As I walk to work everyday across Clapham Common and down Battersea Rise its hard not to look in all the shop windows that I pass, it allows your mind to wander and get ready for the day ahead, however one day not so long ago I noticed a new restaurant was opening, Sinabro. Then a couple of days ago my colleague walked past and said it looked like it was open, oh the excitement, somewhere new to try!
So like eager children we got on the internet and pulled up the website, a soft launch today and tomorrow – half price, well that is just an offer we couldn’t refuse. So a table was booked for a thursday lunch time and we patiently waited.
The freshly painted blue front is instantly welcoming, as you step inside its simple decor, with light and airy colours used to create the illusion of space. There is no getting around it, this is a small restaurant of only 30 covers. There are two tables in the window and then a bar that overlooks the kitchen and round the back there are a handful of other tables, which in an evening if looking for a touch of romance it would be perfect as its quiet. We were instantly greeted by Sujin Lee the manager and chef who is also partner to Yoann Chevet the head chef and owner (both their CVs are detailed on their website which is an interesting touch but emphasise how much they want people to know their background and food pedigree). It was quiet but it was lunchtime and they have only been open for a day so its to be expected.
We were seated at the bar and had prime seats to see everything that was happening in the small but proficiently organised kitchen. The menu is short and simple and with a kitchen the size they have anything more would be overly ambitious. With a choice of three for Entrée, Main and Desert it doesn’t take long to decide what to have. Its a nice change to go into a restaurant and not be faced with a ridiculous number of choices and then be faced with food envy when someone elses plate arrives – I like this simple menu, may it spread to other establishments!
Naomi, my lovely colleague, went with entrée and main while I, having an enormous sweet tooth, went for main and desert. Her entrée was Mackerel, Beetroot and Spinach – mackerel filet on a bed of wilted spinach with beetroot puree. It was simply but elegantly presented and tasted lovely. Unexciting we both went for the same main dish of Risotto, Green Vegetables and Parmesan. The risotto was beautifully cooked, creamy and not too rich. The saltiness of the parmesan created a slight edge to the fresh asparagus and broad beans, I couldn’t find a fault with it.
Desert of course is the real test, my favourite thing. Overlooking the kitchen meant I got to see the whole dish get put together. Crisp short bread topped with piped creme patissiere, artfully positioned strawberries and sweet strawberry ice cream. To top it all off chewy meringue sticks. This was a beautiful looking desert, all the flavours and textures worked together, it was summer on a plate.
I couldn’t fault the food it was all delightful and I would go straight back to try the other menu items. I am, however, not sure I would want to sit at the bar again, being so close to the kitchen does mean you can feel the heat from the oven and on a warm summers day it’s not the best seat in the house. The restaurant is small and they have gone for optimising space which is great, other people may enjoy being able to see into the kitchen and seeing these chefs at work and not bother about the heat, but for me I think I will ask for a table next time.
Overall this was a great introduction to a new Clapham Junction restaurant and one that I know I will go back to. Speaking to Sujin you can feel their enthusiasm and their drive to do well, and I really hope that they do well as the food was fabulous, simple and flavourful, Yoann has really bought a little bit of French fine dining to the area.