Located in the heart of Beautfort street and Clarence street, Clarences bar has proven to be a favourite of the local. It is one of my favourite small bars to just chill out and catch up with a few mates for pints of cider or beer or a glass of wine. It provides a relaxed atmosphere, with simple black walls with prints, a non-fussed decor, with private seatings at the front for diners and a bar at the back with a small intimate courtyard at the back. Clarences has a decent selection of ciders, beers and wines and quality tapas to share and a limited selection of mains. On certain weeknights there are main specials, such as the chicken parma on Monday nights.
The chicken parma on Monday nights will set you back $15, which isn't too bad, considering the decent size of the meal. It also comes with a side of frites and salad. The aroma from the parma was delicious, a decent amount of cheese was on top and it wasn't too over-cooked that the chicken was dry. Definitely, $15 well spent.
Another one of my favourites at Clarences is their fries. Homemade with love and comes with aioli and homemade tomato sauce. The tomato sauce used to be fantastic, but lately, either they haven't made it in house or the chef have changed and the sauce is not as good as it used to be; there definitely isn't the taste of homemade.
Clarences also makes amazing mini cheese burgers with pickles, which really isn't very mini and makes for a substantial meal. It's fresh with slices of melted cheese on the beef. What can I say but yum?
They also have amazing fried chicken wings, which are lightly battered, fried and is covered in spicy so it has this nice bite to it. Unfortunately, there are no photos as the smell of the wings were too much to resist.
Another lovely tapas dish on their menu, which I also failed to take a photo of is their, porcini arancini, feta whip.
Clarences ceviche, coconut, lemon and coriander is also delicious, fresh and creamy. It just melts in your mouth. However, I think it needed a bit of zest and a little less coconut, as the coconut flavour over-powered the whole ceviche's traditional zesty flavours. Nevertheless, it was still pretty good.
I also quite enjoy their confit of mushrooms, which was a bowlful of button mushrooms seasoned with butter and herbs. The mushrooms were not overdone and the flavours worked really well together, I just think it would have been better if it was field mushrooms instead. (Might just be biased).
Clarences also makes amazing pork belly. The meat was juicy and tender and the crackling was crisp to perfection.
And their panzaella salad is filled with lots of fresh vegetables in an amazing, pleasantly zesty dressing. A perfect accompaniment to any dish.
They also have an amazing selection of cheese. My favourite being the will studd brillat-savarin, cow’s milk (soft cheese) with honey comb and baguette. I can eat this thing all to myself, with a glass of wine in hand.It's absolutely divine with the honeycomb on the cheese.
Clarances is one of my favourite small bars, plainly because it offers lovely selection of dishes, with an ambiance of dark, sexy coolness but one which isn't pretentious. It sometimes lacks service in peak time, and can be a little too dark to see what you are eating, but regardless, it is the perfect venue to catch up with mates over drinks and nibbles.