Church Road | High-End Neighbourhood Restaurant in Barnes
When Barnes’ popular neighbourhood restaurant Sonny’s Kitchen closed, the team’s final words were “You’ve served your last meal, Sonny”.
Or at least, we hope they were.
As it turned out, owners Phil ‘The Square’ Howard and Rebecca ‘Kitchen W8’ Mascarenhas were not done with the space yet. The duo behind Elystan Street (the Michelin star restaurant in Chelsea) unveiled a new restaurant in Sonny’s place, called Church Road (naturally, because it’s on Church Road), and appointed two Elystan Street alumni, head chef Sam Astley-Dean and general manager Alan Parry. Following on from Sonny’s is a tall order – it was around for 33 years – but these guys received high praise for the way they ran things at ES, so are very much up to the task.
The space is bright, clean and smart without doing too much, which is what you want out of a neighbourhood restaurant. There’s a Delaunay chandelier commanding the dining room from above, there’s dark red booths and tables covered in white linen, polished walnut chairs and tiled floors. You can even sit out front amongst the shrubbery on a sunny day. The vibe can be casual. The vibe can be classy. You’d wager that it serves Modern British food…
And you’d be right: the theme is essentially seasonal British produce. Nearly everything is local, some is foraged, some is grown in farms and some is wild. The meat comes from sustainable farms and is free-range and grass-fed, while the seafood is MSC-certified line-caught. It’s one big happy celebration of what comes from here. Therefore you’ll get things like a sprightly salad of Cornish crab and Isle of Wight tomatoes; a grilled whole native lobster with rosemary butter; parmesan gnocchi with Scottish girolles and Wye Valley asparagus; and a cut of aged Hereford pavé of beef, well supported by bone marrow butter & hand-cut chips. Desserts stay on theme; lemon posset with English strawberry compote, or maybe a selection of fine British cheeses.
Like the food menu, the wine list is also carefully sourced with Parry drawing on his Elystan Street expertise to offer pinpoint pairings, and coming here to just drink cocktails isn’t frowned upon either: with a small marble bar by the entrance offering spiced negronis and a very downable refreshing creation (The Winter Garden) made with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and rhubarb-infused gin.
It’s got a lot of spring to it…
NOTE: Church Road is open Weds-Sun. You can find out more and make a booking at their website, here.
Church Road | 94 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ
Want more? See our guide to the best restaurants in West London