At the start of 2016, I posted about The Dairy’s new creation The Delicatessen next door, waxing lyrical about their salt beef sandwiches and lunch specials. Much to my surprise, only a few weeks later, their Twitter feed announced its closure and they shut up shop.
Fast forward to March, and news emerged that Robin Gill & co. were going in a new direction with a “snack bar” called Counter Culture. Naturally, I made my way over as soon as it opened, snatching up two of the fifteen seats in front of Robin himself.
Rather than make any tough decisions, we decided to order one of everything on the menu, with some refreshing peach and ginger cream soda for company. Oh yeah – Counter Culture is BYOB by the way… for the time being at least.
Picking up where The Delicatessen left off, there’s a whole lot of pickling, fermenting and curing going on at Counter Culture, most evident in the addictive jar of cellar ferments and pickles that we dipped into throughout the meal. Other highlights included the sour potato flat bread with cultured cream and nduja, and the asparagus with fresh cheese, preserved lemon and toasted almond.
The menu will change regularly, so you may not be able to get your hands on the Filipino-inspired sour escabeche with mackerel and salted blood orange pictured above, or the magnificent Bambi Dog below (fingers crossed it will stay as an off-menu special), but you can be sure of the quality and house-style remaining consistent.
One item that is bound to be available for the foreseeable future is the outstanding “naughty little pick me up”, a boozy tiramisu involving a crafty vodka milk creation topped with some coffee granita served straight from dry ice. Deadly and delicious.
As I’ve come to expect, Robin Gill and his merry chefs have hit the ground running with another welcoming winner. They are also keeping themselves very busy with new brunches and all manner of special dinners around town (see Bloodshot Supperclub, The Gardening Society, Blood Sugar) so I’ve got plenty of excuses to follow them around without seeming like a stalker.
Tue-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 3pm-11pm, Closed Sun & Mon
16 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, SW4 0HY