In hippest Shoreditch, a no-choice, daily-changing menu of nine cutting-edge-modern dishes that look absolutely ravishing.
NOTE: Since this review was published, the Clove Club has added a lunch menu (£35 for 3 courses) and a bar menu with main courses ranging from £14.50 to £21.The Time Out Food and Drink Team.
It can sometimes be hard to know if a restaurant is trying to make food that you will savour and enjoy, or is simply creating dishes to feed the Instagram craze. Taking no chances, Shoreditch’s Clove Club is doing both.
The Clove Club’s menu is a masterpiece of contemporary aspirations. With a no-choice list of nine courses, there’s no possibility of a fashion faux pas when ordering. This daily-changing menu is economically worded. It describes a succession of small plates: dishes which are seasonal, that champion British produce, yet are oddly esoteric. It is both accessible and obscurantist.
The menu’s ‘Radishes, sesame and gochuchang’ only contained gochuchang – a Korean chilli paste – as a slight pink tinge to a mayonnaise dip.
Leeks were poached and slit, then smoked mussels were inserted like peas in a split pod. A spinach purée seeped from the side. The result looked disquieting, but will end up on lots of Pinterest boards.
A pattern emerged: dishes seemed destined to be photographed and talked about, possibly more than savoured. The best dishes tended to be the ones that weren’t trying quite so hard to impress. A dish of Ruby Red beef, ramson and potato comprised a generous piece of slow-cooked beef, very tender and moist; the ramson (wild garlic) was barely discernable, but it helped tick the ‘seasonal’ and ‘wild’ boxes.
Nine courses are a lot to get through, but the desserts might include another highlight: blood orange segments dried like prunes, then studded into a sheep’s milk mousse. Blood orange reappears in the same dish as a ‘fruit leather’ garnish, amid slivers of ewe’s milk cheese.
The Clove Club’s cooking is intentionally avant-garde. Everything about it screams ‘look at me’: the location, in the former Shoreditch Town Hall, the austerity of the décor, the open kitchen, and the other diners, many of them scenesters.
Yet Clove Club is above parody, mainly because what it does, it does very well indeed. Take it with a pinch of artisanal salt, because it’s one of the restaurants that will define this year.
|Venue name:||Clove Club||Contact:|
Shoreditch Town Hall
380 Old Street
|Opening hours:||Bar Lunch served noon-2.30pm Tue-Sat. Dinner served 6-11pm Mon-Sat. Dishes £4.50-£21 Restaurant Lunch served noon-2.30pm Tue-Sat. Dinner served 6-9.30pm Mon-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Old Street tube or Shoreditch High Street rail|
|Price:||Set lunch £35 3 courses. Set meal £47 tasting menu|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
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Outstanding experience. I'm not a great fan of having zero choice in what is served to me but every course was a taste experience and delicious. The courses were all excellent but sadly because of the delerium caused by the rich food I can't remember exactly what I ate apart from the oft referenced buttermilk chicken.
The decor is basic but it works and to be fair fits in with the whole experience. The staff and service were excellent, friendly, knowledgeable and ever so cool (stylistically not off-hand) but my only comment was the wine list. I love wine and I'm sure it was curated to compliment the food but I felt it didn't accommodate my wants and tastes.
Only a minor point but for me wine is as important as the food.
5 out of 5 regardless though
Excellent time in the bar on Saturday night. Beautiful surrounds, great atmosphere, excellent mangement team