The Clove Club

TimmyC and I got cocky. We had only just arrived in London and we thought we had the Underground system worked out. Then we got off at the wrong stop which delayed us getting to our 7pm booking at The Clove Club. Between nerves of missing our booking and hunger, I told TimmyC that we should just get off at the closest stop we can and taxi the rest of the way there, I didn’t have time to change lines and then add a stroll in between to get there.

We arrived a tad late but all the scurrying was quickly forgotten after a doorman opened the door and we are happily greeted and seated, which closely followed by a hot towel to wipe away the city and to start our dinner.We were congratulated on our honeymoon by several servers who came to check on us, we had written it was a special occasion when we booked online months ago and it was nice that they remembered. They clarified again if we had any particular dislikes or allergies and we assured them we would try anything and everything. For an extra element of surprise, we opted not to have a menu on the table to keep us on our toes.

We asked if it was okay to set up a GoPro to take a time lapse of our entire meal and they didn’t have a problem. We conveniently had a little window sill to perch it on too.

We were all set up and ready to go!We really enjoyed our dinner but there were too many dishes to go through, so I’ll just comment on the exceptional ones that I adored or really surprised me.


Dining room (£110 pp) plus one soft pairing (£30.00 pp). A discretionary 12.5% service was also added to the final bill.

I was initially writing notes on my phone but the waitress informed me that we would get a menu at the end of the night so I wouldn’t have to. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the soft pairings listed and they didn’t have it on record so I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they were. It was a combination of tea and fruit and vegetable juice, one of which was served through a whipping siphon to make it ‘bubbly’. TimmyC and I agreed that the juice paired with the langoustine was sublime.TimmyC also ordered a G+T using a local gin called Sacred gin (£10.50).


-A Selection of Snacks to Start-

Beetroot gazpacho with walnut oil Mackerel on a spinach and parsley leafButtermilk fried chicken with pine salt – My oh my! Could this possibly be the best fried chicken I have ever eaten? It was moist and succulent while having a really crunchy exterior with the perfect amount of seasoning. I would have fought TimmyC for his piece if he didn’t finish his serve before I did. Apparently, you can also order this at the bar and it is a menu favourite.Warm haggis buns – This really surprised me as the name really put me off, but I rather enjoyed this. It reminded me a lot of a ‘ham sui gok’ as it had a somewhat crispy outer coating with a savoury filling.


Hay Smoked Trout Tartare, Jersey Royal Potato & Sansho (with a spoonful of Petrossian Caviar £15 Supplement). Sure, add approximately $25 AUD of caviar to one of my courses, I’m on holiday! You can’t go to London and not have fish and chips 😉 This didn’t have a ‘fishy’ taste at all because it was so fresh. I loved the texture contrast between the meaty fish, crunchy chips and trying to pop all the caviar in my mouth.Scottish Langoustine Tail, Charcoal Cream & Devilled Spices – We were a bit confused about how to eat this as there was no cutlery; our server said to pick it up, dip it and eat it. This was incredible as it looked very simple but the flavours were clean and sooooooo tasty. The sweet meat of the langoustine was complimented by the cream rather than drowning out the natural flavours. This was TimmyC’s favourite dish of the meal.Spring Herb & Smoked Herring Broth. This reminded me of an Asian fried fish ball in a broth with crunchy vegetables. It was lovely to receive bread and butter with a serve of smoked salt (not pictured) to add to our liking. I’m glad it was only a small portion as we had many more courses to get through. Hazelwood Grilled Pollock, Grelot Onion, Cinnamon & Curry LeafSlow Cooked Suckling Lamb, English Asparagus & Sleightlett

We were getting the details on how the lamb was prepared and where it was from etc.Just adding the finishing touches.Duck, Morel & Ginger Consommé and Hundred Year Old Madeira – I have eaten a lot of courses in my life (my hips don’t lie) but I have never had a liquid course, so I thought it was really interesting when the server came to our table with wine glasses and two bottles. We were given a nip of the 100 Year Old Madeira and it sure did warm the chest and clear the nostrils; it is incredible to think that it was aged for so long. We were then given more Madeira with a generous swig of duck consommé and it transferred the broth into a rich soup with lots of depth without the harsh alcoholic burn.100 Day Old Lincolnshire Chicken, Morels Broad Bean & Ramson


