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This unassuming bar-cum-restaurant on the border of Clapham and Battersea stakes a claim to being both a night-time drinks spot and a provider of food.

The scene: Lavish reds and oranges are the colour palette of choice, and bring a seductive vibe to the bar the further into its lair you go. Lounge among warm wall cushions and A Clockwork Orange-styled round egg-pod seats (which look cool, but are, unfortunately, a little uncomfortable).

The grub British staples combine with a Thai influence on this bi-polar menu. To start, we opt for chicken satay sticks, which are a little dry and overdone, and the home-made Thai fishcakes – a crisp-but-creamy treat.

Steaks sit alongside the likes of Thai red fish curry for mains – the former hearty, warming and reasonably sized (no meat slouching here), and the latter an enjoyably spicy dish.

Beef burgers, cod and chips and veggie stir-frys round out the mains menu, making the Asian offerings a little sparse. The dessert line-up includes chocolate brownies (sickeningly indulgent in all the right ways), banana pancakes (just as much so)
and banoffee tart.

Behind the bar: There are all manner of beers, bottled and draught (Peroni, Aspalls), and a well-stocked choice of wines, catering for all tastes and budgets. Cocktails are also in abundance, with 38 jostling for attention.

The Mai Tai’s a syrupy treat, the Mojito enlivening, and the Red Lotus a fruity vodka concoction par excellence. Our tip’s the Lynchberg Lemonade – a perfect summer evening sup.

Bill please: Starters from £4.75; mains from £8.50; desserts £4.95. Beers from £3.70; wines from £3.50 a glass; shooters from £3; cocktails from £6.50. Two-for-one burgers on Tuesdays, and free desserts with mains on Wednesdays.

Verdict: The disparate menu is filling, but lacks personality, athough this looks to be rectified with the forthcoming introduction of more pan-Asian dishes. Good, because the lively decor and spirited cocktails demand food to match.

30-32 Queenstown Road, SW8 3RX 
Tube | Clapham Common
forbiddentemple.co.uk

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Forbidden Temple review: a British / Thai restaurant in Clapham Common
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