Clapham editor Jon Watt experiences a food high in Clapham as he explores the menu at Adam Byatt’s newest restaurant
Adam Byatt, Head Chef and founder of Trinity, Bistro Union and now Upstairs at Trinity, is fast becoming one of south west London’s most prolific restaurateurs. If I talked about his ‘layering of the market’ it would sound cynical, when in fact I get the feeling his three enterprises have been labours of love from a man who is passionate about trying new things and learning from his experiences.
The latest of these enterprises is Upstairs at Trinity, offering an experience best described as an informal, fine dining, tapas popup – and if that sounds a bit of a mouthful, then that’s because the venture feels conceptually and linguistically original.
Located, as the name suggests, above his first restaurant, Upstairs at Trinity immediately feels like a different experience. Whereas downstairs there are immaculate white tablecloths and the hushed reverence of fine dining, above it’s all wood furnishing, high bar seating, open kitchen and Coldplay in the background. The menu is changed daily and made up of around 15 small dishes – as a couple, we were advised to order between five and seven. They may be presented in a tapas style, but the dishes are every bit as ambitious as you get downstairs. The first dish to arrive – and they come not in the order in which you selected them, but in the order which the chef feels they will best complement each other – was BBQ stem broccoli, with smoked anchovies. As with all the dishes Upstairs, its presentation and taste combinations made for talking points, and in the convivial, group atmosphere, you feel that everyone else is sharing in the culinary discussion.
By the time dish seven arrived – a stunningly refreshing pudding of blood orange granita and clementine sorbet – and we’d watched the theatre-goers emerge from Omnibus across the square, we were shocked to discover two hours had passed in blissful culinary discovery. Upstairs at Trinity may not be the most original name for the establishment but there’s no doubting the freshness of the experience.
Upstairs at Trinity, 4 The Polygon Clapham
www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk, 020 7622 1199