In Paris, Newington Table would be one of those café-brasseries you see everywhere – a place where neighbourhood folk could hang out any time of the day, and at reasonable cost, for breakfast, for coffee, for drinks, for dinner, for chat. In London we struggle to roll the coffee hangout, bar and restaurant into one. But that’s what this Newington Green joint is aiming for – with iffy results. The space used to be an Indian restaurant at the foot of a new-build block. Now they’ve gutted it, made it light and airy, with exposed fittings, wires and lots of light wood furniture and white walls. It’s an attractive space, perfect for coffee or a drink, and right on the Green too.
But the food is no more than average. The menu overreaches itself, promising interesting St John’s-style meat, fish and veggie small and big plates that don’t always deliver (like the disappointing starter of anchovies and padron peppers I tried). Best of the bigger plates was a rabbit and mushroom pie – tellingly, one of the more simple dishes. Breakfast is a safer option, especially as the room has an appealing laidback brunch vibe. Until the food improves, you might want to see Newington Table as more of a café than a restaurant.