-Bonus course-

A selection of British cheeses (£10.00?). I didn’t catch what they were but man, that soft cheese on the right was very pungent and I could not finish it, although I didn’t mind it in small doses with the jelly. I particularly enjoyed the house made crackers.Burnt Clementine Sorbet & Spiced Meringue. I could not get enough of this; for someone that doesn’t have an overly sweet tooth, it was the perfect amount of sweetness and they were very generous with the meringue. It acted like a palette cleanser to ease you into the sweeter side of the menu. The dessert was served in a burnt clementine skin and not meant for eating.Yorkshire Rhubarb, Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt & Rose. I loved how incredibly crunchy and delicate the disc was. Don’t try and eat all the components separately (especially the tart rhubarb), have a little bit of everything in each bite and it is perfect.


-Petit fours-Wheat cakesDulce de leche truffle a decadent truffle with the world’s favourite filling.Digestive these were oh so delicate. TimmyC had his first and said the outer layer instantly melted away, leaving the liquid centre to ‘burst’ in his mouth. I then tried mine, I was in the middle of asking him how long does it take to burst when my eyes just widened. There it was!


The funniest thing happened as we were about to leave.

I had been watching Isaac McHale and his team doing their thing in the open kitchen and I thought to myself, do we even try and ask for a photo? Or when would even be an appropriate time? I decided we wouldn’t try and just to enjoy the meal.

I went to the bathroom for one last time before we had to go on a 45 minute trek back to the hotel, TimmyC waited for me at the bustling bar where one of the front of house staff was talking to Isaac. As I was putting on my millions of layers, the front of house woman asked if we were the couple who had set up a video of our whole meal and we started talking about how to exchange details so they could see the finished product.

I then asked if Isaac had enjoyed his time in Australia knowing he attended the awards in Melbourne and one thing lead to another and I asked for a photo with him. He said that the lighting was better in the kitchen and off we went. He shooed the other chefs away (lucky it was towards the end of service) and gave our camera to someone to take our photo. We talked more about our meal afterwards and he was just such a lovely down to earth guy.

Of course they would take our photo, but not without a selfie first! I love this photo haha.Just getting our photo with Isaac McHale in the kitchen of The Clove Club while the other chefs patiently wait to get back to work- no biggie (omg omg omg!)

 


-Overview-

Meal duration: 4 hours

Overall food and menu: I was impressed with the variety of protein in the menu and how locally sourced a lot of the ingredients were. No crazy theatrics here, just showing off UK and surrounding region’s finest produce.

My favourite: Somewhere between the Buttermilk fried chicken with pine salt or the Duck, Morel & Ginger Consommé and Hundred Year Old Madeira

TimmyC’s favourite: Scottish Langoustine Tail, Charcoal Cream & Devilled Spices

Toilets: I thought I’d give this a mention as it was really unusual to head down a really steep set of stairs (girls in heels beware), to an old school toilet complete with a chain lever.

Atmosphere: The restaurant had an unpretentious vibe and people were just there to have a good time with fantastic food while being able to still have a conversation as the dining room was intimate. Having the open kitchen allowed the diners to peer into all the workings of each dish.

Staff: It felt like we met the whole front of house as well as the chefs, as a different person introduced each dish. It was good to see the diversity among the staff and everyone’s knowledge on the menu was impeccable.

