The Dairy Clapham The Dairy restaurant has been on my to do/eat list for some time. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from it but wanted to go because LOADS of verified foodie friends had raved about it and since I lived in the neighbourhood Rich and I decided to pop down for Sunday lunch.
Blink and you’ll miss it, The Dairy is nestled rather discreetly on a curved row of restaurants facing Clapham Common tube station. This place books up pronto so we took the only table available to us which was unfortunately 2 metres from the door, on a very very cold day in January.
The menu is seasonal and I would describe it as British/Experimental. Expect both traditional British ingredients like ham, quince, apple and fennel mixed in with some unlikely ingredients like almond milk, sea lettuce and salsify.
We started with some bloody good Bloody Mary’s and were served an off the cuff chefs taster dish that was made from apple and sunflower seeds and tasted of absolutely nothing.
What we ordered
Tapas-style, we ordered a selection of small plates for starters and a selection of plates for mains. We were served up a really crusty, warm bread roll and a smear of bone marrow butter (on a pebble..) to get the stomach juices going. As if butter isn’t cow-y enough, this one was extra smokey and meaty. I rather enjoyed it but I don’t think Rich was sure.
The starts were tasty. I especially enjoyed the sooper-dooper posh cheese on toast aka Truffled Brie de Meaux on toast with walnuts, fig and Rooftop honey. Do they have beehives on the restaurant roof? I forgot to ask… The Ham hock terrine was also delish but the Cornish Crab, crisp potato and sea lettuce dish was rather cold and tasteless, not to mention minuscule in proportion for the £7.50 we paid.
Main course was a rather meaty affair. We had the Smoked pig cheeks with charred hispi cabbage and pickled onion and Chart Farm venison ragu, Brogdale pear, crisp artichoke. I do love pig cheek but the venison won this round with a tender and flavoursome meat and added crunch from the artichoke crisps. We also ordered a smoked sausage that they forgot to bring to out, which we were secretly glad about as we were getting quite full by this point…
I was really enjoying myself, perhaps because I wasn’t picking up the bill this time? Rich on the other hand was rating The Dairy at an average 6.5/10 due to “nothing blowing his mind” by this point. I was pushing a 7.5 which climbed to an 8 after dessert.
We both ate a Salted caramel, cacao, malted barley ice cream dish as the final course, which was all kinds of orgasmic. Rich, delectable, sex on a spoon; little cacao truffles were dotted throughout and the balance of salty and sweet danced all over my mouth. Heaven. This sent me home a happy lady.
As you can see from our bill, The Dairy isn’t cheap. I also really do detest it when a restaurant bottles up filtered tap water in a carafe and charges you for it. However, if you fancy tasting unique and well thought out British-inspired dishes with (reasonably) locally sourced, seasonal and quality produce then The Dairy is definitely a must-do for a treat. The Bloody Mary’s are really awesome as well. Just ask for a table as far away from that door as possible.
15 THE PAVEMENT, CLAPHAM OLDTOWN
LONDON SW4 0HY
Tel: 0207 622 4165