31 March 2013

The Clove Club

The Clove Club  is the newly opened venture from the team behind Upstairs at the Ten Bells, Clove Club and various other pop ups in East London. Located in Shoreditch Town Hall, lunch was served in the bar at the front, a plain but comfortable space based around a central bar area. Only a lunch menu was available, offering a number of starters and 3 mains, a beef dish, a hake dish and a vegetarian option. The starters included a number of vegetarian dishes too.  Bread and salami's plates are also available.

We started with a cocktail, an orange based brandy spritzer for my wife and a blend of tequila, mezcal and agave for me, quite a kick on an empty stomach relatively early on Saturday but a nice combination.

I started with buttermilk fried chicken and pine, the dish a basket of pine needles and pine cone in which were nestled a number of golden fried chicken pieces. This was great fried chicken, hot and crunchy on the outside, moist, well seasoned, with just a hint of pine salt to add a unique stamp to a ubiquitous dish. My wife had a dish of radishes, gochuchang and black sesame. Gochuchang is a Korean fermented mix of rice, chili, soybeans and salt, in this case mixed with mayonnaise and partnered to rough ground black sesame to provide a spicy and tasty dip for the radishes, which were eaten whole, leaves and all. Although basic, this innovative starter combined a number of unexpected ingredients to pleasing whole.

Our mains followed, mine a fabulous smelling plate of beef, ramson, mushroom puree and fried potato. The beef was a nice bit of rib, grilled medium rare backed up with a seriously tasty gravy and some excellent ramson (wild garlic). The potato were rolled up slices of thin potato, fried crisp golden brown in butter and exceptionally good, although let down by there only being two. I had loads of gravy left at the end and half a dozen would have been perfect, in fact you shouldn't be allowed to make potato this good and not give me a big bag of them. The vegetarian option was fried ducks egg on a bed of jerusalem artichoke, jerusalem artichoke crisp, morels and spinach. The morels although small and mixed with button mushrooms were well flavoured and very buttery, the artichoke held its earthy flavour well and the egg and yolk helped to bind it all together in a pleasing fashion.

Dessert was a pretty good chocolate eclair for my wife, with a surprisingly crunchy choux pastry and filled with a chocolate cream, topped with a ganache with a decent shine. I had a pile of caramel ice cream, barley and oats. The ice cream was creamy and smooth, and matched well with the crunchy oats and malted barley and was a tasty combination.

The Clove Club is a great addition to the vast choice available in that part of town, and the full menus of the evenings have some intriguing and appealing sounding dishes. Vegetarians are well catered for, a vegetarian tasting menu being available in the evenings too. Our bill came to £69 including service.

Buttermilk fried chicken and pine.

Radishes, gochuchang and black sesame

Rib of beef, ramson, mushroom puree, potato.

Duck egg, jerusalem artichoke, morels, mushrooms and spinach.

Caramel ice cream, oats. barley.

Chocolate Eclair.

The Clove Club on Urbanspoon

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