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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Clapham South Side

The Rookery on Urbanspoon Abeville Kitchen on Urbanspoon

I have only just discovered what could be two of the top foodie establishments around Clapham: The Rookery (B) and Abeville Kitchen (A), both situated half way between Clapham Common and Clapham South. Although the design concepts may be different, the overall ideas are the same: changing seasonal menu around well sourced seasonal ingredients.
Map Location

Outside Rookery (outdoor seating)
The Rookery's exposed brick walls are dimply lit by bare low hanging light bulbs and only slightly more accentuated by the candles on the tables. A spiral stair case connects two dining rooms with the upstairs d├ęcor struggling to decide between down-town New York and 18th Century London. The food is excellent and on this occasion the winner was grilled leg of Herdwich lamb with borlotti bean and chorizo stew for two to share at £30. Cooked pink and served with winter greens it was tender and bursting with flavour. The staff are very attentive and know their menu however it seems on a busy Friday evening there was just not enough of them; slightly longer wait for the dessert menu and eventually the bill. Nevertheless, the seasonal menu and open kitchen downstairs makes for a pleasant and exciting dining experience.
Downstairs The Rookery

Abbeville Kitchen is definitely a destination for all who love their food, and has recently been listed in "Where Chefs Eat" restaurant guide. The space is not huge but packs a punch with its great service and cosy atmosphere. The talent in the kitchen is reflected through the seasonal menu, and on this occasion we shared the beef pie for two c£27. There was quite a bit of liquid juice inside the pie which would be the only criticism from my end. The beef was SO tender and flavoursome however that I am sure it was braised for hours, and the robust flavours made up for the runny sauce. The wholemeal crust was nothing like I have ever seen/eaten before: crusty yet firm, infused with rosemary and thyme and tasted of stuffing. Superb. I will be back.

Abbeville Kitchen - picture thanks to The Guardian

Pie and crust at Abbeville

I praise both of these establishments for their simplicity and seasonal flavours. 

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