be fortunate enough to have this dish again any time soon. Four Degree has spoiled me and I can hear my bank card cracking just at the thought of it!
The other plate is made up of individual pieces of sushi we chose from the a la carte menu. I went for the assorted range you usually find at sushi restaurants: red tuna, white tuna, salmon, eel, etc. Of course, each and every one was delightful and I wish I’d had a full plate of each! My eyes are a lot bigger than my stomach…
By this point I was absolutely stuffed but I just had to try these two favourite sweet treats on the menu. I was convinced that I’d only be able to have a nibble of both but God damn, these desserts blew my mind.
The chocolate fondant was was honestly one of the best I’d ever had in my life (and I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate cake in my time!). The cake was beautifully soft and moist with a gooey chocolate centre. I’m not a huge fan of green tea ice cream myself but the matcha brownie pieces round the sides were delicious too.
The real star of the show for me though was the coconut pavlova. It looks very pretty but I honestly didn’t expect it to taste much better than slightly-better-than-average ice cream but this dish is now one of my favourite desserts in London. The tart yuzu paste with the crunchy meringue and coconut ice cream make such a bittersweet combination – I’ll definitely be back for this again!
Lastly, we were treated to some surprise cocktails that the barman had specially created for us. I’m not 100% sure which two cocktails on the menu these were but I believe we were treated to “L’Heritage de Tartasse”, with chocolate, orange and absinth flavours and “Only Time Will Tell”, which was served in this fascinating egg shape. No detail is spared, not the four degree logo sprinkled on in cocoa, the edible chocolate spoon, the plate presentation. This is a prime example of when the line between food and art begins to fade… and then disappears!
All in all, I had the most sumptuous and delicious meal at Four Degree in Vauxhall. This isn’t a case of style over substance as they’ve fused the two together just as well as they’ve fused Japanese and French cuisine. This is fantastic place to bring your loved ones for a really special occasion as the food is simply unforgettable. In fact, when I got home that evening and tuned into Made in Chelsea, I was surprised to see Frankie and James on a date at Four Degree! Clearly it’s the new place to be for the young and wealthy too.
So thank you so much for Four Degree for having me at your exciting new venture. It must be said that the staff are absolute angels. They’re very attentive, always bringing more water over and topping up your wine. This wasn’t just because I was a guest, it’s how they treated all their lunch time customers. I’d also like to give a quick shout out to the waiter with the avocado socks!
*I was invited to Four Degree in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
2C St George Wharf
London, SW8 2LE