When we went to Counter Culture, The Dairy’s tiny adjacent sister restaurant I’ve been wanting to try the food at The Dairy as the two dishes our hostess smuggled from their kitchen were superb.
We met with Dorothy and Paul who recently moved over here from LA for a quick drink at WC (Wine & Charcuterie), the cute bar (and former toilet or W.C.) across the street and then walked a few steps down to The Dairy.
What we ate:
We started with home-made sourdough with smoked marrow butter! Warm and crusty bread and melt in your mouth butter – perfection.
Cornish crab, beetroot: very creamy crab hidden underneath thin sheets of beets, good but overly creamy, almost liquid which is not my favourite crab texture…
Bone marrow agnolotti, wild mushrooms, summer truffles: we had a very similar one we LOVED when we visited Counter Culture and knew it was a must order. Dorothy is gluten free and this was the only dish they couldn’t make a version she could enjoy. They were actually amazingly accommodating and had GF bread etc.
Delicia pumpkin, toasted seeds, rice milk: A gorgeous thick slide of pumpkin perfectly roasted with well-cooked skin, topped with crunchy seeds. Simple and great.
Rye tart, stawley, charred English beans: this was tasty but so small that my one bite of it was not enough to get all the flavours. The crust was very thin and the stawley (aka goat cheese) was soft and crumbly and worked well with the charred beans.
Applewood smoked eel, burnt kale, dashi, garlic miso: I have recently realised that I love the way smoked eel is prepared in England and I always tend to order it when I see it available on a menu.
Lamb rib, roscoff onion, mustard leaf: melt in your mouth tender lamb with interesting sides.
Truffled baron bigod, fig and walnut toast, rooftop honey: we saw this beautiful dish being served at another table and knew that we needed it! We ordered a GF version and even the GF bread was delicious, but the star bit of the dish was the creamy white rind cheese, drizzled with honey and then completely covered by truffle shavings. This was so amazing that we ordered a second portion and probably would have ordered several more if we didn’t feel that we had to stop…
Salted caramel, cacao, malted barley ice cream: I LOVED this dessert. It was simple and complex at the same time. The malted barley ice cream was very creamy and tasted like Ovaltine, but better and the salted caramel added some sweetness and richness. I put the dessert closer to me and ate 80% of it; luckily my dining companions don’t have a massive sweet tooth and were focusing on their liquid desserts instead (aka wine).
Cheese: perfectly soft Cardo which is a semi soft, unpasteurized goat’s milk cheese which was served with very good seedy crackers.
In sum: All the dishes are small and probably our idea of sharing everything wasn’t the smartest as we could only have one bite of each course but we wanted to try a lot of things. On a further visit, I would probably do less sharing – particularly on the Truffled baron bigod and agnolotti. Service was very accommodating of Dorothy’s gluten allergy (her blog http://www.healthydot.com/recipes/ is great) but I felt like they forgot us sometimes……But a great spot in Clapham!