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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Restaurant Review: The Dairy, Clapham

Today we went out for lunch with Andy and Fi. Fi is a lawyer and excitingly is working in Paris currently, but unfortunately it means we don't get to see her very often. When she returned to London this weekend, we took this opportunity to visit The Dairy, which is just around the corner from us in Clapham. I walk past it all the time on the way to the tube so it was great to have an excuse to visit.

Having heard great things of The Dairy we were excited to try it. However, we were a little disappointed when we saw our table. It was crammed in between two others with barely an inch to spare. I realise this is becoming very common of late, but honestly there is a limit to what you can put up with. Constantly bumping into someone else's bottom is not something I relish.

When we saw some of the other tables though, we actually felt ourselves to be rather fortunate. Namely the tables closet to the door. Every time the door opened or someone forgot to shut it properly there was the biggest gust of wind which kept blowing my menu straight into my face. It was absolutely freezing! Coupled with the crammed in nature of the tables, it definitely wasn't one of the most relaxing places I've ever sat down to lunch in.

Anyway, on to the menu. There isn't a separate lunch and dinner menu which I think is shame, mainly because it meant that lunch was flippin' expensive.

At The Dairy all the plates are starter sized - you are supposed to order at least 3 per person. While I love the notion of sharing lots of small plates for increased variety (see previous post), when they're priced at at least £8 each, you can easily imagine why the bill builds up so quickly.

However, there were a few freebies which was a nice touch.

Starting with this lettuce and kale and sheep's curd concoction served with some delicious homemade bread.

We wanted to try practically everything and we gave it a good go.

Here's a run through of everything we sampled.

Chicken liver mousse, quince £5

Truffled Brie de Meaux on toast, Acacia honey £8. Happily, they were generous with truffle.

Rooftop carrots, goats cheese, oat granola, buttermilk £7 (The plates may not look very small in these pictures, but remember how small watercress really is!)

Slow cooked bantam egg, fermented grains, salsify crisps £8

Crispy chicken skin, wild mushrooms, burnt kale £8 

Yorkshire venison, beetroot, rhubarb, nibbed cocao sauce £10. This sauce was to die for.  

Irish onglet, butternut squash, black cabbage £9.50 

As you can see from the photos, The Dairy serves some of the prettiest plates of food you're ever likely to see. The flavours are also perfectly balanced. However, I think it's also clear to see that the plates are pretty small. When we left, we weren't at all full and having forked out over £100 with no drinks for the four of us at lunch we couldn't help feeling a little hard done to. Yes, it was a fantastic culinary experience but I do want my belly filling!  

I must mention the free petit fours which softened the bill blow slightly. The warm lemon doughnuts, shortbread and apple jellies were absolutely divine.

We rushed off home afterwards to avoid the rain and quickly demolished a carrot cake I had made this morning.

PS Odd I know, but the serving bowls really set my teeth on edge. They were beautiful and extraordinarily heavy, but boy was cutting onto them with my knife like nails on a chalkboard. 

1 comment:

  1. Disappointing restaurant… Love your shirt/blouse though so at least that's a plus! Once we went to a swanky michelin starred place, and had to stop over at a pizza take out place afterwards… am definitely not a fan of minuscule portions!