There are some wonderful creative touches: the old gramophones recycled as lightshades and the upside-down pot plants add a touch of the surreal – but are they really there or are you simply suffering some tropical fever?
THE GRUB: A top-quality British menu offers plenty of choice. For starters, I decide on the seared smoked salmon with grilled fennel, caramelised chicory, chorizo and lemon dressing. It’s a brilliant beginning. My date continues in the seafood vein, ordering rope-grown mussels cooked in Somerset cider, with shallots, garlic and parsley. She’s annoyed, though; the mussels taste so good I keep eating them.
From the mains menu, the venison saddle with maple-roasted sweet potatoes, roasted salsify and Hoxton Stout sauce proves a satisfying decision. The venison is expertly cooked, served tender and moist, just the way it should be. The chef sure knows his way around game. My date’s pork belly with black pudding, fondant potato, cider and confit garlic sauce is another winner and is wolfed down in no time, aided by a bottle of South African red between the two of us.
Disappointingly, the popular apple crumble on the dessert menu has sold out, so we have the ice cream, which is nothing special. It’s a shame there aren’t more creative fallbacks. The service from our waitress, however, is top quality.
BEHIND THE BAR: A huge range of award-winning, specialist drafts, ales and lagers from £3.95; creative cocktails from £7.50; and wine from £3 a glass.
BILL PLEASE: £90 for three courses, including wine and cocktails.
VERDICT: This satisfying adventure, offering sublime flavours, superb drink and a stylish nod to the past, comes highly recommended.
147 St Johns Hill, SW11 1TQ
Tube: Clapham Common
Review: Jahn Vannisselroy