Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Entrée, Clapham Junction - restaurant review

My parents are a tough crowd.  I know this, I grew up with them.  So, when they're impressed by a restaurant, someone's doing something right.

Enter, Entrée, in Clapham Junction.  Apparently it's been open for almost a year but, having moved from the area, I'd somehow missed it.

The small restaurant, at the top of Battersea Rise, has a cool little cocktail bar downstairs and a Manhattan Bistro feel to it.  What really makes it stand out from other eating places in Clapham is head chef Omar Palazzolo's CV, which includes top restaurants Le Gavroche and Nobu.

We happened across a Toptable deal, for 50% off food.  In my experience this sometimes leads to  substandard food, service or both but this was most definitely not the case at Entrée, where owner/manager Jayke Mangion looked after us very well (a little flirty with Mum, matey with Dad!) and was quick to provide helpful recommendations on food and wine. 

Food was, for the most part, excellent. 

We were pleasantly surprised by a carrot soup amuse bouche.  The soup was good, although the presentation was a bit average.

Most of our group opted for the scallop and crab lasagne with chive buerre blanc to start.  This was one of the best starters I've had in a long time.  Full of flavour, rich but not too heavy.  My sister opted for grilled mackerel with fennel remoulade and orange glaze.  This was well cooked and fresh tasting.

A main course of hake, mange tout and courgettes with sauce vierge, was beautifully presented.  Fish was perfectly cooked and the flavours nicely balanced.

The boys went for cumbrian chicken breast, enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon, Jersey Royals and corn purée.  No pic I'm afraid but it was a good manly portion, with very tender chicken and the unusual enoki mushrooms adding a point of interest.

We also shared a couple of portions of thrice-cooked chips.  These were delish - crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle.  The portions were teeny-tiny though.  It was a mistake to share.

Pudding was a mixed bag.  I loved the sound of the rhubarb bakewell tart but unfortunately it was really disappointing.  It was very stodgy and had a weird savoury taste to it, as though it had taken on cooking smells in the kitchen.  The flavour of rhubarb didn't come through at all.  Nil points.  The sticky fig and ginger pudding was excellent though, very moreish.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Service is top notch, the wine list was reasonable and the food (rhubarb bakewell aside) fantastic.  Will definitely be going back.

Carrot soup, amuse bouche

Scallop and crab lasagne

Grilled mackerel

Hake with sauce vierge

Sticky fig and ginger pudding

Rhubarb bakewell

Entrée Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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