Casual elegance at The Clove Club in Shoreditch


Too many fine dining restaurants are overly traditional and stiff. Waiters are unnecessarily formal, lacking any personality and the food is just comically small and pretentious. Thankfully, The Clove Club in Shoreditch bucks the trend.

Traditional British dining is at its foundation, but it quickly becomes a thoroughly modern experience. First off, the staff come across as being genuinely kind and friendly people. Their wit and charm aren’t too polished or fake. This helps set the scene for a comfortable night of opulence.

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Even the snacks are given extra love and attention.

You don’t have to come from money to feel as if you fit in here. It’s not only made for the elite upper-class Londoners. Anyone can come and feel at home – just as long as you can pay the bill at the end of the night.

The dining room is intimate with all seats roughly facing the open kitchen full of chefs at work. It’s as if you’re in someone’s own home – a professional chef’s home who is at the top of his game that is.

And, like being a guest at someone’s own dinner party, you don’t choose what to eat a la carte. They’ll get you to fill out an online questionnaire beforehand, asking what you’re celebrating and if you have any preferences on food. They’ll cater to your own personal tastes.

Then, all you have to do is head over and grab a seat, awaiting your own personalised tasting menu which consists of more courses than you could ever hope for. And, when going all out at a place like The Clove Club, you have got to take advantage of their wine pairings. It’s what experiences like these are all about.

You’ll be graced with Champagne and light snacks to get your belly ready for the feast that awaits it. Even these small additions are extra special – small devilled spider crab tarts served in crab shells or their much-loved buttermilk fried chicken placed in a basket of pine needles. Because why not?

Keep a look out for other signature dishes like the meaty tasting Orkney scallops topped with a potato & sancho butter sauce and the spear caught plaice pakora which just pop with flavour.

Their roast pork served with a medley of apple is also a huge win. Two cuts of pork are, of course, cooked to perfection and served with an apple balsamic glaze, apple cider jelly cubes and even a little pork ragu.

Dessert was a little disappointing though. As it too often is these days. It all tasted great, but was far less interesting and surprising as the rest of the mammoth eating and drinking experience.

We could do strawberries and custard ourselves – even if they were using some superb produce to make it taste as good as it did. And the Bakewell tart with cardamom ice cream was nice but lacked a great deal of imagination.

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Photos by Per-Anders Jorgensen

Thankfully the wine pairings came in to save the day. The luxurious Nyetimber sparkling wine was the champion of the desserts. As was the homemade sherry served on ice. But the wine pairings weren’t just there to help the dishes that fell flat (of which there were very few).

They supported each course, bringing them up to another glorious level. It’s one of the few places in London which does the pairing so well. Like much of The Clove Clubs offerings, it’s casually elegant.

And, looking around the room, this mimics the clientele too. They’ve hit their target audience perfectly. And do such a stellar job at catering to them.

380 Old Street EC1V 9LT

Lead Image by Jean Cazals