Bistro Union

  • Restaurants
  • British
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© Michael Franke
Clapham
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This deservedly popular Clapham local, a self-styled ‘quintessentially British bistro’, excels at savoury snacks and Anglo-American-French comfort food.

This self-styled ‘quintessentially British bistro’ succeeds on so many levels. The staff are chummy and welcoming; the room looks rustic and quirky, with stripped floorboards, an appealing grey, white and yellow colour scheme and cutlery kept in drawers under the tables; and there’s a very enticing selection of bar nibbles, own-made preserves and fruit gins on display that sets the tone for the slightly homespun approach of the kitchen. Snacks (available all day) include cheese and Marmite straws, anchovy toasts, pickled sardines, and smoked pig’s cheek with cornichons – slightly bitter and umami flavours are a recurring theme through these. The main courses lean more towards Anglo-American-French comfort food: salt beef hash with fried egg and pickles (part of the Sunday brunch offering), Middlewhite pork faggots with ‘bashed neeps’, and a mac ’n’ cheese that contained soft shards of leek and was crisply gratinated. The puds are more firmly on British soil: rhubarb trifle, say, or apple crumble. Note that the tall wooden stools at the bar can’t be booked – and these offer the best spectator seats. Deservedly popular locally, Bistro Union is the second Clapham venture from Adam Byatt, who runs smart French restaurant Trinity in Clapham Old Town.

 

Venue name: Bistro Union
Contact:
Address: 40 Abbeville Road
London
SW4 9NG
Opening hours: Open 11am-10pm Mon-Sat; 11am-4pm Sun. Brunch served 11am-3pm Sat; 11am-4pm Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Clapham Common or Clapham South tube
Price: Main courses £10-£24. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £80

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|10
1 person listening
jemma K

We recently celebrated my birthday with a large group of friends here at Bistro Union, We tried the the feasting menu and it was very successful, although it would have been nice to have had a couple of choices on the desert, but the pork belly was delicious. What killed the evening for me was the service, at the end of the night after spending a fortune, everyone wanted a digestif while waiting for their taxis and nothing was offered and the manager even went as far as saying  we don't do free, it felt like he was accusing us of being free loaders, not a very nice manor at all! Anyway we paid for our digestifs and waited, but two more had obviously been ordered by friends who where in the loo (!) and there was about £10 or something outstanding on the bill. After spending over £1,400 you would have thought he might have said ok those last two are on us. But no, the manager Ian, was very abrupt about paying and we left feeling like we had stolen the silver. I'm not sure about the overall vibe, it's meant to be a village bistro and friendly, but it wasn't like that. It's changed since we were last year when the manger was very inviting and pleased to have you there. The staff looked tired and couldn't be bothered with us all.Ok we were one of the last to leave, but it was Saturday night and my birthday.  Not sure i'll be back, after that experience. There are too many good restaurants in our area to have to put up with this. :( x

Rita W

Over priced and not great food or service. To add insult to injury they not only add a service charge but also a cover charge! Certainly won't be returning.

AbbFabMAT

Charming bar staff, just stopped by for a quick vino as is our way on a rainy London afternoon. Wine was Marlborough Kiwi Sauv Blanc and was "fine". What wasn't fine was being charged £18.00 for two glasses (small) This is ridiculous, this is SW4 not W1. Disappointing, what a shame.

chrissy

my food was burnt too and no discount off the bill offered in compensation. had high hopes for this place as love trinity but unfortunately wont be returning.

Dermo

My meal was burnt, my partner was served an undercooked foul, it must have been a very off night but I will never go there again.

Mark P

Adam Byratt has done it again. Following the success of Trinity down in Clapham Old Town, which I hope will get a Michelin star very soon, he has opened up Bistro Union on Abbeville Rd. Went their for Sunday lunch yesterday and had an awesome Aubergine starter, followed by whole roasted Chicken which I shared with my friend. Food was accompanied with some great wine and we tried very tasty organic beer before we sat down. Dessert was the kids favourite - Knickerbocker Glory ;) Highly recommend both Bistro and Trinity, you will not be disappointed.

Charlie

I love the fun way everything is presented at Bistro Union. A celebration of whats good about Great British cooking, unpretentious and tasty. Reasonably priced too.

Spike

All things considered, by far the best dining experience I've had in London. Exceptional service, delicious and varied food, wonderful format - and a welcomingly stylish atmosphere. Then to top it all off, fantastic value for money. I honestly can't think of a single complaint - superb restaurant and I hope it doesn't change.

Rob

Week one seems to have gone well for this trendy new eaterie. I had the pork and apple soup liek chicken broth - great, subtle tastes and plenty of it. A huge portion of cottage pie with succulent lamb came next - the bone marrow a highlight. Very well cooked and generous portions. This place will inject new life into the rather fusty Abbeville Road 'village' - and is right opposite other newcomer Abbeville Kitchen which offers fussier fare at a slightly higher price.