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Angel restaurant offers new delights

Chef James Cochran brings a delicious and adventurous menu to Upper Street

24 August, 2017 — By Tom Moggach

The new James Cochran restaurant at the Angel Centre

JAMES Cochran is a chef who earned plaudits for his work at well-known restaurants and then took the plunge and opened his own places, under his own name.

He has now landed in the Angel Centre in Upper Street in a first-floor unit that offers views over the hustle of the thoroughfare – the prefect place to graze through a delicious and adventurous menu while watching Islington slip by below you.

His signature dish – jerk chicken with a scotch bonnet jam – comes in a part of the menu that offers a hybrid between starters and tapas. You can choose from this section and make it the whole meal, or use it as an appetiser.

You can’t really visit his place without trying the jerk chicken, such is its fame. The coating is crunchy and flavoursome, the chicken light, and the jam packs the right amount of wallop.

Next to it, a doughnut filled with a creamy blue cheese offers another satisfying belly filler, but the highlight is the deliciously imaginative crab eclair. Essentially it is a crustacean taken from off the coast of Cornwall and then served up with a choux pastry.

James Cochran spent five years working at the famous Ledbury restaurant in Notting Hill

It sounds like a game of kitchen-based consequences, but the result is good enough for Cochran fans to wonder whether he has a dish to challenge his celebrated jerk chicken as a name maker.

In the larger meal section of the menu – again, I am loathe to call them “mains” – a series of flatbreads with an array of options takes the lead. They come with toppings, such as a creamy butternut squash with pomegranate – delicious – and a hay-baked lamb with burnt lemon yoghurt and garlic.

The flatbread could have been served alone, a balance of crunch and chew. When you’re being offered barbecued Hertfordshire venison as an addition, the bread beneath could seem a little boring. But it isn’t.

James, like many chefs, is proud his ingredients tend to be seasonal and sourced from the same hemisphere in which they are served. This is a showcase for the produce of southern England and a celebration of a chef’s imagination.

For those who take stock of what’s what in the London restaurant scene, James spent five years working at the famous Ledbury restaurant in Notting Hill. But that in itself is not a reason to go to his Islington venture – the food should speak for itself, as a chef is only as good as the last egg they have boiled. On that basis, you need to head to James Cochran N1 at the Angel as soon as you possibly can.

James Cochran N1
The Angel Centre,
Upper Street.
Appetisers £3-£8.50
Mains £13-£18
0203 489 2090


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