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40 Abbeville Road
With its daily specials written on rolls of brown paper, a bar adorned with homemade preserves, and pegs on the walls for hanging your coat – Bistro Union evokes the make-do-and-mend Britain of yore. Much of the menu produced by Adam Byatt’s team harks back to a time when food was primarily for comfort, reassurance and high-calorie fuel: there’s a breakfast fry-up, fish pie and toad in the hole for lunch, and rhubarb fool for pudding. Nevertheless, you’ll also find more interesting dishes that have left the nursery (and school dinners) behind. Try the grilled squid with parsley salad, served with a punch-packing aïoli; and finish off with a blackcurrant and almond tart (in essence, a very fine version of a Bakewell). Drinks include a couple of British sparklers, craft beers and ciders, but fear not: the wine list makes it easy to escape Blighty should you wish.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Best in South West London
Best restaurants in Clapham
Best for weekend brunch
40 Abbeville Road
Clapham South Tube Station 686m
Clapham Common Tube Station 751m
Clapham Common 899m
Clapham Picture House 928m
Mon-Fri 12N-3pm Mon-Sat 6-10pm Sat-Sun 9.30am-3pm (Sun -4pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
Had to send the rather anaemic looking, over-cooked steak back, but when a new version arrived it was much improved - the Sole was delicious. The waitress was a touch over friendly, but overall a pleasant evening.
Food + drink: 4
To say I was delighted with our experience at Bistro Union is an understatement - I asked my boyfriend in the cab home when we could go again. Bistro Union sets out to be a quirky, cosy, fun, reliable and delicious neighbourhood staple and that's precisely what it is.
The food is just wonderful. Think old favourites made even better, such as the mackerel nicoise salad I had to start or the roasted tomato and leek macaroni and cheese I had for main. Others in my party had some old classics such as steak and chips and a fish pie which I'm reliably informed were all excellent. I always like something sweet at the end of a meal but am often too full so was delighted to be told that the bar snacks of the day included some sweet options and that I could try those. I had a small bakewell tart a few pieces of fudge - quite frankly the fudge was the best I've ever had and it must have contained some sort of highly addictive drug because I've craving it ever since. More restaurants need to include options like this, it was a brilliant end to the meal. The wine list is excellent and reasonably priced.
The service really added to the whole experience. The staff and confident, warm and see to genuinely enjoy working there. We were given lots of information about the menu about the beginning of the evening and allergies or menu requests were handled very well.
Can't recommend it highly enough!
Restaurant is raved about in the local area. I went to try it. Tables are close together and leave insufficient room for wait staff to do their job properly. The steak-when it arrived was delicious. We had to wait too long for our order to be taken. My friend's fish pie was too dry. Pudding was lovely. I was shocked to see small children with iPads there when we went in at 7.45. Had they been eating I probably wouldn't have thought it worth commenting on but they were being sidelined with a gadget.
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