the clove club presents the young turks
I’m gonna keep this one brief. Not because the meal I had at The Clove Club featuring the Young Turks wasn’t great. Quite the opposite. I wanted to turn this post around as quick as possible so you can get yourselves to one of the dinners during their fleeting restaurants in residence stint (which ends Thursday 7th), pronto.
Last Thursday, after a traumatic 15 minute search for each other in the post-work Canary Wharf crowd, G and I arrived at the Restaurants in Residence (set up in a disused office block at Heron Quay) and made a beeline for the cash bar. We joined the other early arrivals (mostly banker types) out on the balcony with our flutes of champagne.
B got a little lost but finally made it in at 7-ish and after he too grabbed himself an aperitif we made our way to our table labelled “Marketing”, and started popping the teeny raw sweet sugar snap peas from their pods (I also tried one of the fuchsia flowers – they didn’t taste of much) and tucked into slabs of crusty freshly-baked bread.
Once the rest of our table were seated, more pre-dinner nibbles were served. Neat batons of crisp cucumber dipped in yoghurt and an aromatic Indian spice mix were refreshing and intriguing.
Tasty chunks of herbed polenta-coated Buttermilk Fried Chicken nestled in pine needles were so moreish we wanted seconds but sadly with only one golden nugget allocated per diner, none were forthcoming.
First course off the menu was a mixed plate of colourful tomatoes, dressed with goat’s milk and sprinkled with wild marjoram, breadcrumbs, rocket and edible flowers. A great take on a standard goat’s cheese and tomato salad – the milk made for a lighter dish, and let the different tomato varietals really shine.
Raw Mackerel, Gooseberries, Crystal Lemon Cucumber and Samphire read well on paper but surprisingly didn’t gel on the palate and each element felt rather disparate. Lashings of english mustard also didn’t help things as the condiment only served to overpower the delicate fish, which one its own was actually quite nice. The only real disappointment of the evening.
The applewood-smoked Angus Beef, Grilled Onions, Porter and Wild Watercress for us was a runaway success – pink tender meat expertly smoked (apparently by Dave Pynt, the sous at Etxebarri no less) and paired with sweet onions and robust beer sauce. A cracking main.
I adored the dessert of Loganberries, Ewe’s Milk Yoghurt, Beremeal Cake – a fancy deconstructed victoria sponge of sorts. Nicely balanced, not too sweet and just really really good. I scraped my plate clean.
Having only had a half each of red and white, we decided to plump for more alcohol and ordered a bottle of Rivesaltes – a gorgeous ruby-tinged dessert wine. We enjoyed it with Coffee Ice Cream Brioche Sliders (not pictured as it got kinda dark) that were good but I did long for more of the praline-studded ice cream. And if the brioche had been french-toasted it would have been AWESOME.
We ended our brilliant evening with a Poire William Eau de Vie toast to our lovely waiter Jarrod who was celebrating his 30th that day. Not cheap at £45 but the food dished up by Young Turks Isaac McHale (The Ledbury) and James Lowe (ex-St John Bread & Wine and Fat Duck) was top-notch. It’s also run incredibly smoothly and professionally by the friendly folks of The Clove Club.
Unfortunately, as with all other supper clubs, who one sits with really is down to the luck of the draw. The five who shared our table were a miserable lot – grumbling about portion sizes, rationing the bread to us and dropping gems like “oh the Chinese can’t wait to marry their daughters off.” Delightful company. Hopefully you’ll get luckier with your dining companions.
The Clove Club presents the Young Turks
Restaurants in Residence
t. 07812 377 427