Venue: The Clove Club

Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London

World’s 50 Best ranking (2017): #26

Meatball Monday – IKEA Canberra

Recently road signs have warned of major delays in the Majura area for at least a week starting this Monday 16th November. Why? If you somehow have not heard, the IKEA Canberra store is opening and everyone wants to be there. According to the Facebook event, over 13,000 people want to be there during their opening celebrations starting from around 6:30am and the store will open at 9:30am.One of my friends who has never been to an IKEA store before asked me ‘what is the big deal about IKEA?’; this made me ponder and I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to tell her that when it opens in Canberra on Monday it will be the most sustainable store in Australia using LED lighting, they have just under 2000 solar panels, they source sustainable salmon as well as becoming the first major retailer to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, just to name a few things. I also wanted to mention their charity initiatives supporting educational project run by Save the Children and UNICEF. Instead, I explained that most people want to improve their home and their personal spaces and IKEA helps people to do that regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite people saying that everyone’s houses will look the same, there is so much choice and room for personalising, I don’t think that would be the case.

I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of  Canberra’s IKEA store on Friday and I wanted to tell you all what you’re in store for starting Monday.

Unlike other IKEA stores, Canberra’s store is single level and will be the first in Australia to have a ‘IKEA Cafe’ with coffees, cakes and some savoury options available. The IKEA restaurant itself has a 380 seat capacity and I would consider the whole menu to be a bargain and that’s not just comparing it to Canberra prices!The Market Hall is one of my favourite places to browse, even if my kitchen is full. IKEA plans to run workshops so customers see first hand how to use the products and produce. On top of all this, the IKEA Canberra store will have a free child minding for the children aged 3 – 10 that are toilet trained. Småland (pronounced small land for those who don’t speak Swedish) is available to parents to are on site (in store or in the car park) for maximum 1 hour a day, they have a capacity for up to 45 kids at a time with activities including colouring in, stadium seating for the ‘cloud’ tv and a ball pit which is 80cm deep. Be aware that this is a really popular facility and long wait times might apply. See the additional information below taken from their website:

We like to make visiting IKEA both fun for kids and easier for grown-ups. Småland is our free supervised play area, located next to our store greeter. So kids, come on in… We look forward to seeing you soon!

Småland is licensed under the Department of Education, so all children must be enrolled before coming in to play. This paperwork is only needed once a year. There is a limit on the number of children allowed in Småland to ensure their safety at all times. As a result, you may experience longer waiting times during busier periods.

IKEA launched ‘LATTJO’ their play collection that inspires everyone to play more together – everyday. I am tempted to everyone a snail hat this Christmas.With kids and their parents set as a first priority, IKEA have awesome parent rooms, the restaurant area has microwaves for warming milk, kids cutlery and even a small children’s play area so the parents get some peace while they’re eating Swedish meatballs.

There is so much cutesy things to buy for kids and the young at heartI love IKEA’s store concept where they create fully furnished areas, making it much easier to visualise the end product or lend creative inspiration especially storage in small spaces. If you’re like me and get your cardio work out from shopping, you’ll get over 1km walk if you don’t take short cuts.

Do you need some room inspiration? It took the IKEA staff 5 weeks to set up the whole store! Come and see their amazing space.

They have over 700 car parks available on opening day, with staff parking off site and taking a shuttle bus to the store; being a sustainably minded store they encourage everyone to carpool or take public transportation (extra buses will run from platform #9 Civic interchange).

Are you excited for IKEA Canberra?

Venue: IKEA Canberra

Address: 1030 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

Phone: (02) 8020 6641

Extended trading hours
from 16 – 22 November

Monday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Tues-Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Regular trading hours
from 23 November onwards

Mon-Thur: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Regular Restaurant trading hours
Mon-Thur: 9:30am – 6:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – 8:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Sunday: 9:30am – 5:30pm

New kid on the block

Dickson is forever changing. I’m only just getting used to the fact that Jimmy’s has moved down the road. Today I go there to grab lunch and find that Fire Stone has closed down, when did that happen?!

But that wasn’t the biggest shock.

As my friend drove past what used to be Four Rivers, my head turns exorcist style and I stop mid conversation as my eyes catch a glimpse of the sign for the new Peruvian restaurant Cholo’s which had apparently opened since late July.

Has anyone eaten here yet? I’m keen to go! Let me know what I must order and what to steer clear from.

Wish List: Quay restaurant