A trip to visit my maternal grandparents usually means a lunch of Marks & Sparks quiche, cold meats, boiled eggs and a big bowl of retro salad, complete with radishes, spring onions and salad cream. It’s a classic English summertime lunch combo, but, while I love my grandparents dearly, I can’t say I look forward to this rather uninspiring spread with great joy.
There are pale, lacklustre, supermarket quiches… and then there is Tart. Co-owners Jason and Adam opened Tart at Clapham Common’s The Pavement in 2014, having struggled through several winters at Herne Hill’s farmers’ market where no Brit wishes to venture in the cold weather. A storefront of their own meant heating, comfortable seating, and all-year-round custom.
Tart’s menu celebrates seasonality. Perfectly crisp, fine pastry vessels are deep-filled with eye-catching fillings, using minimal custard to bind the ingredients, letting the winning flavour combinations shine.
Currently on the menu is a stunning smoked salmon and minted pea tart (£5.95) which is packed with vibrant green, subtly-sweet peas laced with Dijon mustard to give a gentle kick.
Add a salad to any tart to bring your meal to a great value £8.75. The vegan broccoli & green bean with tahini dressing, toasted sesame & nigella seeds (£4.5 small / 7 large when served separately) is lightly yet creamy, and satisfyingly crisp and crunchy.
The Parma ham, poached pear & Gorgonzola tart with rocket and red onion jam (£5.95) was utterly indulgent. A silky just-set custard bound piquant blue cheese, rich ham, soft pear and sticky jam. Each mouthful was euphoric; an exciting mix of sweet and savoury, mild and strong, smooth and crisp – the ultimate balance of textures and flavours.
Brunch also gets tarted up here. A classic eggs Benedict ditches the English muffin in place of golden puff pastry (£8.35), while the Royale: is served in a short-crust pastry case with salty capers and tangy gherkin (£8.25).
This posh picnic food belongs on a gingham blanket on the green, and Tart will help you get there, packaging your meal into a handy wicker basket, along with a bottle of bubbly or a couple of Brixton beers and a slice of cake for afters.
Not a fan of tarts? It’s well worth popping into Tart to try the Volcano speciality coffee. ‘The Mount’ coffee has a slightly smoky-burnt flavour, offset by fruity and vibrant notes or sugar cane and dates. A unique blend of the black stuff.
25 The Pavement,
T: 020 7627 2176
Open 8:00-18:00 Mon-Fri; 9:00-18:00 Sat & Sun