The Clove Club (Restaurant) – London EC1V
August 22, 2013 § 2 Comments
A trendy new restaurant and bar in Shoreditch, serving unusual British fare.
I have previously reviewed The Clove Club on Agent Restauranteur – (See The Clove Club (Bar) – London EC1V) – however my second visit was so spectacular I felt it unjust not to share what the main dining room at The Clove Club has to offer. It’s nothing short of a culinary delight.
Arriving a little too early to go straight to our table, my guest and I settled ourselves down on the tall stools by the bar, and were happily sipping on glasses of English Rosé Champagne (sparkling wine) within moments of catching the barman’s eye. Despite knowing that we would soon be enjoying a five-course dinner menu, I could not help but order a bowl of the ‘Smacked Cucumber, Chill Oil and Peanuts‘ (£4.90) – just as refreshing, tasty and more-ish as last time, the snack whet our appetites and we hurriedly moved through to our table.
A trio-starter of ‘snacks’ promptly arrived – ‘Oak Smoked Cod’s Roe & Rye‘, ‘Wood Pigeon Sausages & Ten Bells Ketchup‘ and ‘Mantua Melon & Sichuan Pepper Salt‘. The minute portions were tantalisingly good; all offering a miniature explosion of flavour – the pigeon sausage were so meaty and so, so tasty, that my guest immediately asked our waiter whether they were for sale (!) – unsurprisingly the answer was no, but disappointed soon dissipated as our first course arrived.
We started with what turned out to be the dish of the night – ‘Grilled Mackerel Tartare, English Mustard & Gooseberry‘ – all the potentially overwhelming flavours, (pungently fishy mackerel, tart gooseberries and spicy mustard), worked an absolute treat together. The dish was simply perfect and one I could happily have as a main course on its own.
As a recent convert to eating raw tomatoes, after 20+ years of dedicated avoidance, I was dubious about the dish to come; Heritage Tomatoes, Smoked Ricotta & Home Cured Anchovy’. However the dish was wonderful, and with just a couple of large buffalo tomatoes which I wasn’t quite ready for, I ate, and thoroughly enjoyed, the lovely combination of yellow, green and red toms, creamy cheese and delicate dressings.
Interspersed between the main dishes were some surprise extras all delivered to the table by the chef himself. ‘Roast Shallot with Manchego & Truffle‘ had us ordering more bread to scrap the plate clean of truffley-cheesy sauces whilst the skewers of ‘Chicken bits‘ actually reminded me of street food sold for a penny a piece in the market place of Kota Kinabalu, not that that is a criticism.
The main dish was sadly a little of a disappointment – ‘Slow Roasted Lincolnshire Chicken, Peas, Girolles & Garlic Scape‘ consisted of a very well cooked, slice of chicken breast, but it was just that, a chunk of chicken breast – suddenly we were craving street food nibbles again! The accompanying cut of brown meat went some way to sate the craving but it was a tad of a downer to have a somewhat ordinary end to what had so far been a fabulously creative menu of interesting flavours and combinations.
However the final dishes, and by this stage 8th and 9th courses of the evening, brought the evening back to its former glory. The beautiful ‘Kent Raspberries & Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt Mousse’ was as good as it looked whilst the fresh, sweet and melt in the mouth poached peach of the final dessert (Corsican Peach, Iced Tea Jelly & Toasted Almond Ice Cream’) brought the evening to a perfect close.
My first visit to The Clove Club’s Bar had me excitedly booking a table in the restaurant the following morning, and after a 5 week wait for the desired reservation, I was not disappointed. The service is consistently faultless and the food, almost without exception, is a delight to all senses. This is a very welcome addition to the ever increasing dining scene in Shoreditch, offering something quite refreshingly different; unusual British fare, with charm and style.