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McClements reopens as upmarket bistro

09 March 2006

It's the end of an era for diners in Twickenham, west London, as renowned local restaurant McClements has closed its doors for the last time.

Owner John McClements has replaced the once-Michelin-starred eaterie with a new concept, La Brasserie Ma Cuisine, a more upmarket version of his other brand, Le Petit Bistro Ma Cuisine. "I decided that McClements had had its day," McClements said. "Michelin stars and prima donna chefs don't make money."

The newly rebranded restaurant has undergone a £50,000 revamp and reopened on Monday of last week
(27 February), serving classical French food. Average spend is expected to be about £25-£30 without wine. "We'll be doing a Le Gavroche style of cooking," McClements said.

La Brasserie Ma Cuisine will now share a kitchen with the neighbouring Le Petit Bistro Ma Cuisine after McClements combined the two spaces. He plans to oversee both kitchens.

Former McClements head chef Daniel Wodehouse walked out of the restaurant last November, claiming that suppliers were refusing to deal with the business because they were not being paid.

McClements lost its one Michelin star last year but Ma Cuisine Twickenham and nearby Ma Cuisine Kew each hold a Bib Gourmand.

McClements said he was very sad that the McClements name would no longer hang above the door. "It was just something we had to do," he said. "There wasn't enough money in the area to support a Michelin level of cooking."

By Jessica Gunn

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