The Clove Club (Bar) – London EC1V

June 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

A trendy new restaurant and bar in Shoreditch, serving unusual British fare.

Making a last minute reservation at one of the hottest restaurants in town is usually a stressful affair; countless re-dialling, minutes of hold music and finally an offer of 5:30pm or 10pm. Not so at Shoreditch Town Hall’s newest resident bar and restaurant. (The fact that it was a Tuesday and I was more than happy to sit in the bar may well have played in my favour.)

Nonetheless, I found myself, that very evening dining at The Clove Club.

Situated in an old Edwardian building, the shiny lettering above the grand entrance way welcomes you into this former Town Hall. With high ceilings, a fresh lick of paint and a mix-match of wooden furniture, this quietly buzzing venue is both calming and exciting all at once.

The Bar Menu features some unusual British ingredients in surprisingly stunning combinations. The ‘Smacked Cucumber, Chill Oil and Peanuts’ (£4.90) was completely unexpected – the hint of spice and moreishness of the salty cracked peanuts injecting life into a salad thing I would usually regard as dull. The ‘Rye Crackers, Fennel, Oak Smoked Cod’s Roe’ ( £7.50) was presented as a delectable spread which we happily scooped up with the leaves of fennel whilst dipping the crackers into the leftover dressing of the preceding dish.
Smacked Cucumber, Chilli Oil and Peanuts RazorClams
Our dipping frenzy was interrupted as the Sui Chef rested a large pot on the edge of our table, sliding the lid back to reveal our hay smoked razor clams on a bed of straw. It was just a sneak preview – a demonstration of the current on-trend cooking techniques being used here – but the gimmick worked, so when our ‘Hay Smoked Razor Clams’ (£14.50) did reappear a short while later, we were even more impressed at the subtly smoky flavours.

We finished our meal with ‘Ossau Iraty’ (£4) and ‘Proscuittino’ (£6.50) – a nice but somewhat ordinary end to an otherwise sensational evening.

The next day I once more find myself speaking with the same charming reservationist whom had formerly instilled such a feeling of marvel at the ease with which one can make a booking here. It turns out my admiration is misplaced, as I reserve the last table for two available in the restaurant, for a Saturday night dinner – seven weeks in advance.

The secret’s now out and The Clove Club is gaining a much deserved reputation and following. My suggestion would be to go next Tuesday – you certainly won’t regret it.

Dinner for two (in the Bar): £52
Drinks: Bottle of wine from £19
thecloveclub.com

Nearby bars: Lounge Bohemia – London EC2A
You might also like: Dabbous – London W1T (Read Full Review)

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