You’ve probably walked past this little restaurant right by Clapham Common tube a hundred times and never noticed it, so you’d be surprised to know it has a huge garden restaurant, filled with trees and twinkly lights hidden just behind it. Given this was the summer for al fresco, I thought it would make the perfect romantic destination for a Friday night date.
In summary – disappointing. Both our starters were deep fried and served with lashings of shop-bought sweet and sour sauce. My crispy pork belly, was just greasy deep fried chunks of fatty pork and the homemade crab cakes were the at the top end of something you’d get in the freezer aisle at Waitrose – I wasn’t convinced there was much homemade food going on. The mains were a slight improvement – they had clearly been cooked by the chef. Yet, the sea bass had been fried the wrong way up, so the skin wasn’t cooked and the flesh was overdone. My ravioli was clearly homemade and had a nice texture, but could have been a bit more flavoursome. We struggled as there weren’t really any specific technical complaints we could have made other than “it’s just not very good”.
We had a delicious bottle of pink Perrier Jouet champagne, just right for a sunny summer’s evening in a garden restaurant.
The garden is absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t have believed it was there if I hadn’t seen it for myself. The layout is very romantic, with trees, flowers and lovely lights all over the place and there are even heaters for when it starts to get a bit chilly. It’s very unusual to find nice alfresco dining areas that aren’t pub gardens in London, so I’d definitely recommend it for a drink.
The food wasn’t for us, but the setting is very romantic and we still had an absolutely lovely evening with really nice service from the staff. It’s also pretty reasonably priced (if you don’t drink champagne) and on that basis I know a few people that would forgive the quality of the meal itself because the setting makes up for it. They also do some simpler food, like pizzas, which could be quite nice for a quick bite.
It’s baking hot and you need a romantic outdoor date venue in Clapham, and your companion is most likely to order a garden salad.
DON’T GO THERE IF…
You’re a food snob.
IF YOU’RE PRETENDING TO HAVE BEEN THERE DON’T FORGET TO MENTION…
They do “date night” once a month where you get a free glass of champagne, dessert and coffee.
FOR MORE INFORMATION…