Hattie Lloyd 20/05/24

Crispin at Studio Voltaire

Don’t take a date to Crispin at Studio Voltaire.

In fact, don’t take a colleague, a client, a new friend or your in-laws. Don’t take anyone you can’t comfortably eat in silence with for longer than 45 minutes, because frankly this is food so delicious, it deserves your full, undivided attention.

Assuming you’ve located a dining companion who will forgive your selective mutism, you’ll meet outside the church-turned-contemporary art gallery that is Studio Voltaire – tucked down a side street that is physically metres, but spiritually a world away from Infernos. You’ll walk through a zen, minimalist terrace garden, all rust-glazed tiling and muted shrubbery. And you’ll finally enter an achingly stylish space, lit only by the sizeable glass doors and a constellation of candlelight.

crispin at studio voltaire

As you’ll have guessed from the name, this is a southern excursion for the team behind Crispin in Spitalfields, Bar Crispin in Soho, and Bistro Freddie in Shoreditch. Crispin at Studio Voltaire bears a familial resemblance to the last of these, with its antique wooden furnishings and the Bauhaus-style zig-zagged steel candlesticks. The rest of the room is kept pared-back; a blackboard of specials here, a zinc-topped counter there, and a heavy curtain the colour of burnt caramel drawn across the far wall to lend warmth.

crispin at studio voltaire

The menu allows you to construct your own feast of small plates, larger sharing plates, sides and amuse-bouches of house pickles; generously hefty hunks of E5 Bakehouse sourdough and comté croquettes with pickled walnut ketchup. The ingredients are British, the recipes Modern European, but there’s something about the recurring combination of charred hero ingredients riding in on waves of whipped cheese, yoghurt and puddles of oil that lend a faintly Middle Eastern feel, too. Take the confit tomatoes, cooked just to the point of maintaining solidity, and swimming in a pool of almond cream with a kick of wild garlic. Or the chunks of blackened courgette sitting on a liquid cloud of ricotta and blanketed in mint.

crispin at studio voltaire dishes

The larger plates revolve around quality cuts and whole fish: slices of beef rump with smoked aubergine and bone marrow; grilled cod with pickled fennel; chicken leg with plump borlotti beans and ‘nduja. Chef Michael Miles has a firm handle on everything sent out of the kitchen here: every dish resolutely hits the mark, and however you choose to craft your own particular banquet, they all connect to make an utterly moreish, coherent whole.

As a restaurant opening in 2024, it goes without saying that there’s Guinness headlining the drinks menu, but there’s also a clutch of interesting cocktails (apricot & verbena margarita, blackberry bud negroni) and a well-picked wine list available on tap, which changes every now and again to showcase a quintet of independent growers. They’re all sourced from local merchants Uncharted Wines, who pour their collective four decades of wine know-how into sourcing kegs from small-scale, mostly biodynamic-focussed producers. For the sustainably-minded Crispin team…

…it seems like a natural fit.


NOTE: Crispin at Studio Voltaire is open for lunch Wed-Sun, and dinner Wed-Sat. You can find out more, and book a table, HERE.

Crispin at Studio Voltaire | 1A Nelsons Row, London SW4 7JR

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Crispin at Studio Voltaire

1A Nelsons Row, Clapham, SW4 7JR

8.7 | Great