Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street EC1V 9LT
0207 729 6496
AKA: The one to push the boat out for
The deal: Housed in Shoreditch Town Hall, you know you're in for a night curated with the finer things in life as soon as you walk through the ornate doors - see the row of luxury hams curing by the entrance. Clove Club is headed up by Isaac McHale, formerly of the pop-up stars Young Turks and Noma, both of which shine through in the buzzy restaurant. Simple, elegant tables and decor means all eyes are only ever on the set three-course or taster menu that's being conjured up on the table. Which it should be, when the food's this good. Yeah, the portions are a little on the small side, but just sit down and let those dishes entertain you.
The food: Disclaimer: there's no a-la-carte. But decisions are, frankly, overrated when you can spend an evening having plates of delicately prepared but punchy with flavours presented to you. The snacks kick off with the king of chicken, the buttermilk fried chicken with pine salt. Some call it crack, we say it's even more addictive - the juiciest chicken encased in a perfectly crisp batter, spiked through with the subtle taste of salty pine. Starters are along the line of a lone Musselburgh leek, splayed and dusted with a tangy Montgomery Cheddar sauce and summer truffle. The main might be along the lines of a slight but tender Tamworth pork chop paired with anchovy and mint, while the dessert will have you all 'Homer Simpson dreaming of doughnuts' with a dish like the chocolate malt ice cream and coffee cherry jelly.
The signature dish: Buttermilk fried chicken and pine salt. Your life won't ever be the same after this.
The chef: Isaac McHale
When to dine: High days and holidays. You'll want to make a proper event out of dinner here.
Damage to pocket: Let's be honest: it's pricey. From £55 to £85 a head for the three-course or tasting menu in the restaurant, but we recommend going more casual (and pocket friendly) by trying the £35 three-course menu in the bar.
File under: Celebrate good times, pay day blow out