The Dairy Bar & Bistro // Clapham Common

I booked this restaurant as I was looking at some sort of ‘Top 10’ list for rabbit-food-only friendly restaurants in SW London, as I was sick of repeatedly going out to places where the only veggie option was pea risotto or something with mushrooms.

The actual restaurant was real trendy - lots of exposed brick, rustic wood and twinkly, flattering lighting - very good date restaurant. You could also see the chefs working in the kitchen which I really like, it's nice to see the action and people creating your delicious foods. Plus, there wasn't a peep of a beep from a microwave all night so you know its legit.

Top Tip: You have to ask for the veggie menu, but it is worth it.

Both the herbivore and carnivore options were tapas style smaller dishes, with the waiter recommending about 3 or 4 each. However, there was also a tasting menu with about 10 small dishes on it, which we decided to go for. We also indulged in a couple o' craft beers and waited for the dishes to start arriving.

Full vegetarian tasting menu

The whole experience was fabulous. Each plate was delivered by either a waiter or chef and each were equally knowledgeable on what we were eating as the other. I’ve picked out some of my personal highlights due to these dishes bringing the deliciousness alongside something a bit special. Read on to find out what on earth I’m talking about...

Crisp cabbage, lemon 
This was like a cabbage tempura which was one of my favourites for both the flavour and the texture. The inside was really soft, but none of this soaked through to make the batter soggy (love some alliteration...) so the outside still had a crunch.

Fresh curd, artichoke, rooftop honey
This was slices of crispy artichoke held together with fresh curd with some honey and lemon on top. It was a really lovely balance of the sweet honey and dessert-esque curd cream, but with the crispy, slightly salt and vinegar-y artichoke bringing it back to being a savoury dish. I’m not normally a fan of sweet and sour, but this one I loved. 

Roast Celeriac, sunflower seeds and almond mil

Roast Celeriac, sunflower seeds and almond milk
This was delicious and also surprising, as I saw almond milk and assumed a soup! It was in fact layers of celeriac and nori with a sunflower grainy puree and warm almond milk poured on top. This was one of the dishes brought out by a chef, and he poured the warm milk over the food himself (potentially because we wouldn’t have?). This really moistened up the dish and was a great bit of presentation. 

Salted caramel, cacao, malted barley ice cream
This dessert was again, not what I expected. However, potentially because I did not read it properly. It was some really creamy barley ice cream - almost like a chilled blob of clotted cream - on top of a bed of salted caramel bits with tiny chucks of cacao truffles. A perfect way to end what was a enjoyable, unexpected of a menu

Salted caramel, cacao, malted barley ice cream
The great thing about this place was not only was the food delicious, but the vegetarian menu had as many options as the meat eaters one so veggies get as a good experience as everyone else - not just a couple of dishes thrown together as an afterthought.

In conclusions (old essay habits die hard...) for what on paper sounds like potentially a rather formal experience, the whole evening was very relaxed and the ambiance was upbeat and friendly. I will definitely be going back here.


No comments:

Post a Comment