Restaurant Review: Minnow, Clapham

Anyone who lives in Clapham knows that we’re not exactly short of places to eat out, but when it comes to somewhere to impress a date, suddenly the choice narrows. Which is why we’re so excited about the opening of new all-day eaterie Minnow on Clapham Common.

This cute, yet surprisingly roomy new restaurant offers diners a view of the Common plus the chance to eat alfresco in a pretty walled courtyard at the back. Decorated in restful tones of green and soft pink, it’s a welcome change from the industrial fit-outs we’re so used to seeing in many new restaurants.

The great thing here is that your whole evening feels like a lovely leisurely affair where you can pick at a shared starter and homemade foccacia with a cheeky campari and tonic before deciding on what you fancy on the menu. Better still, it’s buzzy but not so loud that you can’t talk to your date.

The menu concentrates on modern European fare with stand-out dishes including char-grilled baby octopus with sour green mango, and charred lamb rump with chickpeas and harissa yoghurt. Created by Head Chef Jake Boyce, who previously headed up Jason Atherton’s Social Wine and Tapas, the dishes are accomplished and full of flavour.

Stand-out dishes including char-grilled baby octopus with sour green mango, and charred lamb rump with harissa yoghurt

You can choose from a very well curated wine list or ask the friendly staff to recommend wines that match your dishes (an impressive first-date move).

The only disappointment comes when you get to the dessert menu where dishes like caramelised watermelon with a blood orange and campari sorbet feel like an exercise in style over substance and are not really substantial enough to offer diners a deux the chance to share a really yummy pudding.

But this is a minor quibble. Minnow is a fantastic date spot that won’t blow your budget but will give you loads of romantic brownie points.

21 The Pavement, Clapham Common SW4 OHY;