|Spider crab tart|
In the latest World's 50 Best restaurant guide, The Clove Club was the highest-ranked UK restaurant, coming at 27, ahead of places like The Ledbury and Core. The first question that came to my mind was, is The Clove Club really the best restaurant in the UK? The Michelin starred restaurant inside the Shoreditch Town Hall champions local ingredients and offers modern British cuisine in a casual setting. I have been there two times before, while I found the place to be enjoyable, it was far from anything that I would consider it to be right up there with the very best. Two years on, I headed back to The Clove Club to see if much has changed, and opted for its longest tasting menu.
|Salmon, caviar, seaweed|
|Raw mackerel, wasabi|
|Raw scallop, cep, truffle|
The meal kicked off with some familiar dishes, the Scottish scallops with black truffle has somewhat become the restaurant's signature dish. It was a flavour harmony of truffle, mushroom and squid ink, everything worked wonderfully together, it was just as good as before. One of the new dishes was langoustine tails cooked in brown butter, the shellfish was cooked perfectly, as was the seasoning. It was sweet and tender. The addition of cinnamon offered a hint of spiciness which offered a nice contrast to the richness of the butter. The worst dish was the main course of Middlewhite pork. It was more of a pub pork dish than a fine dining level dish. The meat was a little on the dry side and lacked excitement, in both taste and presentation. The skin was also not crispy, it was a big let down.
|Langoustine, brown butter, cinnamon|
|Middle White pork, artichoke|
|Madeleine and lemon|
If I compare my 3rd visit vs two years ago, I found it was more or less the same in terms of quality. There were some great dishes, as well as some fairly average ones. The Michelin 1 star rating was about right based on the whole experience, it was hardly anything top of the world, so I was wondering how does it got voted to be the best restaurant in London. There are just simply so many better places in London alone. However, when put the "best" element aside, The Clove Club is indeed a wonderful British restaurant and I do enjoy the whole casual fine dining setting that is not easy to spot elsewhere in London.
Average cost without drinks and services:
£145 tasting menu
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT