Former supper club with a permanent home and award-winning food
What makes it special: Formerly a supper club hosted in a London flat by owners Daniel Willis, Johnny Smith and chef Isaac McHale, The Clove Club took its permanent site at Shoreditch Town Hall in 2013 and quickly earned a reputation as one of the capital’s hottest restaurants.
On the menu: Scottish chef McHale has devised a five-course and a seven-course tasting menu featuring signature dishes of flamed Cornish mackerel and buttermilk fried chicken and plenty of delights from his homeland, such as haggis doughnuts. Another classic is the warm blood orange dessert with ewe’s milk yoghurt mousse and wild fennel granite.
What’s the vibe? The restaurant interior fits in with its Shoreditch surrounds, with a laidback, casual décor and open kitchen. Willis, Smith and McHale wanted a relaxed atmosphere where customers don’t feel hassled by staff, so they often leave diners to top up their own wine and water and to enjoy each other’s company.
New ventures: In 2016, the trio opened Luca, a multi-roomed restaurant in London’s Clerkenwell neighbourhood serving ‘Britalian’ cuisine – Italian with a British twist.
Bonus point: The Clove Club was one of the first UK restaurants to adopt a ticketing system, with reservations paid for in advance and extras added on the night.