If you visit Jimmy’s website, you will find that talented chef, Jimmy Garcia is a very busy man: corporate caterer, celebrity TV chef, pop-up restaurateur, wedding caterer and food writer. He runs a regular pop-up at the Lodge in Clapham, which you can book via tabl and we went along to try his exciting surf n turf menu.
Surprisingly for a pop-up venue, you might be expecting the living room in someone’s house, but in fact the lodge which is above Clapham North station is remarkably well-furnished. The alpine ski-lodge look complete with skis hanging from the walls looks like the ideal venue for Christmas parties and private events.
They are doing their menu a disservice by calling it a 3 course menu when it is almost a 9 course tasting menu. It is one of those experiences where you don’t want to have lunch prior to the event. We were given fresh oysters on arrival, assuming they had spare ones left over from making their amuse-bouche. The most disappointing thing of the night was in fact the amuse-bouche: I love crispy oysters, but not when it is served luke-warm and with soggy batter. Although tastewise, it was enticing with pickled vegetables, oyster mayo and chorizo.
The starters were well-made and thought out in offering fish with different types of preparation: whipped smoked cod’s roe had an exciting savoury seafood taste ideal with their flat bread (although sourdough bread would have been better), grilled mackerel on mackerel pate was an enticing combination and crispy cod was hot and crunchy unlike the oysters.
There was quality as well as quantity with their cote de boeuf, which was richly flavoured with seaweed and lime butter; although it did come very rare and I suppose being a small supper club, it would be logistically difficult to cook it to different temperatures for each individual table. The lobster tail was equally well flavoured, but the meat was marginally pulpy in texture. There was an abundance of sides with orange braised chicory, parmentiere potatoes and green salads.
Finally, you are presented with 3 elegantly prepared desserts, which were universally divine. The raspberry bakewell tastes traditional, whilst the earl grey pannacotta is beautifully smooth and aromatic and the lemon ice cream and brandy snap sandwich was the ideal sweet ending to the meal.
There are some minor rough edges to the supper club experience, I think primarily due to the lack of staff, but it does match quantity with quality and definitely an experience to consider.