When I think of Clapham Junction I think of a train station, recent riots and the FARA Charity Shop (one of the best in London). I havent spent much time there for leisure and was pleasantly surprised by my last trip to The Junk. Two friends and I, a merry group of three, dined at Youngs Pub groups latest venture The Plough Bar and Kitchen, on St Johns Hill. This is a slight break from their usual watering hole format into an establishment more focused on modern dining. Located on the ground floor of a new build residential block, what it lacks in style on the exterior is made up upon entry.
Décor and Setup
The décor is decidedly rustic, with exposed brick, worn wood accent pieces and Meyers Golden Syrup tins used as planters on every table. The ceiling is adorned with a pushed-tin feature that has a touch of art deco about it and there is a fabulous wall of tasty looking wines at the bar. The venue is split in two with a dining section on the left with an open kitchen so you can keep an eye on the hard working chefs cooking your meal. The bar is central as you walk in with a more informal and bar lounge area on the right packed full of Claphams young drinkers.
A warm and welcoming atmosphere awaits those venturing to The Plough in Clapham.
Clientele and Atmosphere
A younger crowd compared to the usual Youngs patron but still a good mix of young professionals piling in after a hard day in the city and Clapham locals testing out the new pub in their neighbourhood. Very much a buzzing and feel-good atmosphere throughout the night, with diners chattering away at their tables and friends catching up over drinks at the bar. Music is background only but with a good mix of current and old pop, my ears pricked up when I heard The Hives being played!
Plenty of choice for the wine lovers at The Plough Bar and Kitchen St Johns Hill.
Food and Drink
I was surprised by the eclectic menu which serves up fusion American/English cuisine. I know¦REALLY? But yes. In foodie circles, fusion is a little bit passé - what isnt fusion these days? We often hear the term applied to the westernisation of exotic cuisines. Its pretty safe to say that exotic isnt the first word to come to mind when thinking about American and British foods. But, lets not cut ourselves short, there are some surprisingly creative dishes. What The Plough has done has brought in a tapas style menu with a modern twist on some old favourites.
We went for five Small plates which is The Ploughs American tapas style menu. It was a fun, informal sharing way of dining with Mash at the table (£4.50)- a D-I-Y take on guacamole. A mortar and pestle holding a peeled and perfectly ripe avocado, served alongside small bowls filled with onion, peppers, tomatoes, coriander and limes. Half of the fun was deciding what would go in!
The Plough in Clapham Junction is serving up an Anglo-American menu for sharing.
The Popcorn shrimp (£5.50) was divine and the American Scotch Angus Slider (£5.50) disappeared quickly. For those of you out of the loop, a slider is a kiddie sized burger, meant for small bites. We merrily ate our way through the Crab Salad (£5.50) served with lime, mango and chilli the crab flavour really came through and was perfectly complemented by a pile of crisp greens and the right amount of spice. Although we would have left happy at that point, we couldnt resist the House Special, Parrot Wings that are served up on a board with a welcome tequila slammer to wash down the wings! Pretty original but the wings were too fiery for our group and a tad on the greasy side.
If opting for the larger plates there are some tempting treats on offer including Whole Beer Can Chicken, Dumplings and Bombardier Pot Pie (£10-15). Dessert is done by Dessert of The Day which solves the dessert dilemma of what to have and the Apple Pie was outrageously good on our visit.
The Plough has a good mix of old and new world wines with the Grand Reserve Malbec from Argentina being a stand out. Bottles start at £15.80 and a glass starting from £3.90. As you would expect from a Youngs pub there is a good mix of beer and ale on tap but be prepared to splash the cash for a £5 pint of Sierra Nevada which is very surprising for a Youngs venture. Those on a tighter budget could opt for a Youngs Bitter at £3.25 a go.
The Plough Bar and Kitchen in Clapham is very much a new-age pub and dining experience with a huge nod in the direction to the US. A genuinely unique Anglo-American tapas menu, exemplary customer service and a welcoming space for friends to mingle, drink and dine. A second visit is certainly on the cards and thats just for a taste of the Black Pudding Scotch Egg!