Harden's survey result
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“We are privileged to have it as our local!” – Adam Byatt’s Clapham landmark “goes from strength to strength”, and “at last has a well deserved Michelin star” (though we’re not sure what took them so long). “The whole team are so knowledgeable and committed to providing a memorable meal”, and results are “exceptional” from an à la carte menu that’s more “conventional” than its former multi-course tasting format. “They’ve greatly improved the decor since refurbishing a couple of years ago too, but it can still lack buzz.” See also Upstairs at Trinity.
“Since the refurb last year, Adam Byatt is at the top of his game”, and his “classy” Clapham ten-year-old – “so much more than a neighbourhood local!” – rivals nearby Chez Bruce as the area’s top gastronomic destination. His “clever” cuisine is “exciting AND completely satisfying” and there’s a “wide-ranging and superb” wine selection available by the glass, all delivered by “well-informed and un-pompous” staff. (“The addition of upstairs at Trinity is working well” too – an “interesting and appealing”, but cheaper option to the ground floor – formula price £43). Mr Michelin Man – “a star must be due surely?” STOP PRESS. Michelin finally provided the much-overdue star in October 2016.
“You feel the money’s been well-spent” at Adam Byatt’s fine-dining “oasis” in Clapham – “a superb all-rounder”, where staff are “friendly without being overbearing”, the room is “lovely and airy”, the cuisine “consistently brilliant” and where “the Chef’s Cellar wines are particularly well chosen”. In October 2015 it is relaunching after a 3-month closure, with an open kitchen, new outside dining area, and a new ‘casual dining’ option on the first floor called ‘Upstairs’, with small plates and communal tables.
“Outstanding but unassuming”, Adam Byatt’s “superb” Clapham HQ remains “the best in the area by a mile”, thanks to its “seasonal ingredients prepared with great flair”, and “service that makes you feel like a VIP”.
Trinity Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Fabulous food which was not supported by timing of the delivery of food: with our first course arriving 1 1/2 hours after we arrived. The whole meal took 3 1/2 hours (without post dinner coffee/tea) and whilst the serving staff were very friendly and attentive which is just too long when paying well over £100 a head."
"Tasting menu had a couple of poor dishes mackerel dish in particular was poor. Difficult to understand the staff. Manager a bit in your face. Nice buzzy atmosphere."
"A very slick operation, you are made to feel very welcome and everything is as it should be."
"Best dining experience in the last 10 years in London. The food was original and superb. It is worth being aware that there is only a set menu so it's a big dinner!"
"Since getting a Michelin star the team have upped their game in terms of cooking, and it remains friendly and buzzy, however some dishes don't benefit from being made more fancy or elaborate in terms of presentation, and the prices are starting to feel a bit on the high side."
"The new menu at Trinity has moved Adam Byatt forward from fine dining to a compulsory tasting menu. The tastes are stunning, superb almost to the point of excess. There are so many tastes on each plate that four courses (£70) became a confusion for one of us. It's still too good to miss - and he'll probably get a second start because of the change - but it's certainly different."
Adam Byatt is a foodie-world favourite. He first hit the headlines - in a modest way - back in 2002, when his Clapham restaurant Thyme was at the cutting edge of the 'tasting plate' revolution. Then - flushed with success - he moved Thyme to Covent Garden. It failed, however, and he subsequently re-launched on the same site as 'Origin'. Hidden-away on the first floor of a multimedia centre, Origin has still always had difficulty attracting the following its interesting cuisine deserves.
This new outlet takes Mr Byatt back to his 'roots', near Clapham Common (just a couple of hundred yards from the original Thyme). The obvious problem is that Clapham has never proved itself a 'natural' fine-dining destination, and you have to have real innovation or quality on your side to succeed.
Well, on our visit, there was no particular innovation, and nothing about this place was quite good enough. For a start, the setting is below the aspiration level: at £50 a head, you do not want to hear, as we could, a deep-fat fryer bubbling away during your lunch. (Nor to smell it, but that was probably just a ventilation teething problem.) But, in the last analysis, it was the food which let the place down. If customers go to the trouble of seeking out a place like this, they need to be rewarded with intense flavours. We weren't, with none of the half-dozen dishes we sampled really impressed. Even bread, hot from the oven, was a non-event.
Perhaps it was just early days. But we can't help thinking that a visit to Origin, with its handier West End location, would still be a better bet.
4 The Polygon, London, SW4 0JG
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lunch 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm, Sun 3 pm, dinner 6.30 pm - 10.30 pm
Last orders: 10 pm, Sun 9 pm