Jackdaw jazz café is fast becoming one of those places that people are talking about and so they should.
Already starting to make a name for itself, the chefs at Jackdaw champion top of the range British produce and turn it into quite simply, stunning food.
The brains behind it all is Josh Dallaway, a person who is down to earth, full of confidence and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him. This is his first head chef role and being told by the man himself that its a bit "rough round the edges", it certainly didn't show.
Alongside Josh, helping him in the kitchen is Joe Allen, another talented chef with a big future as well. Both of these guys have given Clapton a little piece of food heaven.
I popped into the restaurant on Monday evening, on the first day of the new menu. I didn't know what to expect and admittedly didn't look into the menu beforehand. But hey going into the unknown and not knowing what to expect can be a good thing right? Well in this case it certainly was.
The weather was crap and that winter feeling was starting to creep up on me. No one likes a Monday and I for one bloody hate that whole waking up in the dark and going home in the dark. So what better way to lift my spirits up then to check out Jackdaw alongside my brother from another mother Alex Reid.
Being a Jazz joint as well as a restaurant, it's the perfect place to unwind and relax especially with huge comfy sofas around.
So what about the food? Well in typical FoodPunk fashion (and hanging out with Alex) we ordered everything off the menu and it was probably the best decision especially with those bad boy prices. You really can't complain.
Just to get the taste buds going, we started smashing some awesome smoked ham croquettes (you cant' ever go wrong with croquettes) served with gribiche and padron peppers with smoked sea salt. Eating those gorgeous peppers took me right back to when I was in Barcelona and eating them by the bucket load.
I was also tempted to get more croquettes but I had to discipline myself because of the amount of food that was about to come.
When it came to the bigger plates, every dish that came out had its own unique character and not one of them outweighed the other. It was memorable to say the least and it just got better and better.
Take the meat side of things for example, the Onglet was perfectly cooked, still red in the middle with a fat juicy king oyster mushroom to join the party and tiny florets of cauliflower sprinkled around.
As for the chicken, it was mouth watering and just had bags of flavour in it and not only that you know you're onto a winner when the skin is all golden and crispy.
If you're a massive fish lover, you've gotta order the cured mackerel with the heritage tomatoes. The consommé that came along with it heightened that dish and took it to a whole new level. The flavours were fresh and clean and I could have drunk litres of that consommé.
As for the plaice, for ten pounds you're really getting a bargain. On the bone, the flesh just flaked away and just like the chicken was juicy as anything.
Jackdaw's vegetable and vegetarian dishes are to die for and for any parent that's struggling to get their kids to eat their sprouts at dinner time, then look no further than to take a leaf out of restaurants book.
They also serve tender heritage beetroots and the sweetness from them works so well with the saltiness of the soft crumbly stilton.
The gnocchi dish was a real highlight as it just had all the flavours working in harmony with each other. There was sharpness from the lemons, saltiness from the parmesan with the sage coming through to join the fun.
So there you have it FoodPunkers after two hours of non stop eating and drinking, I left feeling more than satisfied and content. I left with a huge smile on my face and going to the restaurant got rid of my Monday blues. If you haven't heard of Jackdaw before reading this, you do now and lets be honest judging by those colourful eye catching pictures you'll certainly be going. And I think I'll have to agree with their sign, Clapton now has a hidden gem.