East London restaurant named the best

The Clove Club exterior Pic: Yuki Sugiura

The Clove Club exterior Pic: Yuki Sugiura

A Michelin-starred restaurant in Shoreditch has been awarded Best Restaurant at the BMW Square Meal 2015 Awards. This is the first time an east London venue has won one of the coveted awards.

The Clove Club in Shoreditch Town Hall has a wide range of unusual dishes like Roast Cornish Pollack with warm tartar sauce and crisp potato. Set menus at £65 and £95 are also available. These include snacks like Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Pine Salt and Pigeon Sausage & Greengage Ketchup, which have become the restaurant’s trademark.

Founded by Johnny Smith, Daniel Willis and Head Chef Isaac McHale, the Clove Club began in 2010 as a supper club in Smith’s flat in Dalston. It went on to join Nuno Mendes’ food experience venture Loft Project in Shoreditch. After a residency of six months at the Ten Bells in Spitalfields, the trio decided to give The Clove Club a permanent home at the Shoreditch Town Hall in 2013.

Head Chef McHale said: “I think that we just wanted to do a restaurant for our generation, one that was ambitious but also laid-back and not intimidating, and that showed you didn’t need all the old trappings of luxe to be really serious in the kitchen.”

The competition was fierce and the restaurant was part of a shortlist including 10 of the best venues in London: Mayfair’s Sexy Fish, Bao in Soho and The Ledbury in Notting Hill where McHale was head chef for six years.

The Square Meal website has over 11,000 restaurant reviews and the award was first given in 1999.

Square Meal editor Ben McCormack told Eastlondonlines: “East London restaurants have been on the up for quite a few years now. In Shoreditch and Hoxton, there are obviously lots of brilliant bars and there are lots of good restaurants. Maybe it hasn’t been thought of as a serious or credible dining destination, and The Clove Club is really the restaurant that has put Shoreditch and Hoxton on the map as somewhere that can rival say Mayfair, Fitzrovia or Chelsea as a real serious dining destination. So that’s one of the things that makes it different from the other destinations on the shortlist.”

Follow Nina Lecourt on Twitter: @NinaLecourt

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