64th & Social is one of a long line of strange bar/restaurant hybrids that line the high street between Clapham North and Clapham Common tube stations. For the most part, I tend to write them all off as trying to do too much and succeeding at nothing. 64th & Social, in contrast, has streamlined the menu and focused on just a few high-value offerings. It’s not a perfect balance yet and still feels a bit like a bar/lounge trying to play restaurant to pass the slow days between weekends, but it definitely has potential.
You won’t find any shortage of bars and pubs to meet for a drink in Clapham, but the bar at 64th & Social has a decent selection of cocktails and they run a happy hour from 6-9pm during the week where all cocktails are £5 (usually £8.50).
What to eat?
Choices are limited to three steaks (350g rib eye, 350g sirloin, and 250g fillet) which come with a bowl of salad, a bowl of chips, and your choice of one of 5 sauces. During January, you also get a glass of wine or a bottle of Asahi beer free with your meal. And all this for just £10 – damn if that isn’t a good value meal.
For such a bargain, I was expecting the bare minimum – a charred piece of meat, a few leaves and potatoes, and a splash of wine. Yeah, I was wrong and blown away with just how much food turned up.
The sirloin steak was seared nicely medium rare with clear grill lines and a thick crust although could have used a dab more salt to bring out the beefy flavour. The bourbon glaze was spread evenly along the top and added a slight smokiness to each bite. The chips were strangely circles of potatoes (almost as if they couldn’t decide if they were using the US or British definition for chips and ended up with something in the middle) but were fried nicely and well seasoned.
The salad really stood out, however, with a mixed variety of leaves, sundried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese all sprinkled with a light dressing of balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely delicious and I’d go back for the salad alone.
And let’s not forget the wings. While not the best I’ve had, they were tasty and at £2.50 for 6 the value for money was spectacular.
There are about ten cocktails on the happy hour list and the best one we tried was the Dirty South Mojito which is made with gin instead of rum and has a heavy passion fruit flavour. Light and sweet, it goes down easily and still packs a decent punch. The suicide moijto (made with apple cider and apple liquor instead of lime and soda) was a tad on the sweeter side but again quite refreshing. You could easily drink several of these on a night out – and for £5 apiece why not?
My first two selections (the Cuppa Joe and the Harakiri) were both unavailable due to a lack of coffee and whiskey (shame on you 64!) but the Rumpy Pumpy was a fruity little number with a blast of spicy rum balanced with tart cranberries and sweet apricots. I continued my trend of the least manly drinks possible by following it up with ‘Alo Treacle which is garnished with a pink rose petal. Still it was tasty and I’m sure the girlfriend won’t mock me that much. Right.
Worth the dosh?
For 7 people including a cocktail each (some of us had two) plus a glass of wine/beer with the meal, the total came to £130. That’s less than £20 each for a pretty hefty steak dinner with the trimmings and 2-3 drinks a person. Damn impressive and given that the food & drink was actually tasty it’s incredible value. My hope for the area has been a bit restored as although it’s not the best for atmosphere (though if you have a decent sized group you can make your own party), I’d definitely recommend it for a pre-night out meal or really any time you crave a steak but don’t fancy the trek and wallet-crushing prices of the big boys in the City.