Day 4 – #20days20dinners
Four days in and a gratefully received invitation to review led me to Bistro Union. And what a lovely neighbourhood restaurant this is, located on the beautiful Abbeville Road serving good quality British food. This Bistro was created by Adam Byatt and the team behind The Trinity, another Clapham based restaurant. I’ve not visited Trinity but from what I’ve read Bistro Union seems to be the laid back relation in atmosphere and price whilst the quality and seasonality of ingredients are values they both share.
I used the word neighbourhood in my above description and this is a point I will re-iterate, as many places may claim to be this but on my visit there was a genuine feel for this place being home to many regulars. In London, where we are so often accused of being unfriendly, it is nice to appreciate these small pockets where neighbourhoods still exist and Abbeville Road is definitely one of those South London places that has a village like feel.
The Food –
Firstly the menu comes encased in a mock school book, points for quirkiness there. The menu changes depending on the seasonal produce available and being a British restaurant there are many classics present such as toad in the hole and devils on horse back.
Before deciding we took the waiters advice and tried some pea and ham fritters from the snacks menu, these were delicious and were served with grape seed mustard adding a real kick to the dish. We then moved onto ‘proper’ starters opting for smoked duck (which had been smoked upstairs), served with frisee, a poached egg and croutons and also the bath chap with fried egg and piccalilli. Both of these were generous in size, well presented and very tasty.
For mains perfectly roasted quail came with pearl barley, carrots and bacon and an impressively big cumberland toad in the hole with guinness onions came presented in it’s cast iron pan. This is hearty food and on a wet January Monday it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Dessert was by no means required but the macaroons from the snack menu caught my eye and after hearing they were made in house with a lemon curd filling I couldn’t resist. My dining companion went for another hearty classic choosing warm banana bread served with buttermilk ice cream.
I should also mention the small cocktail menu which has some interesting components. I tried the ‘Cherry Bakewell’, drawn to it by its main ingredient, Amaretto. Highly recommended if, like me, you have a sweet tooth and a penchant for Disarronno.
The Verdict –
Tasty, seasonal, British food in a friendly neighbourhood bistro, what’s not to like?
Bistro Union 40 Abbeville Road, Clapham, SW4 9NG