The Rookery

69 Clapham Common South Side , London, SW4 9DA

6 reviews

36 British Clapham

SquareMeal Review of The Rookery

Bringing the gritty Lower East Side speakeasy to Clapham Common, the Rookery might seem desperately trendy, but behind its ceramic tiles, suspended light bulbs & exposed cabling lurks definite substance. Artisan draught & bottled beers put on a good show, & they are ably supported by a short, engaging wine list that’s very easy on the pocket. The chef may have cut his teeth in the rarefied world of Hibiscus & Pied à Terre, but the food suggests Simon Hopkinson’s back-to-basics style, voguish unloved cuts & all. Sublimely fresh Cornish coley with cauliflower purée & roasted onion is typical of the approach, likewise tender grilled ox tongue with sauce ravigote, juicy rare onglet on roasted beetroots, or a gooey chocolate pudding with espresso ice cream. Sourcing is beyond reproach, prices rarely pass £25 for three courses, & deliberately dishevelled staff operate with surprising efficiency.

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8.2

Food & Drink: 7.8

Service: 7.5

Atmosphere: 7.7

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Thomas N. 30 October 2014

The Rookery is a quality outfit. Observers shouldn't have any doubts about arranging a drink(s) or a meal there. The atmosphere is naturally welcoming and set far apart from that 'self-consciousness' that drags many "trendy" spots down. The menu is riddled with diversity, but not too much to prevent an impulsive selection. The food is as original as the selection of beer and wine and if you are short of inspiration, ask any of the staff or the owner who are extremely knowledgeable and clearly have good taste. Don't leave without having the Chips

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Amanda J. 08 September 2013

I popped by The Rookery for a quick lunch with a friend and ended up staying much longer than I'd planned because the food was great and the atmosphere was so relaxed and welcoming. I had the chicken wings to start with which were just the right side of spicy followed by the lamb which was served pink and was delicately flavoured with anchovy and really exceptional.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Charlotte P. 04 August 2013

We had a horrible time at The Rookery, Clapham Common, last night. I ordered the lamb which, when it arrived tasted and smelt of fish. I said that I didn’t like it and asked the waitress to replace it with the steak dish my husband had just started. The waitress came back conveying the chef’s message that the lamb was ‘deliberately’ flavoured with anchovy so did I want it back now I knew this? No I would still prefer the steak thanks. No food came during the entire time my husband and our 2 friends were eating their dinner. I asked the waitress to at least bring me a salad or anything quick just so that I could have something to eat before they finished. As they all completed their dinners she arrived with a chicken dish. When I told her I never eat chicken she nearly cried in terror at the thought of having to take another dish back to the chef, so I said I would do it myself. While I may not be a trained chef, I have eaten at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Chez Bruce and The Ivy amongst many other top restaurants so know the difference between good and bad dishes and I believe the purpose of using anchovy with lamb is to bring out the flavour of the lamb itself and not make the lamb taste and smell of fish!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Chris W. 15 May 2012

The food here is as good as you will find anywhere for a good distance and at the price, it is some of the best value for money in London, no doubt. Cool room, nicely done up with a long bar and tables alongside. I've not had a bad course here, the fish is always of the highest quality, whilst puddings never fail to disappoint, and with them starting @ £2.50 for a semi-freddo, or £5 for an epic lemon posset, the pricing is remarkable.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Simon D. 05 November 2011

I really can't fault this place. It's brilliant. Everything you want a local restaurant to be. I only give them a 9 in individual ratings cos it's too sycophantic to give complete 10s. Genuinely, I can't imagine anyone not having a great time here. A wonderfully imagined and executed restuarant

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Emma H. 21 October 2011

We visited just three weeks after The Rookery opened its doors. Under new ownership, having previous been ‘Firefly’, the set up hasn't been massively changed: outside space at the front, bar when you walk in and a handful of dining tables towards the back of the room. The drinks and service were spot on. Plum fizz, well-priced, interesting cocktails, lagers and ale from the Meantime brewery and a rather nice wine list. You can tell the people running this place know their stuff. The service was knowledgeable, engaging and really helped notch the experience up another level. Dinner was good. Robust flavours, not trying too hard but interesting and well-executed. The menu may need just a little more polish but, after only three weeks, it's a pretty good place to be. It was quiet when we went in (a Thursday night) and apparently they haven't been rushed off their feet quite yet. But, if they get some support from the many people living around the Common and Abbeville Road, this could shape up to be a great little neighbourhood bar and eatery. If you're a local, please go and take a look.

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