Is there anything better than a bank holiday weekend filled with food, cocktails and sunshine? That’s exactly what Sam and I had at the end of May and it was ideal! I had spotted Freakscene on social media earlier in the year, but Sam came across it at the weekend, which meant it was the perfect time to give it a try. I’m a big fan of Asian food, so I was excited for this meal and especially because the chef, Scott Hallsworth, was head chef at Nobu for 6 years. We visited Nobu in Dubai for brunch earlier this year and I absolutely loved it, so I had high hopes from this restaurateur.
The restaurant is quite small inside, with an L shaped bar for customers to sit at, and the chef preparing the food on the other side. This arrangement brings a relaxed, but intimate feel to the room, which I really enjoyed. We visited late on a Sunday night, so it wasn’t full, but there were a few other diners propping up the bar. The cocktails were first on our minds, and Sam chose the ‘Freaky Smash’ – a gin-based cocktail, where as I was swayed by the sake focused ‘Bonzai Kitten’. The bar follows on from the kitchen, so you can see your drinks being made and we were both very happy with our choices.
When the time came to pick which food to order, I didn’t know where to start because it all sounded incredible. Luckily, Sam is much more decisive than me, so we managed to order before the restaurant closed! Our order consisted of chilli crab and avocado wontons, salmon sashimi pizza, miso-grilled black cod tacos and chicken-fried chicken in a peanut sauce. We also impulsively threw in the house chips with brown butter ponzu on our server’s recommendation. All of the food comes as and when it’s ready, just like sharing dishes should, and I felt we got a good mix.
The first thing to arrive was the wontons and they set a pathway of how good all the food looks at Freakscene. They were also bigger than I had expected, which is always a bonus and made them better value for money. The crab and avocado were garnished with fresh chilli and coriander, as well as a drizzle of chilli sauce; they were fantastic and tasted just as good as they looked.
Next up were the chips with brown butter ponzu. The chips were exactly how I would describe a good chip – extremely crispy and the inside fluffy. The ponzu had a light flavour and these were great for nibbling on, whilst we waited on our other dishes.
I was really looking forward to the salmon sashimi pizza and it looked delightful when it arrived. The base was a fried tortilla with salmon, truffle ponzu, jalapeno and wasabi tobiko on top. Each bite was delicious because the flavours worked very well together.
When I dined at Nobu, the black cod was my highlight of the day, so I can see why it’s so famous. This meant that I was extremely excited for Scott’s black cod tacos. My mouth is watering, just thinking about this dish! The black cod was served in a crispy shell, with sushi rice and a chilli and tomato salsa; it was also garnished with fresh chilli and coriander. The flavours and textures were so amazing – I could have eaten these all night. The only slight adjustment I might make would be a lighter taco shell, but I enjoyed the crunchy texture against the soft sushi rice and the miso-marinated black cod is incredible.
Although I would recommend everything we ate at Freakscene, I would certainly recommend adding the chicken-fried chicken to your order because it was so different from the rest of our choices. Many of the dishes had a Mexican touch, with the fried tortillas and coriander, and being a big fan of Mexican and Asian food, this was great for me. The chicken-fried chicken however, was all Asian and it was fantastic. This was Sam’s favourite dish of the evening and I can understand why. The chicken was served on the bone with peanut soy and pickled cucumber. It was excellently cooked, so it came off the bone very easily and the sauce was delicious – I loved the added cucumber for freshness and texture.
Freakscene provides a relaxed dining setting with incredible food, which is my ideal set-up. The menu includes so many of my favourite flavours – this is probably the best meal I’ve had in London so far.
Atmosphere – 4
Food – 5
Price – 4
Service – 4
Total – 17/20