THE CLOVE CLUB
I went to the Clove Club recently, a newly opened restaurant and bar in the beautiful Shoreditch Town Hall. I heard so many good things about it, so I was really looking forward to it. The Clove Club turned out to be even better than what I had expected. The restaurant serves a set menu of five dishes, and the bar also has a range of small snacks. I went for the set menu, a collection of contemporary and locally sourced British food. I'm always a bit sceptical towards British cuisine, as I've had experiences in up-scale restaurants that were no different from my local pub. This, however, is not the case at the Clove Club. My first bite of the Radishes, Sesame and Gochuchang had me convinced. I spilled a bit on the table and had to scrape it up to make sure I got everything, that’s how good it was. The Buttermilk Chicken & Pinesalt served on pine branches is basically gourmet fried chicken, and a superb one at that. The duck ham is cured and prepared in the Town Hall, but I didn't love it. My favourite main course was the Rib of Beef, Ramson & Potato, although the Tarragon sauce of the Grilled Squid was pretty extraordinary. There was no salt or pepper on the table, but none of the dishes required any additional seasoning anyway. The Blood Orange, Sheep’s Milk Mousse & Wild Fennel was an exceptionally fresh dessert, with very contrasting textures. I preferred it to the sweeter second dessert of Caramel Ice Cream, Barley & Oats, which was a tad too sweet and heavy to finish with after a big meal. The presentation of every single dish was immaculate and simple, and these photos definitely don't do them justice. The interior is simple; high ceilings, bare wooden or marble tables, and an open kitchen. The crockery and cutlery is specially designed by one of the chefs. The acoustics aren't great and there’s no music, so we just had to join in and yell like the rest of the guests. Next time I’ll drop by the bar, where reservations aren't needed, and try some of their simpler, small dishes.
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT