The Frog Turns into a Prince
Good cocktails, relaxed décor and rich, rich food seduce our reviewer
Review by Tori Snowball
They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the perfect prince and that is exactly what has happened on the old site of The Frog pub in Clapham Old Town which has been transformed in No32. With its Friday night vibes on a Tuesday, No32 is the perfect place for a few cocktails, a light bite or full blown gastro-indulgence.
Let’s start with an aperitif, the cocktail list is a blend of old classics given a swift kick of innovation, sparkling earl grey infused gin coolers and spicy plum bourbon shorts. The drinks menu is a real treat; if you are the indecisive type then ask the bar men for their recommendations – knowledgeable and persuasive as they are you may be trying a few different tipples which is no hardship. Grab a seat on the upstairs terrace if you can, overlooking the common. It’s great for people watching or if the weather isn’t playing ball then find a spot at the bar or in the large window seats at the front of the bar, usually thrown open to let in the light and air.
Large groups can shotgun some supersized round tables or retro style booths but for those dropping in there is a high communal table overlooking the live kitchen. The décor is tasteful and easy-going, dashes of modern with vintage, a touch of shabby chic with ultra-smart and paired down tones- white tiles with natural wood and leather chairs. The upstairs bar would be the perfect place for cocktails with friends or a date – off set against the luxurious blue velvet seating.
Once watered turn your attention to the food menu, perfect for sharing and light nibbling for those grazers and indecisive types there’s plenty of small plates which is a misleading term as the portions are more than generous. Try the crostini selection and for a sophisticated take on a childhood pastime the steamed peas in their pods- much better when laced with butter than picked straight off the vine (and without the scolding that accompanied the act!). If you are a fan of a dose of carbocide then you must try the truffled macaroni cheese- rich, creamy and deeply addictive. Those with a sweet tooth should then definitely sample the Dark Chocolate Mouse with a brownie base and salted caramel sauce it has both substance and is deliciously salty sweet.
No 32 also run a breakfast club and have an extensive menu with traditional and new favourites, in a coffee house style fashion your fifth breakfast is complimentary. I’ll certainly be heading back, but booking a table, if a Tuesday is anything to go by.
Enquiries: No32, 32 The Pavement, Clapham, London SW4 0JE / 0203 5350910 / www.no32theoldtown.co.uk/#intro