The Clove Club: London

Lunch Thursday 16th, July 2015: A British lunch in the Town Hall

As soon as I entered through the large blue doors and arrived at the Clove Club, I immediately felt relaxed and at home, the vibe was young and contemporary, the place was draped in coolness and the staff chilled and easy.  I knew this would be not just a good lunch, but also a very special one.

The Clove Club

Chef: Isaac McHale

Shoreditch Town Hall

380 Old Street,

London EC1V 9LT
+44 (0) 2077296496

www.thecloveclub.com

Worlds best 50 restaurants: no 55 in the world 2015

Michelin stars *

Vibe: Modern British with a hint of nordic goodness

Signature dish: Buttermilk fried chicken and pine salt

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The choice of tube stations had been erroneous, Old St would have been a preferred option to Liverpool St, but the long walk in the sticky heat of the day provided some much needed extra miles. In need of fluids, sit at the bar, the Clove Club specialises in artisan cocktails. Start with the cocktail of the day, as the name so appealing that it will be a done deal from the start.

Give bees a chance

A shot of vodka, green chartreuse, honey, egg white and mead dusted with bee’s pollen. The bee’s pollen neatly pegged to the edge  of the glass to be sprinkled after arrival at the table. It will float on the white froth above and add a feeling of the exotic. The cocktail refreshing and will set the scene. The tables perfect, bare wood with a sweet little amber vase of wild flowers and full view of the blue tiled kitchen and the chefs at work.

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Make the most of the visit and chose the 9 course degustation with a few extras thrown in.

 A selection of snacks to start

Crispy 100 day old chicken foot, tarragon vinegar emulsion

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Buttermilk fried chicken with pine salt: signature dish

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Scottish Oat cake with smoked cods roe and dusted with Genmaicha

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Sour dough cracker, Cornish anchovies, sweet pickled mustard fermented gooseberries

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Kabu Turnip marinated with sunflower seeds and mint

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Fine bean tart, Sheep’s milk yoghurt, Hazelnut oil

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Flamed Cornish Mackerel, Apricot Mustard & Tagetes Flowers

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Raw Orkney Scallop, Hazelnut, Clementine & Manjimup Truffles

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Seaweed dashi, Italian melon, Sansho Pepper oil

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 Pea mousse

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Wild Scottish Sea Trout, Datterini, Tomato, Shallots and Brown Butter

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Montgomery cheese, Crystal malt

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100 year old Boal Madeira, Duck Consomme, Ginger, Morels

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Buckwheat and pigs blood, Crackling pork belly, Bortolini beans, shallots Devil’s spice

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Berkshire Roe Deer, Grilled Onions, Beetroot & Blackcurrants

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Amalfi lemonade & Sarwak Pepper Ice Cream

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Baked Meadowsweet Custard, Tayberries & Puffed Amaranth.

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Coffee, petit fours

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At a time when London dining can seem ho hum, The Clove Club is a breath of fresh air, the fried chicken alone is worth the detour across town to the trendy foodie area of Shoreditch. It is a place on the up and up and one to return to time and time again.

Noma Japan, February 2015, where every morsel was savoured and umami from each dish, lingered so intensely that to take a bite of the next offering was almost sacrilege.  You knew you would have to say goodbye to a new best friend to make way for the next. Exploring the street food and food halls of Tokyo, provided the matrix to begin to understand what Rene Redezpi’s genius set out to achieve. At the end, I asked “What did you think about the food?'  “incredible”  Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy