London restaurants: The Clove Club

Over the last six years, Shoreditch-based restaurant The Clove Club has become one of London’s top gastronomic destinations.

Chef Isaac Hale has a pretty stunning CV: he’s worked at The Ledbury, Noma and Eleven Madison Park. Now, in the chic grandeur of Shoreditch Town Hall, he’s turning out some beautiful modern-English food.

The famous fried buttermilk chicken and pine salt

This is a tasting menu only place. I like this approach a lot: you show up, you get fed. The standard tasting menu (£145) consists of nine courses, but there’s also a shorter tasting menus that can be taken in the front room (£95 for six courses). A four course lunch is available for £65. So this isn’t a cheap eat, but it’s one of the best restaurants in London (and the world), and so you could argue that it represents value.

The kitchen is open, and the main dining room spacious and stylish, but a little noisy at times.

The wine list is a proper one, with lots of good stuff on it, and it covers the basis from more natural to classic/conventional.

[Note: In light of the high rate of no-shows (5%) and late cancellations (10%), you have to pay in advance, using the TOCK reservation system. I like this idea, which works for this sort of restaurant.]