As I stood opposite Stane Street Syndicate waiting for the traffic lights to turn red I had a perfect vantage point to enjoy its faux Tudor architecture. A grand and quite beautiful building with its black timber beams across the pale facade, is located approx 20 seconds from Clapham Common tube station. Surely this must be one of the most convenient pubs in London for an after work pint, I mused to myself.
My companions had already made themselves at home at a long wooden table beside the front window so I seated myself at the daylight end and admired the neon wall lights near the front door & noticed the fairy lights that adorned the area near the bar. This is a large pub with a really warm & welcoming atmosphere which you feel immediately comfortable in. I poured myself some of the complimentary lime water as my friend topped up my Prosecco. Ordinarily I wouldn’t order Prosecco but this was such a sweet & creamy version to what I’ve had in the past that you could say I’m now converted.
One of the first dishes to arrive were the Korean chicken wings. Underneath the delicately smoky, sweet glaze were succulent, tender hunks of chicken flesh & when the chicken bites arrived I wondered if they would taste particularly different & their sticky, umami rich coating did not disappoint. I think we were only 60 seconds into the meal and I was already wearing half of the food on my face. I was grateful for the sour cream dip and the additional napkins that were provided.
There were plates of sweet battered cod, flaky pastry encrusted creamy chicken pie with the most buttery mashed potato accompaniment & sweet onion gravy. Each dish was flawless in execution with everything cooked exactly as you would want it to be.
One of the things that surprised me was how many vegan friendly dishes there were & how indeterminable they were from the others, the quality of them was THAT GOOD. The dirty vegan fries had that chipotle smoke to them and were heavy in the most satisfying of ways. The burgers, laden with that beautiful summer BBQ aroma & the cheese cascading down the hot beef. So drool-worthy. The calamari was sweet and delicate and once I was certain everyone had tried it I made sure to hoard it at my end of the table so I wouldn’t be obliged to share any more.
If I was being enormously picky I’d say the Mac and cheese was missable. A little bland to my taste (& blown out of the water by the other stand out dishes in my opinion). When I fed this back I was informed they were still tinkering with that recipe & if it’s anything like the others is sure to be magnificent once perfected.
One tip: Do not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE miss out on the deep fried courgetti (or onion bits). Utter utter food porn. It’s almost chicken skin like & I’ll be desperately trying to recreate this irresistible recipe.
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? Kate Moss, get this down your gob…
Nearest tube: Clapham Common
State Street Syndicate
196 Clapham High Street