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15 The Pavement
This unpretentious bar/bistro is already a busy squeeze, although a central Clapham location isn’t its only trump card. Open all day from breakfast onwards, it also has a 2am late licence at
weekends, when cool brand lagers and cocktails such as wild fennel and apple Hendrick’s are what to drink. Wines include a distinguished Lebanese Château Musar as well as everyday Tempranillo from
a selection called ‘sleek, charming and fleshy’ – a description that might equally apply to the well-scrubbed clientele. Chef/owner Robin Gill’s adventurous, intricately presented tapas-style
plates deploy ingredients from The Dairy’s garden – so expect smoked cod with sorrel, slow-cooked beef rib with ‘burnt’ onions and bone marrow or plates of black radish, Pink Lady apple, curd and
hemp seeds – plus nibbles such as chicken liver mousse with rhubarb at the bar. Don't forget to check out recent addition Counter Culture, replacing the deli next door.
Best in South West London
Best restaurants in Clapham
London's Hot 100 Restaurants
15 The Pavement
Clapham Common Tube Station 121m
Clapham High Street Station 610m
Clapham Picture House 123m
Clapham Common 214m
Wed-Sun 12N-3pm (Sat-Sun -10am) Tues-Sat 6-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
I see there's a review of The Dairy in August 2013 that praises it for being "so now". And I'm sure that was true. The problem is that any place that is described as "so now" inevitably becomes "so then" pretty rapidly.
The food tastes pretty good, but is presented in portions that are smaller than your usual tapas, but more expensive, and frequently for some pretty basic ingredients. And just when I thought I might get better value, my pigeon leg, which would have been lovely had there actually been any meat left attached to it, turned out sadly to be just the bone and claws.
For me, at the end of 2015, this is largely pretentious food in basic surroundings. And sadly the service was lacklustre, offhand, and simply downright uninterested. There were as many staff as customers, but they seemed more interested in checking their phones and chatting to their mates who had popped in for coffee than remembering to bring (and indeed make) drinks.
So now, so then, so long.
Food + drink: 5
This was only our second visit and it even exceeded our first experience which is quite exceptional. It may be neighbourhood but well worth going out of your way to come to the Dairy in Clapham. We shall be back again.. and again… and again…
Memorable food, sublime flavours, good atmosphere and service… and the bonus is that it is affordable so we can and will return, regularly!
We had heard good things about The Dairy and in short we were not disappointed and cannot wait to go back.
Faced with a choice of a delicious sounding tasting menu or going A La Carte, we opted for the latter as there were a couple of dishes that sounded too good to be overlooked. On the owner Sarah's recommendation, we chose 4 dishes each, each being a starter size, and in doing so got our way through most of the dishes on the menu. Clear winners for us were the Pea salad (epitomising the taste of summer), a stunning Mackerel dish (lip-smackingly good we could have had another) and the Salted Caramel pudding. The latter being a must and I would rate it as one of the best puddings I have ever eaten – so good my husband virtually licked the plate.
The staff were beyond helpful – attentive without being over-bearing, knowledgeable and excited by the food they are serving you – the tone clearly being set by Sarah who is a charming and friendly front of house. On the night we were there, a special visit from Michel Roux Jr did nothing to undermine the service we got and is additional testament to the amazing team who are running this restaurant. The Chef, Robin, even serving us one of our courses. The Dairy deserves huge success and accolades in abundance.
Locals go before everyone else hears about this amazing find!
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