The Dairy, 15 The Pavement, London SW4 0HY
Reviewed: The Dairy, Clapham. There has barely been a whisper on the street about the opening of The Dairy and a good thing too because in their first week of opening they’ve been jam packed every night.
This place is a bar and restaurant with a very relaxed atmosphere about it. I felt slightly ashamed at being so casual because the food is simply to die for, carefully cooked and beautifully arranged, it is clear that chef/owner Robin Gill is passionate about food and one should somehow make some effort. This is by no means a white table cloth restaurant in design and atmosphere but is serving that level of food.
The concept is a little like tapas but based on British food; small plates of finely cooked food to share between you…wonderful! The menu is well balanced, not huge, but designed to change frequently in line with available local produce. They advise you choose 3-4 dishes each, which is great as you get to sample a variety of flavours that have been carefully selected to complement each other. What I love is their attention to detail, not just in the food but how it is delivered to you; so you make your selection and they decide with you in which order to bring the dishes – so you’re not left with that disappointing feeling that you often get in tapas restaurants where you would have liked your meat dish before filling up on patatas bravas! Not that you’d be getting anything like that in here…to give you an idea of the flavours, they were offering miso BBQ lamb with a wild garlic purée and smoked aubergine, smokey mash in gravy, roasted pollock with cauliflower (cooked in three ways) and malt barley ice cream with salted caramel.
The place itself is fairly small, which no doubt will quickly become a problem as its popularity grows, but they have acquired a late licence till 2am to entice customers to pop in for a few late night cocktails.
Clapham is greatly in need of a place like this; superb food, relaxed atmosphere and reasonably priced considering what you’re getting. I have no doubt in my mind about the success of this place, not just that they have a great chef, but co-owner Sarah has the flair with customers, listening and gathering information.
I highly recommend this place if you want a taste of something a little bit different.
Be sure to book to avoid disappointment.