10 August 2010
The Stonhouse in Clapham is one of my favourite places at the moment.
Situated away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, the Stonhouse lends itself to being one of the more salubrious offerings in Clapham.
Boasting a large well designed clean layout inside and a pretty, yet not big enough heated beer garden outside, this place is always popular and always busy.
Walking in, there’s a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with a young 30’s plus crowd all taking part in their weekly catch up’s with friends.
It doesn’t take long to get served at the bar, which is always a good thing in my book. I order a large glass of Rioja which is presented to me with a smile and in a lovely sparkling clean round glass at the perfect temperature. I take a sip. It takes me back to warm holiday evenings in Spain, just relaxing and listening to the distinct sound of the crickets in the distance, watching the sun going down for the day.
Interrupted from my day dream, my friend and I are shown to our table and handed menus. We take a look at the vast array of tasty dishes on offer.
As a person I’m usually very decisive, but when it comes to choosing from this menu, I’m in trouble!
I go for the grilled chorizo and pecorino salad with piquillo peppers and baby spinach. I’m pleased to say I’m not disappointed with my choice. The quality of ingredients is first class and the presentation is very professional. The grilled spicy chorizo is cooked to perfection and works well with the pecorino cheese. Then the acidic yet sweet and juicy pepper flavour hits, followed by a peppery blast of spinach to cut through the richness of the cheese and oiliness of the chorizo.
Turning to the main dish; smoked haddock with mash, poached egg and mustard sauce. To me, this is the ultimate in comfort food. The dish arrives and is piping hot. There’s another point for the Stonhouse.
The haddock is delicious. It’s fresh, meaty and very flavoursome. The poached egg cooked just enough for my liking; not too runny, not too hard. The mash and mustard sauce however, is a little disappointing. The mash could be a lot creamier and thicker in consistency. There is also far too much. The star on the plate is the fish. It doesn’t need a huge helping of mash to get through and spoil what should be a delicate dish. The mustard sauce could’ve been the feisty little gem on this plate, bringing all the flavours together, but instead it lacks kick. Overall, not too bad, but it could’ve been awarded two gold stars instead of just the one.
Unfortunately for me, but not for my hips, I don’t have room for dessert. It is definitely on the agenda for next time though, and there will be a next time, because The Stonhouse is simply a lovely little local with a great atmosphere to soak up and lots of tasty dishes left to try!