Not everyone loves celeb chef Antony Worral Thompson. Gordon Ramsay, for example, once branded him a Teletubby, as distinct from a serious chef (such as himself).

But it’s hard not to have some sneaking admiration for someone who combines seemingly limitless energy for self-promotion with evident talent. For example, before his Ready Steady Cook days, AWT helped create some (for a time) seriously popular restaurants, such as Bistrot 190 and dell’Ugo.

Nowadays he’s mostly an “I’m-a-celebrity,-get-me-out-of-here” kind of guy – with a nifty line in jointly-branded Brevell appliances – but he still has a few restaurants on the side.

Barnes Grill, the latest, now joins Notting Grill and Kew Grill in his threesome of somewhat wackily-designed neighbourhood grills. All are in well-heeled residential areas where customers like to be comfortable and don’t have to count the pennies too hard. All share the (some would say tacky) menu motto of ‘Well bred and well hung’ (continuing his liking of louche double entendres, evident since he named his first restaurant, Ménage à Trois).

A recent Sunday lunch there was most memorable for the cheery and efficient service we received from our excellent waiter. The food isn’t supposed to be ambitious, and it isn’t. It’s a shame that some notably tasteless bread kicked the meal off on a bum note, though, because otherwise the simple fare – fishcakes, burger, bangers and mash, chocolate tart, lemon sorbet – largely ‘did what it said on the tin’ with aplomb.

If there was a criticism, it was the same of many Antony Worral Thompson ventures. There’s a sense that the owner could make it just that little bit better if he wanted to. Maybe he just doesn’t quite have the time, or doesn’t want to lose that little bit of extra margin.

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