SMALL TALK

Isaac McHale of The Clove Club on making The World's 50 Best Restaurants list

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Isaac McHale (left) with Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith
Isaac McHale (left) with Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith

Related tags: Clove club, Lunch, Restaurant

Last week The Clove Club in Shoreditch was awarded the Highest New Entry in the The World's 50 Best Restaurants list, making its debut at number 26. Chef Isaac McHale, who runs the restaurant with Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith, spoke to BigHospitality about the restaurant's inclusion and the affect the accolade is having on the business. 

How does it feel to be named one of the top 50 restaurants in the world?

We are humbled and excited. 

What do you think is the one thing that makes you so successful?

Good old hard work. 

Has winning the award had an impact on The Clove Club? 

We were already busy, but since receiving the award our lunch bookings have gone up 35 per cent. 

Your restaurant has a relaxed and informal approach to dining, while traditionally many of the World's 50 Best Restaurants have operated in the fine-dining space, do you think you're part of a move towards celebrating less formal ventures?  

I hope so, I think its about making people feel welcome and special without the formalities. Its possible to have an exceptional restaurant experience without tablecloths and silverware.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards are also about recognising restaurants that are unique in their location. How does The Clove Club's location help you, it if at all?

We have a space within a great Victorian building. It's unique and the location in Shoreditch is a change from the usual setting of Mayfair or Central London for ambitious restaurants.

Clove-Club-at-50-best

Do you think the UK is fairly represented on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list? (only three - The Ledbury, The Clove Club and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal are in the top 50)

I think we have brilliant restaurants and chefs in this country and of course I would like to see more of them on the list. 

Which other restaurants from the UK would you have liked to have seen included this year?

The Sportsman, Gymkhana, River Cafe, Casamia and The Fat Duck. 

What's next for The Clove Club?  

We want to keep pushing to make things even better every day, and continue to deliver amazing experiences to all of our guests.

To see the full list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants 2016 click here.

Hear Johnny Smith talk about The Clove Club's approach to service in our exclusive video: 

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