Location: 15 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, London SW4 0HY
“The Michelin-star-standard bistro that serves palate pleasing surprises!”
The Dairy has been on my foodie hit list long before Time Out labelled it one of London’s top 10 restaurants. Out of the blues I got asked by a fellow foodie whether I’d like the idea of dinner at The Dairy. Erm… Hell yeah!
Situated in the leafy Clapham Common, The Dairy is a bistro that celebrates fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Head Chef Robin Gill’s unpretentious yet sophisticated cooking elevated this little bistro to what I would consider Michelin star standard.
The very attentive service, the chef’s special canapes, the relaxing bistro vibe and the plate after plate of snack-sized surprises!
We went for the tasting menu and sampled 12 very unusual dishes. The ingredients in each dish came together to give an unpredictable surprising flavour combo. I could taste each ingredient as listed in Robin’s simple menu and appreciate how they complimented each other.
- Nocellara del Belice olives
- Star dish: Fresh curd, courgette, basil, rooftop honey (Very refreshing dish. Never knew basil puree and honey works so well together. I was inspired!)
- Butternut squash, rooftop rocket, buttermilk
- Star dish: Sourdough, smoked bone marrow butter, chicken liver mousse, salumi (Salty, smoky butter and creamy liver mousse melted ever so slightly into the freshly baked bread, kept warm by warm stones in a bread bag. Nice touch! I had to stop myself from filling up with this dish alone)
- Crispy chicken, cellar kimchi, burnt kale
- Red mullet tartare, Kentish damsons, rooftop herbs
- “Julie girl” monkfish, Sussex sweet corn, maize chips
- Star dish: Yorkshire venison, celeriac, game sausage, blackberries (Really tender, near rare venison and the best bit – the meaty game sausage with amazing flavour)
- Yorkshire grouse, fermented grains, Muscat grapes
- Star dish: Truffled Brie de Meaux, on fig and walnut toast, rooftop honey (Strong cheese on REALLY good toasted bread with added poshness of the truffle, finished off with their very own sweet, sticky rooftop honey – everything worked together so well, you can’t help but love it.)
- Heritage carrots, tarragon, cheesecake cream
- Star dish: Salted caramel, cacao, malted barley ice cream (Very simple dessert where every component is a star in its own right. The killer chocolate truffles were my favourite! Followed by the moorish salted caramel, with just the right amount of saltiness to make it non-sickly. Everybody wanted a second helping 🙂 )
Our little foodie table also was also being treated with a few bonus Chef’s canape before we went into the tasting menu courses. Those little bite size wonders were an impressive start to our evening!
Top notch service throughout the night! Our waiter was very attentive, knowledgeable and non-invasive. Robin Gill himself made an appearance, serving us his rooftop honey. What a treat!
All though there were many courses, the interval between each was timed perfectly.
If you like the the slightly rustic, casual type bistro, you will like The Dairy. The non-uniform stone bowls and eclectic cutleries adds to its charm. It’s a place where you can relax but still enjoy fine food.
Good meals with a small group of friends who appreciates something a little different, or for date nights too 😉
With an impressive tasting menu at £45, I would say it is definitely good value compared to other restaurants of similar standard.