The Railway Tavern, Clapham

Sample plates of brie tart and cherry orchard sausages; foodie fan Christina Stylianou puts the menu to the test at The Railway Tavern, Clapham

Situated on the right-hand corner of Clapham High Street with wooden benches curving around the pub, The Railway Tavern can’t be missed. On a windy and rainy Tuesday lunch, its location couldn’t have been more ideal – a two minute walk from Clapham North station.

We were met by the lovely Matty and Donna who were polite, friendly and provided excellent service throughout our visit. It was only until I sat down and had a good look around that I realised there were an array of wooden tables and chairs, from stalls to booths to high chairs yet it all seemed to co-ordinate. As a personal favourite addition to The Railway Tavern, they also provide Scrabble, Cluedo and Monopoly, with Cards Against Humanity soon to be added to the games menu!

The menu has great options from salads, flatbreads and a Spiced Spinach and Lentil alternative for veggie lovers. Their ‘Small Plates’ are perfect for those looking to share, wanting a light snack or unable to choose between a great variety. You can order 3 or 5 small plates with classic favourites such as chicken wings and salt and pepper squid, or try something new such as heritage beetroot, kale with goat’s cheese and omega sprinkles.

The ‘Large Plates’ menu was full of British classics such as ham and eggs and fish and chips which are available all year round. There are also a few little twists to classics such as the addition of pancetta to the steak and ale pie. My friend, Timmy, and I decided to try the large plates. As a new-found lover of Brie, I had to try the Brie tart with black grape, sherry and caramelised red onion chutney with British heritage potatoes and seasonal veg which was served with onion gravy. Timmy recently flew over from Australia so wanted to try a British favourite and chose the free-range cherry orchard sausages with beer mustard mash and red wine gravy.

The inside of the tart was smooth and creamy and the light sprinkle of crumbs that topped the brie provided the perfect crunch. In the centre was the caramelised red onion, which was sweet, sticky and worked harmoniously with the brie. The pastry was thin, crumbly and light meaning; I didn’t suffer with a stodgy feeling afterwards. Half a dozen of fluffy heritage potatoes and a few broccoli stems (which had a slight crunch – always a plus in my opinion) complemented the tart well, as did the onion gravy.

The sausages didn’t disappoint either as they were firm on the outside and juicy on the inside. They were meaty and, in Timmy’s opinion, some of the best he’s tried. The mash was velvety with herbs subtlety coming through finished with a hint of spice. A generous portion of red wine gravy completed the dish perfectly. Neither Timmy nor I needed any sauces or extra seasoning to our meals.

Although the portion sizes were filling, I couldn’t resist looking at the pudding menu. For any chocolate lovers, I’m sure you can understand my excitement when I saw chocolate and hazelnut praline profiteroles served with Jude’s salted caramel ice-cream and Devonshire caramel sauce. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass. The pastry was soft, not too doughy or thick and had been dipped in milk chocolate. Enclosed was a divine creamy hazelnut praline filling – imagine melted Kinder Bueno and you’re halfway there. They were little profiteroles of heaven and went perfectly with the salted caramel ice-cream. I don’t know who Jude is but he is a master of flavour. Overall, the dessert was sweet, indulgent, and everything you want a dessert to be. I was scraping the bowl at the end because of how delicious it was.

The Chocolate brownie was soft, rich and had a mud-cake texture to it. This brownie could put you in a chocolate coma. The vanilla pod ice-cream was far more flavoursome than ordinary ice-cream and was a great addition to the brownie.

Two meals each, two meals complete and two very happy and satisfied customers.

The Railway Tavern,
18 Clapham High Street, Clapham, SW4 7UR
020 7622 4077
www.therailwayclapham.co.uk

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