What: A new neighbourhood restaurant that’s moved in to Clapham Common down the road from The Dairy and Adam Byatt’s Trinity. Minnow is so named because it sees itself as a ‘small, but fiercely independent fish in a big pond’.
Who: Owner Chris Frichot is from solid hospitality stock, his parents opened the Michelin-starred Knockinaam Lodge in Scotland the same week he was born and he was peeling potatoes in the kitchen from the age of five. After a stint as a Reuters journalist post-University he turned his back on the office to work at Caravan, Hawksmoor and Hoi Polloi, before launching Minnow with his fiancé Saba Tsegaye. Jake Boyce, former head chef at Jason Atherton’s Social Wine and Tapas, is heading up the kitchen.
The vibe: Located in a former greasy spoon cafe, Minnow has ripped out the upstairs kitchen to create a light and airy space with flower-covered trellis in the dining room and an outside area lit by fairy lights. There is a clear contrast with the more intimate downstairs space, which features a booth lit by a stained glass light box, and counter seating around a busy open kitchen where diners can watch the kitchen team in action.
The menu: Boyce serves up modern European dishes influenced by the British seasons. The launch menu features chargrilled baby octopus with sour green mango; charred lamb rump with chickpeas and harissa yoghurt; and a chocolate doughnut dessert. The restaurant is also angling for a slice of Clapham’s busy weekend brunch scene, with dishes including cornbread with fried egg, avocado and yoghurt; and a twist on a full English with Merguez sausages and homemade baked beans
And another thing: Some of Minnow’s cocktails are named after Clapham’s local landmarks and heroes. Elizabeth Cook, the widow of explorer James Cook, and Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki both get a namecheck, but there’s no Infernos or Margot Robbie for now.