Clam & Cork

So, it’s been a while since I have posted. In my defence I did give birth to a new small 4 weeks ago. Lucy has slotted right in to our family and we are so happy to have her. So far I’m finding it a lot less stressful the second time around and after having a toddler I wonder why I found having a baby so hard. I am definitely intending on making the most of the immobile baby stage this time around, especially on the days my overly mobile son is at nursery.

On Friday my friend and I decided to go on a ladies lunch to the much anticipated Clam & Cork in Doncaster. If you haven’t heard of the Clam & Cork, it’s the new venture from Michael Price who also runs The Gourmet Dining Room from his home. This supper club is so popular that as soon as the dates are released you have to call up for a table and they are issued on a first-come-first-served basis. When people that haven’t been hear that I spend all morning on the phone, trying hundreds of times to get through for a table at someone’s house in Doncaster, they look at me like I have lost my mind, I can assure you that if you went you would feel differently. I have only been fortunate enough to get a table once but as you can see from the pictures below it is an incredible experience. Anyway I digress.

My friend and I hopped on Lucy’s first ever train to Doncaster and walked to the fish market where the Clam & Cork is located. The weather was warm but not too sunny (a perk when you have a small baby and no shade) so we decided to sit on one of the outside tables. There is also seating around the fish bar, where you can sit and watch your food being freshly prepared using the fish picked straight from the market.

We sat down and the waitress came straight over to ask us for drinks. We ordered our wine and sat back to relax and enjoy it. It’s a very different kind of environment to dine in as it’s in the middle of a very busy market (it was half term when we visited so possibly more busy than normal). It was really enjoyable though, fantastic for people watching and the smell of the fish coming from the market as well as the warmth and bustle made it feel almost like we were on holiday. I believe the outside tables were a pretty new edition and I definitely think they need some signs on the table saying they are for Clam & Cork customers only. There was a slightly bizarre mixture of people drinking champagne, prosecco and wine while eating their beautifully put together food and other customers chowing down on fish and chips from the local chippy, salads from the sandwich shop and drinking slushes from a nearby stand. The poor waitress had to keep coming out and asking people to make way for paying customers.

I believe the menu changes quite often based on what is available. When we attended there was a menu chalked up on a board outside and our attention was also drawn to a board inside with a couple of daily specials.

After some deliberation I chose the Prawns Pil Pil to start and the Monk Fish Burger for main. Due to the nature of the kitchen when you order the food is just brought out as and when it’s ready. Because of this I would suggest ordering your small plates first and then ordering mains once they arrive. Either way all the food came out really quickly to say we could see it all being prepared from scratch right behind us. My prawns were plump, fresh and really full of flavour. My monk fish burger was honestly out of this world. It was served in a really fresh brioche bun with two different homemade sauces and coleslaw in the bread as well as the delicious monk wish in a kind of southern fried batter.

This is the perfect place to come with a pram as there is plenty of space and you can’t get in anyone’s way. Because of the nature of the venue there are no facilities so if you have a weaned child expect them to be sat on your knee. I would also recommend changing them before lunch. The tables are very public so if you are a nervous breast feeder you might not like feeding here. Luckily I am not as Lucy decided she wanted to feed for the entire time we were there! This venue would be great for quite well behaved children who aren’t likely to run off. There are simple dishes on the menu, such as fish and chips which kids would enjoy. I also think inquisitive children who are interested in cooking and food in general (which Alfred is, thanks Shane the Chef) they would really enjoy watching the chefs choosing the fish and preparing the food.

The bill came to £80 in total which for 2 bottles of wine and two courses of very high quality food each for 3 people seemed very very reasonable (don’t worry I didn’t partake in both bottles of wine (unfortunately)). When we had paid the bill and were leaving I really liked that every member of staff said goodbye and thank you, from the owner, to the chefs and waitress.

I would highly recommend popping over to Doncaster and giving this place a go for lunch. It’s only just starting out but I believe they have plans to expand and include more seating in the near future. While you are there (especially if you are child free) if you fancy visiting a few other venues for a cheeky day drink my lovely friend, from Doncaster, has recommended you visit the following bars; Relish, The Rum Rooms and The Market Place Ale House.

I am hoping to see really great things from this business in the future, I think it has the potential to be huge!