Review: So.UK, Clapham High Street
Outside the rain is pouring down, but I feel like I'm transported to another continent the moment I step inside So.UK in Clapham High Street.
The restaurant and bar is decorated like a Middle Eastern palace, with sofas and plump cushions to lounge on after a hard days graft.
There are large gold tables to rest as many drinks as you like on decorated with pretty pink flowers. It also smells like burning incense, adding to the relaxed, opulent atmosphere and a welcome relief to the usual pongy bars you can sometimes stumble into in Clapham High Street.
It would be a shame to not sample anything from the varied cocktail menu, featuring martinis, short and long cocktails, champagne based cocktails as well as sharing cocktails.
They are all priced around £8, with £5 for a mocktail and sharing cocktails at £22, which might make more sense economically if there are a few of you.
I'm delighted my favourite cocktail is on there - Dark and Stormy vs Brazil, a mixture of rum, fresh lime, pineapple and ginger beer. It comes served in a tall, long glass and is just the right balance between sweet and spicy, without being too overbearing.
My guest also finds her favourite cocktail on the menu, a traditional bellini made up of peach puree, Mercier Brut Champagne and Archers , which comes served in a flute.
The menu is a mixture of Moroccan, Thai, Lebanese and Chinese inspired meals.
A sharing platter seems like the best option, giving diners the option to pick three dishes to share with your partner for £10.
We select pitta bread served with salsa, guacamole and sour cream, which is priced individually at £3.50.
We also chose Moroccan Kofta - minced lamb on wooden sticks served with tzatziki (£3.95 individually) and aromatic duck rolls (£3.95 individually), served with hoi sin and spicy plum sauce.
The food is brought to us quickly by the friendly restaurant staff on huge Moroccan-style plates, making it fun and easy to share.
The pitta bread is served warm and becomes incredibly moreish, while my friend and I can't get enough of the hoi sin and spicy plum sauce the rolls are served with.
The minced lamb kebabs are dainty yet filling, the perfect food to enjoy in the stylish surroundings.
After all of that food I'm gasping for something to wash it down with and the cocktails menu is looking very tempting.
I opt for something a bit more fruity with the apricot and grapefruit martini catching my eye.
It's served short in a frosted martini glass and tastes strong, but not to the point of making your eyes water. My friend is also feeling fruity and goes for a raspberry tom collins, a modern twist on the gin based cocktail, served with a big raspberry on top.
So.UK is the perfect antidote to a bustling city day. Visitors will find a combination of reasonably priced cocktails and luxurious surroundings to really make you feel like you are giving yourself a well-deserved treat. It is an exotic take on your everyday local, definitely worth a visit to soak in the classy surroundings and lose yourself at the same time.
So.UK, 165 Clapham High Street, Clapham, visit soukclapham.co.uk