What's the draw
The Clove Club has been consistently rated as one of London's top fine-dining restaurants since it opened in Shoreditch in March 2013. Under the helm of chef Isaac McHale, it summed up the new breed of London haute cuisine – ingredient-forward, eclectic in inspiration and with formality dialled down in comparison to the French-led restaurants that dazzled us in the decades before. The Clove Club's at-home offering took its time to launch, but its ambitions are big: a genuine tasting menu, with everything from canapés to pre-desserts, makes this meal kit that bit closer to the fine-dining experience than restaurants offering the more standard three courses.
How it works
The menu card reveals eight dishes, which is impressive in its own right, but even more so when the recipe card confidently states that all you need to roll them out is an oven tray and a saucepan. Some dishes need heating through, others are served ambient, but save the back-and-forth to the kitchen, the setup is remarkably easy for a menu with so many moving parts.
In terms of the dishes themselves, it's up there with the best we've had from an at-home proposition of this type, managing to effortlessly slide in a range of bigger and smaller courses, post-starters and pre-desserts. Ricotta whipped with cod's roe works beautifully as a minimal-prep starter, served with fresh crudités and crackers and all the more perfect if you've got champagne on hand, while a hulking sourdough with cultured, salted butter will make sure there's no way you're going hungry. An inventive scallop dish with rich sea vegetables is excellent: it cooks inside its shell, which is sealed with brioche to be torn and dipped in its saline, verdant sauce upon opening. The main is pleasingly low-maintenance (a good shout considering you're likely to be at least half a bottle down at this point) – featherblade of beef heated alongside carrots, decadent mash and jus in an ovenproof dish and served for two to share. Overall, it's a deeply satisfying dinner – and, while I'm sure the restaurant's at-home offering will continue, it's one that's also made The Clove Club top of the list to visit when May finally rolls around.
£95 per person; thecloveclubathome.com