Harden's survey result
With its “cosy red-leather booths” to the rear and attractive dining room and bar, this posh gastropub has been a “locals’ favourite” of chichi backstreet Kensington for 21 years. The food is “above average (fantastic steaks!)” and there’s a “decent wine list” – “what’s not to like?”.
“Always a winner” – this “comfortable” neighbourhood gastropub stalwart in a chichi Kensington backstreet is a case study in consistency. “Very accommodating” staff serve “ever-dependable food” in “agreeable surroundings”. “Great for Sunday lunch with children” too.
In a “quiet backstreet south of High Street Ken”, this posh gastropub stalwart remains “a tremendous local” for a loyal well-heeled crowd (“it’s full of regulars, so must be doing something right!”). Top Tip – the best seats are in the booths.
“Totally reliable” and “always a treat”, this stalwart, posh gastropub in an agreeable Kensington backstreet gets “very busy, so allow time for your order”. Top Tip – nab a booth for the best seats.
|Wine per bottle||£22.95|
The Abingdon W8
Rebecca Mascarenhas a great London innovator-survivor. Her Sonny's, in Barnes, may be credited as a mid-'80s fore-runner of the '90s London restaurant revolution. The name of that establishment may mean little to those who get lost outside Zone 1, but Sonny's has consistently been hailed by residents of the SWs numbered 13-19 as one of London's most satisfactory destinations for nearly two decades. Duplicating the Sonny's magic has proved vexed, however - attempts in Putney, Ealing and North Barnes, and in Nottingham, have sometimes lacked staying power.
This latest opening - bringing Ms M's current stable to four in number - is in a quiet road just off Kensington High Street that looks set to (re-)emerge as a 'restaurant row' worth remembering. Everything at a first-week lunch at the new venture was of a consistently high standard, if with a slight feeling that the simpler the dish, the better it was. Service was informal but professional, dealing efficiently with a good crowd apparently stirred up by favourable reviews elsewhere. Prices are reasonable.
If there is a criticism, it is that the whole of the style - which includes a menu of what might be described as ambitious comfort cooking - is not so very different from what's already on offer at two other places in the street. The newcomer's style puts it head-to-head with near-neighbour Whits, and it's not so very different from the Abindgon (note the potential name-confusion). And the builders are in opposite, at the restaurant site long known as Trattoo. Let's hope they go for something completely different. Experience shows that it's better for restaurants to cluster than to be isolated, but potentially four good 'modern British' restaurants (almost) in a row? That really might be too much of a good thing.
54 Abingdon Rd, London, W8 6AP
|Monday||12:30 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Tuesday||12:30 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12:30 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Thursday||12:30 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Friday||12:30 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑3 pm, 7 pm‑10 pm|