The Loft, 67 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7TG Tel: 020 7627 0792

Sitting between Clapham Common and Clapham North Underground Stations, The Loft, is a substantial Bar and Restaurant, which, as you might imagine, is on the upper floor of a building containing other businesses. It only has a discrete entrance at street level. There are stairs and a lift to it from the street level entrance and these take you into a vast bar area. The Loft has three Zones, apart from the Bar, there’s a cool chill area that has hardwood flooring and leather seating, and a sort of industrial styled dining area. It sounds an eclectic mix, but it comes together well in this huge space.

The restaurant has a varied menu, with interesting options. For starters, the smoked haddock and saffron croquettes delivered three good-sized crispy croquettes filled with their fluffy potato and fish mixture, that was beautifully delicate, though it had a distinct smoky fish flavour with a hint of saffron, these were augmented well by a good herb aioli. The pan fried squid with chilli, parsley and garlic, was a tasty plateful of squid that had some bite but was tender, the heat from the chopped chilli balanced well by the garlic and the parsley, which gave the dish a lovely freshness. Both of these were great dishes.

Mains of 21 day hung fillet steak cooked medium rare, was very tender and had excellent flavour. It was presented on a bed of wilted spinach and served with lovely chunky chips and a full flavoured red wine and shallot jus that complemented the dish really well. The Gloucester Old Spot pork belly was ‘fat and juicy’ as ordered. It was a sizable hunk of meat that was really tender, with its thin crispy crackling still attached. This tasty piece of meat came with a good warm olive, potato and caper salad, accompanying it well, a scoop of delicate mustard cream and a lovely apple chutney that was great with the meat, but equally, I could have eaten on its own.

For desserts, the warm treacle tart was divinely comforting, balanced by a rhubarb sorbet which was sweet, but had a sharp edge to it. The chocolate brownie was amazing, one of the best I’ve tasted, soft and rich with some texture from the hunks of nut and fruits within it. This was paired with a lovely vanilla ice cream that set it off well. These were two excellent, comforting desserts which we loved.

The Loft has a good cocktail and drinks menu, some amazingly colourful creations were arriving at tables near us, but we decided to stick with wine. We opted for the house white, which at £14.50 was crisp, fresh and fruity, we also had a glass each of merlot with our mains that had nice soft, rich black fruit flavours on the palate. Service at the restaurant was very good, attentive and helpful. We understand that the chef is currently developing some new dishes that once perfected will find their way onto the menu in the coming weeks. You can view their menu offerings and developments on line through the link above. The Loft produces some seriously good food, which we would definitely recommend.