Clapham’s Coolest New Neighbourhood Hangout |
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Minnow is a neighbourhood gem in the making. This brasserie-style hangout might claim to be a small fish in a big pond, but we reckon it won’t stay small for long. Here’s what we thought of Clapham’s latest foodie triumph…

The concept…

Clapham’s newest opening comes in the form of Minnow – a charming, modern European-style restaurant serving mouthwatering seasonal British fare. Husband and wife duo Chris Frichot and Saba Tsegaye are the brains behind the operation – Chris has previously worked at the likes of Caravan, Hawksmoor and Hoi Polloi – and are joined in the kitchen by Jake Boyce, the former Head Chef of Jason Atherton’s Social Wine and Tapas, to bring a contemporary new twist to the area.

The setting…

Fronted by soft pastel greens with roses delicately framing the windows, this quaint Parisian-style eatery, nestled in the leafy setting of Clapham Old Town, is all charm and romance. Black and white floor tiles offset period wooden wall panels, and café-style tables and wicker chairs sit beside pots of fresh flowers and sprigs of foliage. Low-level lighting and soft jazz adds to the ambience, and there’s a gorgeous courtyard adorned with flower boxes at the back of the restaurant that’s bound to be a hot spot for sundowners as soon as the summer hits.

The food…

The décor at Minnow will seduce the minute you walk through the door, but the food is where things really start to heat up. Flavours are influenced by Jake’s experiences around the world, with decorative dishes – each plate is painstakingly presented with effortless artistic flair – on the menu including the likes of salt baked kohlrabi with red cabbage and parsley roots and whole roast poussin from Minnow’s Robata grll.

Menus change weekly and with the seasons, but during the winter months look forward to plates of white bean and truffle with baby leek and pickled egg yolk – a flavour explosion with each bite; melt-in-the-mouth scallops served with crispy, salty bacon and seaweed followed by grilled plaice with caper butter and breast of hogget served with soft dumplings and cooked celery heart. Hogget is young lamb, so incredibly tender and served with crispy fried skin. Moreishly indulgent and a triumph served alongside roast cauliflower and caramelised purée, hispi cabbage and anchovy butter and golden truffle chips. If you can find room for dessert, the poached pear with apple sorbet is utterly dreamy, but the chocolate doughut and raison ice cream served with a shot of pisco would have been next on our list.

The drinks…

The cocktails at Minnow are a big draw. The menu is broken into two sections: classics and Minnow’s creative concoctions. You can have a classic cocktail any day of the week – although we don’t doubt Minnow’s Margaritas and Espresso Martinis are up there with some of the best – so we naturally opted for one of their inventive in-house infusions.
Each cocktail has its own story, and is named after a different historical resident or monument linked to Clapham. The Natsume, named after Natsume Sōseki, an 18th-century Japanese novelist, combines sakè with green tea syrup, lemon juice, ginger and egg white, and the Temperance – a heady mix of dry gin, organic sweet vermouth, Campari and beer jam – is named after Clapham’s Temperance fountain, which was erected in 1895 to encourage people to drink water instead of beer. Seriously drinkable and gorgeously presented, each with its own bar mat explaining who it’s named after, these are cocktail with a history lesson.

The verdict…

Absolutely faultless. From the dreamy décor to the flavoursome food, Minnow was an absolute delight. Staff were attentive, the food and cocktails impeccably prepared and with a huge hit of flavour and pizazz. Laid-back, with a sense of effortless charm, this neighbourhood gem is a cool place for an after-work hangout, but with enough romance for a swoon-worthy date night. A local idyll in the making, this Clapham haunt is one to watch.

21 The Pavement, Clapham Common SW4 OHY


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