Tatler has done a run down of the most fabulous restaurants in South London - restaurants in Clapham and Tooting make the cut, plus a few more only a stone's throw away...
Counter Culture, Clapham Common
Restaurateur Robin Gill has something of a monopoly on fine dining in Clapham. Not only does he have Italian-inspired Sorella in the north and the whimsical The Dairy opposite Clapham Common (green mashed potatoes are a signature dish) but he’s also got a smaller, more intimate eatery in Counter Culture. Conveniently located next door to The Dairy, the teeny 15-seater even shares a bar and a lavatory with its elder sibling, and usually offers a similar if not more modest menu. Until the end of March, however, Mr Gill has invited fellow chef Andy Hogben to showcase his own dishes, with the Alter patron offering up a changing menu of vegan deliciousness inspired by his travels around the world. Think shiitake wonton dumplings, oyster mushroom Malay Laksa and fermented mustard greens, not to mention sticky mango rice to finish. A culinary journey, many of the dishes draw inspiration from multiple cultures - whether its Japanese sour fruits that come with a Chinese sauce, or a deconstructed Miang Laos eaten more like a taco.
The more that the phrase ‘hidden gem’ is used, the more it feels like a misnomer, but in the case of Plot in Tooting, it’s spot on. Located in the warren-like Tooting Broadway market, the smart 15-seater restaurant offers an at-the-bar service, giving you a front row seat to the kitchen. There’s a relaxed, intimate and sociable atmosphere to it all, as you chat to the chefs as they work, and as dishes arrive when they are ready, you often end up eating the same food as your neighbours too, encouraging further chat. The menu is a tightly-edited, six-dish affair, split evenly between veggie, fish and meat, with the beer muffin and Marmite butter to start (a must!) and a changing choice of two puddings to finish (during our visit we had the white chocolate panna cotta with pistachio and warm rhubarb). Probably best classified as ‘modern British sharing plates’, everything is inventive and flavourful, from the deep-fried broccoli with lemon creme fraiche, chilli and hazelnuts, to the Kentucky fried rabbit leg with blood orange aioli. Indeed, it’s the ‘accoutrements’ to every dish that make them really sing - the zesty, tangy dressings, the delicate and fragrant salad bases, and the play of textures with crunchy nuts and velvety roe. There’s a short wine list and local beers from Gypsy Hill brewery on offer to wash everything down, or flavoured kombucha from fellow South Londoners Fix8.
And for more options, not too far away, check out the full Tatler article: https://www.tatler.com/gallery/best-sou ... estaurants
Photo: The Plot, Tooting