Four Degree, Vauxhall

The river spot you don't yet know
Bling
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Booze
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Sex
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The Vibe

The quality of a first date depends on how much you surprise, delight and spoil. Unfortunately in London, where we are au fait with fancy dinners at Hakkasan and cocktails at Sketch, we get into a rut of “been there, eaten that”. Not so with Four Degree, a restaurant that stealth-opened earlier this year, with not too much fuss or noise, and only now is getting some of the attention it deserves. And like a good date, this is both for its substance and good looks. A French-Japanese fusion bar and restaurant on St George Wharf in Vauxhall, the polished restaurant – with Tom Dixon touches – has a large outdoor terrace to dine on in summer, as well as a Macallan Whisky Lounge to get locked (and drunk) in, only on the finest. We also hear one of the largest fish tanks in London will be flagging the entrance, and with security guarding it 24/7 we already love the owner’s style – cut no corners, make it fabulous.

The Food

With a former Pollen Street Social chef – Ricardo Garcia – behind the menu, this is the place you take someone who knows what yuzu is and is turned on by truffles. Start with one of their exceptional cocktails, some of which were created by Tony Pescatori, the genius behind Nightjar. Then prepare for several courses starting with “nibbles”. The fried aubergine with black and white miso was a melt-in-the-mouth sweet delight, to be paired with a side of citrusy chicken kara-age to balance and flesh it out. Then onto starter-sized plates and European references, with rich foie gras teriyaki. For mains, the house recommendation was black cod miso and braised pork belly – both flawless. For the very hungry, try and squeeze in a signature sushi roll before finishing with the deconstructed banoffee. Utter heaven.

The Game

In summer, book a table on the terrace for romantic river views. However, winter will be Four Degree‘s season, starting a date off with whiskey tastings upstairs, then down to a mood-lit table to work through the cocktail list and bites. Trim down to 2/3 courses on a first date, 4/5 five for an anniversary. Then take a digestif and trip onto the banks of the Thames to walk it off. If this place does become your regular haunt, return with friends to cut loose in their hidden private rooms, which double up as karaoke pleasure dens.

The Faults

Nothing except the fact it should be packed – but will be soon.

Sex Factor

4/5.

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