Urban feel, trendy, and has the clientèle to match. For a place that has such an intimate feel, Exhibit is surprisingly large (over three floors). Despite the ‘cool factor’ the music is surprisingly low volume, so your date is not drowned out by an unwanted soundtrack. There is heaps of outside space (but also plenty of indoors) so great in the summer. Perfectly located next to Balham station: an easy 25 mins tube journey from the City and amazing for locals.
Try the Spring Thyme cocktail (Gin, Elderflower, Thyme, Lime) which was delicious and perfect for a warm summer’s evening. My date ordered a Whisky Sour which was great despite not being on the menu: a testament to the skills of the barman. You can either choose to have a main course to yourself, or to share tapas – we went for the latter. We had six plates between the two of us and felt sated. The squid with ratatouille and the croquettas are an absolute must, but the star dish was the jerk mutton with plantain. Sharing dessert as well is a must – we went for a baked cheesecake with poached strawberries for dessert – perfect way to round off the meal.
Turn up in good time to enjoy the delicious food and bag a table on the balcony before the film starts. This is the perfect first date place – not cheesy, and no dim lighting – but after you get close and personal over your sharing food, you can then have a cheeky snog on the comfy sofas in the cinema and feel like a teenager again. If you really want to up your game and impress your date, rent out the cinema privately and select a film of your choice. If the cinema doesn’t appeal to you, on the last Wednesday of the month, you can get creative together with a life drawing class.
If you want a cosy restaurant with a little corner table and a violinist serenading you, this isn’t for you.