The Underdog Review
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I am a North London girl through and through. I was born and raised in North London. My drinking ground is North London; as is my eating, sleeping, shopping and lounging in the park ground. So when I was sent to Clapham Junction I was, at first, dubious. This place doesn’t even have a tube station!
But what is the point of life if we don’t take risks? Deciding to embrace change I, and my companion, found ourselves bravely going were many have gone before. Hiding our A to Z from passersby so they would not deduce that we were South London imposters, we found Northcote Road, home to The Underdog.
It was not as I expected. There were no groups of angry youths waiting on the corner, ready to tell us to go back to our side, no rabid dogs hunting people in packs (I had maybe confused South London with a post-apocalyptical world). As it turns out Northcote Road and the surrounding area is, to me, very North London daaarling.
Northcote Road is full of restaurants and bars with people spilling onto the pavement. I am not talking about the angry, spill out crowd from late night kebab shop that I feared would be our drinking companions, but the type of spill out crowd who will elegantly sip a cosmopolitan while appearing supremely unconcerned that they are millimetres from a kerbside tumble. In short, the crowd is the young(ish), affluent, and assured.
And what of the Underdog? It was not, as I had suspected from the name, a bar set in a dog fighting hall. The Underdog suits its pleasant neighbourhood very well. It has the obligatory spill out showing its popularity, although the clientele are supplied with tables and chairs, which does make it more comfortable for evenings of ‘settling in’. Unlike the other bars around it, The Underdog tries for a slightly more rock and roll feel. Cue a framed picture of a young (and in my opinion attractive) Ozzy Osborne, Mick Jagger mural, and well-known blaring pop rock songs.
Inside the decor is casual and fun with comfortable chairs that look like they have been ripped from some form of public transport. The outdoor area on the road is great for people-watching on long summer evenings, which we should hopefully be having more of. I am amazed, I could be sitting in a bar in Islington!
The food is basic filling fare - sandwiches, burgers, nachos - that come in unashamedly massive portions. I was happy to find that they use curly fries, which, let’s be honest, are so much better than non-curly fries. Do all South London establishments understand this, I ponder? This is something that needs to be further explored.
For drinks, my companion and I went for an accompaniment of cocktails ranging from the norm to the more unusual. The most experimental was El Macho, which is a twist on a margarita and involves enough chilli to leave lips tingling for a good hour afterwards. The most delicious was the Passion Fruit and Mango Caipiroska, which tasted like an alcoholic smoothie. The most suitable for girlie girls would be the Dam Gin Jam, which is Barbie pink coloured and comes in a jam jar with two raspberries nestled on the top. My male companion was slightly taken aback by this order but manfully swigged it down anyway (it was delicious!). I am sold; it’s definitely worth wandering along to The Underdog on a Thursday when the cocktails are only £5 all night.
This being a World Cup year, The Underdog is also offering a special gimmick (and I do love a gimmick). Whilst watching the game, special giant cocktails will be served in faux World Cups, so mimicking the celebrations (or drowning the sorrows) should be easy.
The Underdog is a relaxed venue with a happy crowd. Stay and work your way down the cocktail menu or use it as a stop in before sauntering around the many bars along Northcote Road.
As for me, I am converted. I toss aside my preconceptions and embrace change. I know I will be returning to check out the not so dark side of town as soon as possible....read more
Customer Reviews for The Underdog
Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Underdog.
“A pretty decent bar for watching football on TV in Clapham Junction, and the music policy always leans toward the sharp end of rock, and I also enjoy the waitress service for drinks when stood or sat outside in the sun (even though it costs extra and there's nobody actually stood at the bar - I'm lazy). This is a bar for the younger crowd though and popular with our Antipodean guests.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Pete Ringer, Clapham (4 years 6 months 26 days ago)
“Went here with a mate on a Friday night. Had a good atmosphere, nice and busy. The food was a little boring and over priced, burger and chips cost a little under a tenner.
Felt like the venue wanted to be a bit 'different' but it is not. Just a normal bar.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Florance, london (5 years 5 months 13 days ago)
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- Cuisine Type: Bar
- Average Price: £9
- Group: (Independent/Freehouse)
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