Eat 17, Clapton

Duck breast, Eat 17, Clapton, London

Barbary duck breast, onion purée, fricassee of nik naks, sweet potato & rocket (£13)

The most important thing I learnt from my trip to Eat 17 is that if a restaurant has more than one venue with the same name it is sensible to be very clear about which your friend should meet you at, otherwise you may end up trying very hard not to drink the whole bottle of wine you’ve ordered while you wait for them to get from Walthamstow to Clapton. Unluckily I had forgotten my book that day, but luckily the CLAPTON outpost of Eat 17 is a lovely place to sit and wait, and my waitress was very sympathetic. And the Walthamstow branch are very good at calling cabs.

These guys had been on my radar a while because they sell bacon jam, which is the sort of invention which they ought to be able to retire on, by rights. The restaurant’s menu is appropriately creative, and even though putting Nik Naks anywhere near a duck breast seems like culinary blasphemy they mostly pull it off. The meat was juicy and perfectly cooked, and though I would have liked more of each of the bits and pieces it was joined by, the flavours were great with it. Even the Nik Naks.

I wasn’t so keen on their tempura broccoli with pomegranate and soy, which had none of the lightness it implied – more chip shop greens than Japanese delicacy, with a dressing which featured little more than the vinegary punch of pomegranate molasses. But I did have a lovely evening, and it’s worth a trip just to gaze at the golden palm tree lamps which adorn the bar. Though maybe not for as long as I did.

Eat 17
★★★★✰   £££
64-66 Brooksby’s Walk, E9 6DA, 020 8986 6242

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