So what’s hot in London right now in the food world? The Clove Club, that’s what! Situated at Old Street in Shoreditch Town Hall, the restaurant was opened by the lovely Daniel Willis, Johnny Smith and Isaac Mchale in March 2013.
This is a restaurant serving tasting menus of pure delight by chefs full of skill using British ingredients that are often overlooked. I was lucky enough to have spent the last two weeks at The Clove Club, and wanted to share my experience with foodies like you. So my rather chuffed state has seen me working amongst a very talent medley of Chefs and Support Team at The Clove Club restaurant. It struck me immediately how skilful the kitchen team were. Whole animals and fish arrive in the morning deliveries and the chefs proceed to break them down with ease and sheer confidence; with total respect and understanding of what’s in front of them. All were talented and refreshingly there wasn’t an ego in sight! True craftsmen and women.
I worked on the snack section during my time at the The Clove Club, creating the first mouthfuls the guests eat as they begin their gastronomical journey and experience the mind-blowing tasting menu. Everything is fresh for every service, and an extremely high standard to live up to. It was a challenge but I loved it and learned an enormous amount. From making the most delicious buttermilk fried chicken, with salt made from pine….
… to a delightful cod roe mousse with coriander and asparagus stems. This food was created by serious chefs with a lot of skill.
I was fascinated by the fact that there wasn’t any shouting in the kitchen – not something you often come across in this industry. But you see they didn’t need to shout, they all knew exactly what they were doing and cracked on with the job in hand with a calm and positive attitude. It was an incredibly infectious kitchen to be in. What an atmosphere.
As you walk in to The Clove Club you will notice charcuterie hanging from the bar and in the restaurant itself. Yes ladies and gents, they even do those themselves! The most beautiful cured meats all made in house hanging for you to see and admire before you order and it’s sliced in front of you. I won’t waffle on how much I enjoyed working in the kitchen and how much I learned as we’ll be here until Christmas. But I will tell you about the meal I had at the end of my two weeks with one of my best friends, Antonia Morosi from Grub Garden, who I’ve blogged with previously and is a fellow chef. We had the 9 course tasting menu and I can genuinely say that I thoroughly enjoyed every scrumptious mouthful.
We began with the delightful snacks and homemade bread and butter and began to make our way through the courses. Every course was incredible, but for me a few in particular stood out. Firstly, the Pea Mousse with Goats Cheese Granita that had a thin layer of cured ham and croutons underneath. WOW! The balance was phenomenal. I mean who knew peas could taste so good!!
The next course to blow my mind was the Sea Bass dish, served with Jersey Royals, morels, broad beans and a curry leaf and cinnamon foam. Oh. My. Lord… this was THE softest fish I think I have ever eaten and the gentle warmth of the curry leaf completely lifted the dish. This really was cooking at its finest.
I was intrigued to see that one of the following courses featured the collars of Sea Bass we had previously been served. Lightly floured and deep fried, served simply with a small wedge of citrus. Absolutely delicious. It struck me at this point, after already noticing from my stage how clever the cooking just how much respect Isaac Mchale and his team have for the ingredients. It was about eliminating product waste and respecting ever element of that produce. The collar was, of course, delicious! So much flavour and meat still left on it… a cut most chefs would surely throw away.
I could explain every course in detail to you and how the night went on but I would be ruining the experience for you all when you visit yourselves, so I won’t.
I can’t recommend a restaurant in London any more highly at this moment in time. Very much worth a visit. And this right here is a restaurant that is only going to grow, with chef Isaac Mchale and Tim Spedding leading one of the most talented brigades I’ve worked with. Taking chefs to new highs, cooking from the heart and changing the menu daily to ensure the best experience for you, the customer. So what are you waiting for??? Go book a table at The Clove Club!
Love to all you foodies,
Chef Pril xx