Monday, 15 July 2013

The Dairy: Old Town Charm

Let's talk about The Dairy in Clapham... This innovative modern European restaurant is one of the latest openings in Clapham, in prime location neighbouring the Common in Old Town.

I loved everything about my meal at The Dairy, but I sit asking myself why after a 5 star review in Metro, near on four months after opening people still haven’t realised this restaurant is set to be a big deal. I certainly perked up my ears when it first opened just by reading Robin Gill's credentials and about his contemporary style The Dairy would adopt.

The menu comprises of  Modern European small plates split into snacks, garden, sea, land and sweet. There is also an extensive wine list, seasonal cocktails and a bar snacks menu. The flavour combinations blend elements of earthy rustic Britain with contemporary haute cuisine, similar to that of Dabbous (see smoked butter and savoury hazelnut praline), One Leicester Street and even to some extent Duck and Waffle.

 24 hour beef short rib, burnt onion and summer mushrooms.
Between three of us we started with a cloth bag of hot-out-the-oven sourdough bread and smoked marrow butter served on a brick. As a devout lover of bread and butter, this unavoidably smokey fluffy butter on the sourest sourdough was the perfect first bite, I knew this would be a great meal.

The 24 hour beef short rib, burnt onion and summer mushrooms was cooked to perfection allowing my fork to flake pieces of beef away from the cut. The jus was hearty yet the acidity from the burnt onion was welcomed lightening the seasonal dish. The roasted and pickled beetroot with buffalo goats curd and hazelnut was beautifully presented. The hazelnut praline accompanying the dish was sweet yet balanced well with the savoury of the pickled beetroot.

 Roasted and pickled beetroot with buffalo goats curd and hazelnut.
Potted chicken liver with apple and gooseberry.
Potted chicken liver was rich and whipped smooth and the apple and gooseberry added a summery freshness to cut through the strong liver. Lathered on the toasted sourdough, this mousse was moorish. An unusual pick was the monkfish liver, malt bacon, radishes and ember oil buttermilk. The fish liver was rich and tender, while strong like that of a cods roe. The punchy flavour was balanced well with its sweet sauce and peppery white radishes.

It was hard to find anything short of amazing on the plates at The Dairy. And if my opinion carries any weight, I anticipate this quaint restaurant and bar will soon be the talk of the town.

monkfish liver, malt bacon, radishes and ember oil buttermilk
Short rib nuggets and leak ketchup.
Trinkets and sweets
The Dairy on Urbanspoon

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