[London] The Clove Club - 1* Exciting British Cuisine
Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤ (5/5)
After The Ledbury, the 1 Michelin-starred The Clove Club was another one of our favorite restaurants in London! It's Britain's highest ranked restaurant on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list at #26, and at the helm is Scottish Chef Isaac McHale who had worked at the likes of Eleven Madison Park, Noma and The Ledbury before. Located in the Shoreditch Town Hall, the restaurant is casual and yet elegant with a relaxing dining atmosphere. Focused on British ingredients, I found the food to be very creative and exciting while the hospitality was amazing as well. At the end of the meal, I had a chance to chat with the chef who turned out to be super friendly and nice - he actually did a pop-up in Hong Kong before and loves to travel to Japan so hopefully I will get to see him in Asia soon!
A 5-course lunch menu (£75) is offered in addition to a longer 7-course menu (£98) and the full 9-course tasting menu (£110). We initially opted for the lunch menu but ended up trying the full tasting menu (compliments of the restaurant!).
Our lunch kicked off with a selection of snacks starting with this refreshing Frozen Melon Gazpacho with Almond Cream. I loved the contrasting textures of the granita with smooth cream and crunchy nuts as well.
The Tart of Cornish Spider Crab with Brown Crab Meat Hollandaise looked stunning and tasted amazingly flavorful.
The Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pine Needle Salt was also impressive - no wonder it's one of the chef's signature dishes!
True to the chef's Scottish roots, we were offered Haggis Buns with Malt Vinegar Powder as the last of the snacks.
I didn't want to drink alcohol during the day so the restaurant kindly let me try some of the juices that they had made in-house including this Parsley and Apple Juice. It's not as acidic as the ones I had tried in Copenhagen but also not as sweet as I'd like it to be.
The Flamed Cornish Mackerel Sashimi, English Mustard, Cucumber and Chrysanthemum served as our first course and I think it worked - I especially liked the flaming touch as the smokiness enhanced the flavor of the fish nicely.
Hay Smoked Wiltshire Trout with Sansho Powder, Potato Sauce and Sturgeon Caviar
Scottish Langoustine in two servings - the langoustine tail paired with homemade charcoal cream and langoustine claw meat with dashi jelly made from the shells.
Spring Herb & Smoked Herring Broth
The Hazelwood Grilled Pollock with Grelot Onion, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf was another stand-out dish as the fish had been perfectly cooked and the seasoning was on point as well.
A special treat as we got to try a selection of Cured Meat - goose meat, pork shoulder and neck.
The Hot Smoked Lamb Ribs with Mint & Seaweed Jelly was my absolute favorite dish of the day! I mean just look at that beautifully charred skin. The meat was so tender and juicy while full of flavors - it's probably one of the best lamb dish I've ever had in my life!
The Duck, Morel & Ginger Consomme and Hundred Year Old Madeira was another special treat as we got to try a Madeira from 1908! Madeira is a fortified wine made in the Madeira Islands. Apparently the production process is so unique the wine retains its flavor even after it's been opened. We got to try the Madeira by itself first before it was added with the consomme, and I would say that the flavor profile of the wine was quite similar to a dry sherry. The consomme reminded me of the pigeon consomme at Azurmendi but at the same time it came off as too strong to drink standalone after a few sips.
The Scottish Taco with Suckling Pork Belly, Buckwheat Tortilla and Haggis Spices was a very interesting take on taco and I loved the spicy flavors!
Our last savory dish was the Slow Roast Lincolnshire Chicken, Cream Potato, Ramson & Shiitake. The chicken was cooked perfectly but the flavors were the least exciting for me here.
Wild Fennel Granita, Ewe's Milk Mousse and Strawberries
Loquat Sorbet, Loquat Kernel Cream and Puffed Amaranth
A very interesting "drink" to cure our indulgence.
The Clove Club
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7729 6496http://thecloveclub.com/
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