The Abbey, London
This new gastropub claims to be Kentish Town’s first. It opens following a restyle at the hands of designer Shaun Clarkson, who also worked on the Atlantic Bar & Grill, Cheyne Walk Brasserie and Denim. The Abbey is now a bar and restaurant complete with traditional pub garden, private snug and roof garden. D‚cor includes globe lighting, beige walls and ornate French mirrors contrasting with chunky oak tables and sandblasted brick.
Opened: 12 July
Owner: Shahrokh Parvin
Food: modern British with European influences. Separate menus for the bar, restaurant and brunch, as well as r“tisserie-style Sunday barbecues such as whole suckling pig or milk lamb.
Capacity: Main bar/restaurant: 50 (plus 90 al fresco, roof and snug)
Crowd: young trendies and locals
Average spend: £24 (three courses with wine)
Address: 124 Kentish Town Road, NW1
Tel: 020 7267 9449
Ma Cuisine – Le Petit Bistro, Kew
Following his initial success with the Ma Cuisine concept in Twickenham, owner John McClement is opening a second in Kew. Expect traditional bistro d‚cor again with French poster prints, Tiffany-style lamps and, of course, chequered table cloths. A third opening is expected in late September in Windsor.
Opens: 5 August
Chef: Tim Francis
Food: starters include home-made black pudding en croute with Dijon mustard; mains feature blanquette of rabbit with tarragon sauce. For dessert, a classic lemon tart usually goes down well.
Average spend: £22
Address: 9 Station Approach, Kew, TW9 3QB
Tel: 020 8332 1923
This Fulham eaterie has been revamped (left), with new interiors from designer Shaun Clarkson and new menus from head chef Michel Giraud. Yet again North Africa and the Middle East have been swept into one – presumably on the assumption that most people don’t realise how far apart Morocco and Lebanon actually are. However, a more contemporary take on the souk interior is welcome, even if it does bear a rather notable similarity to Mayfair’s Fakhreldine.
Reopened: 1 July
Owners: Shahrokh and Sehra Parvin
Food: mezze includes marinated kasaar with pine nuts and sumack, and mussel and pepper hot salad, while mains feature tajines, Mechoui – roasted shoulder of lamb marinated in spices and herbs, and Zerda platter – braised shank of lamb, grilled Merguez sausages, and mini lamb and chicken kebabs.
Seats: 70 (plus 50 outside)
Average spend: £25 (with wine)
Address: 24-32 Vanston Place, London, SW6 1AX
Tel: 020 7386 0086
Another week, another Italian restaurant. This time it’s a concept from the Caligiuri family who have been running large, reasonably priced eateries in Rome since the 1970s and now serve more than 3,500 people a day. Apparently the concept arose out of the need to feed a family of 10, which is, let’s face it, an achievement in itself.
Opened: 1 July
Food: Stuzzichini (appetisers) include bruschetta (£2), Inizio (starters) Tuscan beef with rocket and parmesan (£8.50) while there are eight pasta and risotto dishes to choose from as well as meat dishes, pizza and desserts.
Crowd: local business people, tourists, mixed
Average spend: £30 (with wine)
Address: 4-12 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4PE
Tel: 020 7321 2100
The Abbey, London