Opening on Wednesday, the new 15-seat venture is on the site of the former Delicatessen, next door to The Dairy in south west London’s Clapham. It is looking to capture the area’s bustling night-time trade after Gill admitted that the daytime delicatessen operation hadn’t quite worked as intended.
Gill told BigHospitality: “We want to do something more in the evenings, something a bit more wild and energised. [Counter Culture] is not going to be a million miles away from the ethos of The Dairy, but we’re calling it the ‘evil younger brother’, as it’s going to be a house of fun, with music. We want it to be a really bustling little evening spot.”
Inspired by typical pintxos venues of northern Spain in style but not in menu, the new venue will serve dishes with British and international influences, using fresh and seasonal ingredients from the same suppliers as used at Gill’s other locations.
Plates will focus on lesser-known and under-used produce as much as possible, and ‒ following on from Gill’s work at The Dairy ‒ there will also be a strong emphasis on seasonal pickling, fermenting, ageing, curing and bottling.
Typical dishes will be along the lines of a barbecued escabeche dish with spices and fermented vegetables, mackerel and sweet celery with sour rhubarb; smoked lamb ribs with miso aubergine and fennel; and kimchi.
Gill will also have a “guestbook” encouraging customers to suggest recipes from their own cultures, along with their name and social media account names, thus incorporating the “culture” element of the site’s title. The team will then review the suggestions and incorporate the best ones into future menus, naming the customer who came up with the idea.