Clove Club 2
The Clove Club is a very trendy place. Located in Shoreditch Town Hall, with an open view kitchen and preference for organic pinot noirs, one reviewer dubbed this delightful restaurant a ‘foodie hipster heaven’. Certainly some rather ‘hip’ ingredients feature in the £95 tasting menu, starting with the ubiquitous reconstruction of fried chicken. The first time I visited The Clove Club fried popcorn chicken on a bed of pine needles was the first snack, this time we had a slightly more sophisticated version in the form of crispy skin from deboned devilled chicken feet with a tarragon sauce.
This was followed by a small dish of smoked roe and matcha. Next up was a tart of sheepsmilk yoghurt and asparagus, a refreshing palette cleanser or subtle vegetal flavours and golden pastry.
The main menu began with a stunningly fresh and subtle smoked wild irish trout with watercress, Japanese nori kelp and cherry blossom. Continuing with another seafood feat of a raw Orkney scallop adorned with fine slices of black periogord truffles and the sharp citrus flavour from another Japanese ingredient, sudachi.
Next up was a perfectly cooked flame grilled Cornish mackerel with Indian spices like cumin and wild fennel. Then we were presented with a fragile tart of savoury Montgomery cheddar and sweet crystal malt, of course after being warned of its delicate nature I still managed to drop mine, but D offered me his so I was able to enjoy the lightness of this fresh and crumbly tart.
We were both quite excited about the sound of ‘duck and ginger broth with hundred year old madeira’, the description sounds mystical but it was exactly as described. A clarified warming spicy broth with a shot of sweet hundred year old madeira, duck paired with its most complementary partners.
We’re back to the in-vogue courses of a buckwheat pancake and Devonshire veal contrasted with sweet orange. I’m noticing more and more pancakes on these menus, often accompanying strong meat. This was a well executed version and the flavours were balanced rather than provoking, however I’m still not sure if I appreciate pancakes in such format.
The main was a black face Suffolk lamb with seaweed and purple sprouting broccoli.
For our deserts we had tunworth, honey and kinome, followed by Amalfi lemonade and sarawek pepper ice cream – the sorbet fizzes and pops in your mouth – and finally a strawberry tarte fine with honey ice cream.