I have always maintained that expectations often preclude a disappointment – sadly, this statement often proves true when it comes to restaurants.
It isn’t hard not to have expectations of the Clove Club, as it comfortably sits at No 26 on the San Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurant list. Perhaps this situation wasn’t aided by my recent obsession with the Netlix series “Chef’s Table” (which I highly recommend to all, foodies and non-foodies alike). But it was a disappointment nonetheless.
Camera: Nikkon 3300, Nikkor 50mm lens
It started with potential. The architecture of the entrance is both powerful yet elicits the feeling of a private club, of something hidden and intimate. Once you step through the main door, a delicious smell of smoked meats embraces you as the room where they are hung up sits right by the entrance.
The little cracks start appearing from here on. At first, they can’t seem to find my reservation because, as it turns out, they’ve decide to spell my name “Loan” instead of “Ioan” (a small thing, admittedly, but I find getting names right quite basic). They’ve left a birthday card for me on the table which annoyingly again declares me to be a financial instrument.
We order some drinks – as usual, that’s a coke for me. They come over and I do notice that it seems a bit light in terms of colour. I take a sip and honestly believe I was served ice tea so I remark to the waitress that my drink isn’t what I ordered. I am then told that The Clove Club does not serve Coca-Cola, instead a local brand of cola as they are all about local produce. Which tastes nothing like what I ordered. I must say this quite indisposed me (I had a hard day and all I really wanted was some coke). Surely, I thought, if I order something which you do not have, the appropriate response is for you to tell me you don’t have that and offer me the alternative. This is something I expect of any bar and pubs, as dingy as they are, let alone of an establishment which I had paid around 70£ for the night per person.
Almost all high end restaurants pride themselves in the service they provide – and it tends to be impeccable. So it was rather disappointing for this one to fall so short of the standards set by others in this city.