London, you never fail to surprise me with just how much goes on and the discoveries you can make in the most unlikeliest of places. Jimmy Garcia and his team (founder of Jimmy's Popup) have been responsible for transforming spaces throughout Europe to create unique dining experiences, private parties and weddings. Myself and Sam got an opportunity to sample one of these experiences recently at The Lodge Clapham, a rustic and intimate setting, tucked away above the Clapham North Pub, London.
After a wonderful afternoon spent with friends, drinking and generally enjoying each other's company, we made our way towards Clapham North. I've not actually spent a considerable time around this area but upon brief inspection, there seems to be quite a bit of life around. We were pretty hesitant when we started walking up the stairs in fear that we were actually in the wrong part of the building despite it saying The Lodge next to the staircase. Our anticipation wavered even more when we saw that the main entrance was a fire escape (hey, don't expect normality when you come to London!).
Soon enough though, we heard the hustle and bustle of chatter as we walked into a very intimate setting. Tables huddled together in which sat a mixture of people from all walks of life. The lingering smell of food wafted in from behind us as the kitchen hatch revealed a flurry of chefs all working vigorously to get orders out to food-hungry guests. Jasmine, our waitress for the evening, brought us swiftly to our table which was placed one away from the window. As Sam went to the rest room, I took in my new surroundings. It felt as though I was in a lodge for sure, somewhere in the alps after a day of skiing (that's if I actually knew how to ski - I have never been to a skiing resort in my life).
Before our food arrived we ordered an Earl Grey Martini to share because why not on Saturday night?! At first we were a bit unsure of the size as it wasn't as big as we thought, however we got four cups out of it which we figured must have been the equivalent of four cocktails.
|Earl Grey Martini (To share - £20.00)|
SnacksMost restaurants would call these appetisers and consisted of Olives, Smoked Almonds and Croquettes. We had the Whipped Smoked Cod's Roe On Toast. Yep, you heard me.
|Whipped Cod's Roe On Toast (£3)|
Small PlatesNext up, was the Small Plates. This menu had a sort of tapas feel to it and there was more than enough when it came to the selection the small plates offered. Obviously as it was the chef's choice, we got four gorgeous dishes. These were Gin Cured Salmon with a Horseradish yogurt. Beetroot, Orange and Hazelnut Salad. Crispy Pork Belly in an Asian Pickle. And finally, Grilled Mackerel with Fennel and Blood Orange. Doesn't that just get those taste buds of yours salivating?!
|Gin Cured Salmon with Horseradish Yoghurt (£8)|
|Beetroot, Orange and Hazelnut Salad (£7)|
|Crispy Pork Belly in Asian Pickles (£8)|
|Grilled Mackerel, Fennel and Blood Orange (£8)|
And finally, the moment we were waiting for (at this point we were actually on our way to being seriously full), the West Country Cheese Fondue. Now I love fondues, be it chocolate, cheese or steak - steak is incredible - so I wasn't prepared to give into the food wall that was clearly imminent.
|West Country Fondue (£18pp)|