The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall

Photo © Yuki Sugiura

LondonEating Out

The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall

New Shoreditch restaurant keeps its focus on what matters...

The Clove Club looks every bit the members club from both outside and in, housed in the towering Grade II listed Shoreditch Town Hall, it feels all very grown-up. The interiors are modest, with bare walls, reclaimed Georgian table-tops and salvaged boxing ring chairs; there’s a sense of calm and culinary prowess in the two-room restaurant. Divided suitably between night and day, the hand-made bar by blacksmith Joe Morris sits at the heart of the space. Designed in-house by the three owner/chefs – Daniel Willis, Johnny Smith and Isaac McHale, who’ve been Upstairs at the Ten Bells down in Spitalfields for some time – in collaboration with Jonathan Mangham of Mango London Architects, the focus is clearly on the food and its preparation. During the day the back room is closed and used by the many young and cheerful chefs for prep, the kitchen is very open and we rather enjoyed having a little snoop at what was being prepared for the evening sitting.

As the snow fell furiously outside, I had to start with the Gimlet (always begin with a cocktail someone once told me), reading Ketel One vodka, green tea and home-made lemongrass and lime cordial instantly made me think of a sunny holiday in Asia. My lunching buddy and I decided to share a selection from the already carefully pared down lunch menu, the salad of my favourite kohlrabi and elderflower vinaigrette was light with all the greens of spring you could imagine. The house-special and Ten Bells classic, buttermilk fried chicken and pine was a treat for old times sake, whilst I was pleasantly surprised by the duck egg, Jerusalem artichoke and morels as ‘egg & shrooms’ didn’t sound at all filling… The entire dish was rich and flavoursome, and looked just so darn pretty on the plate. The braised rabbit, prunes, bacon and Hispi cabbage brought home my babcia’s cooking (babcia is grandma in Polish); earthy and gamey, the cabbage relaxed the flavours and bound the dish delightfully.

I could have stayed all day but had to brave the snow-storm outside. Come on weather! What the hell? Sorry. I rather liked The Clove Club, fancy and gimmick free it really focuses on the ingredients, I appreciate its modesty too ‘our bread and butter’ was actually freshly baked; still warm and crusty, whole grain sour dough, which was just delightful. I know it’s been written about as ‘the new hipster place in Shoreditch’, but quite frankly I didn’t see one! Must go back one evening to see if they return…

The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall

Photo © Yuki Sugiura

The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall

Photo © Yuki Sugiura

The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall

Photography © We Heart
unless otherwise stated.

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