Counter Culture, Clapham | restaurant review.
I've been wanting to visit Counter Culture since forever, especially with all the talk about their amazing cultured butter (aka my most favourite thing in the world), so my buddy Abby and I went along for a casual little Wednesday date.
I started off a little stressed because I was running late at work and then my Uber driver decided to take me via the back roads to Clapham. 'I know a secret shortcut' he said, 'it's much quicker than driving through Brixton at rush hour'. It was not. So I'm there, doing a little half-run half-casual stroll down Clapham High Street and I rush in, 15 minutes late, to find an angel (Abby) has already poured me a large glass of red wine. The dream.
Now, Counter Culture is the little sister of the Dairy, so it has much the same food (fermented, cultured, locally grown, pickled etc) but in a much more intimate venue. It's super intimate. Very intimate. It's very, very small you guys, and it makes it really hard to book. We were seated in a corner, right by the open kitchen, and had the best, chattiest, funniest Irish waitress there is, and I live in Clapham so that's saying a lot.
Of course, we ordered the entire menu, which is what they recommend as a sort of tasting menu, and it was delightful. The presentation was beautiful, the plates were beautiful, the wine was really beautiful. The aforementioned butter was great, but the house made salumi were a revelation - we were exclaiming about the fennel salume for about 10 minutes solid. The other highlight was the agnoletti with cow's curd and dulse, little Italian pasta pillows of joy that I want to eat all over again, with salty greens and some kind of crumb (?).
The only thing that wasn't great was the dessert, which was so disappointing because it held such promise - caramelised white chocolate mousse with rhubarb. The mousse was heavy and dense, and tasted of the fridge that it had been kept in, and the rhubarb came in the form of a salted rhubarb granita, which was just very cold and salty. I admit that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, but neither of us even wanted to finish this dish, and we are both very greedy people. Take from that what you will.
All in all though, I would definitely go again, even if just for the butter and the pasta. And the fun waitress.
Around £45 each for the whole menu and a delicious bottle of wine.