However, that the gleaming, gilded, open-plan bar is now packed on Friday and Saturday nights with an attractive set of stiletto–stomping gals and handsome young guys, shows opinions have changed. A brace of burly bouncers flanks the door, which suggests it may not be just the drinks that spill over – especially when the spiffy barmen start dancing on the bar. The crowd spreads to sunken floor space beyond the main bar, plus there’s a mezzanine bar for VIPs. They’re down carousing with the plebs by night’s end, anyway.
The grub The kitchen has recently drawn on the expertise of Amaranth, a popular family-run Thai restaurant in Earlsfield, to introduce a pan-Asian street food spin. Light bites include chicken satay skewers, and small triangles of pork wrapped
in banana leaf. But there’s also delicious salads, curries and noodles.
Behind the bar: A range of reds, whites and rosés, Asian beers – including Asahi on tap – a modest list of Asian-inspired cocktails, plus tea for the teetotals.
Bill please: Beer from £4; wine from £4.50 glass, £16.50 a bottle; cocktails from £8. Starters from £2.50; mains from £7.50.
verdict The West End has indeed arrived in Clapham. Rebecca Kent
68-70 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UL
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