Sonny’s should get some kind of medal for longevity of service; it’s been sating the appetites of Barnes’ residents since 1986. After a few years of slightly under-par performance, decor and menu (and name) had a revamp in 2012, courtesy of restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas and chef Philip Howard (of the Square); both live nearby.
The layout – café and bar at the front, restaurant in the sunken rear area – hasn’t changed, but the look is fresher and more modern; happily, the eclectic art collection remains. The succinct menu offers a half-dozen or so choices each for starters, mains and desserts plus a trio of grilled meat dishes (baby back ribs, burger, ribeye) and another of pizzas – we’re not convinced by the overall balance, but it’s still a popular spot for many occasions, from low-key suppers to family celebrations.
Succulent pan-fried calf’s liver worked well with rich creamed potatoes and balsamic-glazed red onions; roast pollack, with razor clams, barba di frate, leeks and lardo di colonnata was also cooked with care, but lacked excitement. Best was a pillowy passionfruit soufflé with sharp lime ice-cream, much better than a dull rice pudding with rhubarb compote. Staff are pleasant but not always engaged. Next door, Sonny’s deli deals in upmarket packaged (and some fresh) foodstuffs.
|Venue name:||Sonny's Kitchen||Contact:|
94 Church Road
|Opening hours:||Bar Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri; 12.45-3.30pm Sat, Sun. Brunch served 10am-12.30 Sat, Sun. Restaurant Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri; 12.45-3.30pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6.30-10pm Mon-Thur; 6.30-10pm Fri, Sat; 6.30-9.30pm Sun. Set dinner (Mon-Thur) £16.50 2 courses, £19.50 3 courses|
|Transport:||Tube: Barnes or Barnes Bridge rail, or bus 33, 209, 283|
|Price:||Both Main courses £16.50-£19.50. Set lunch (Mon-Thur) £16.50 2 courses, £18.50 3 courses; (Sun) £21 2 courses, £25 3 courses|
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Sonny's has re-opened as Sonny's Kitchen. We went last weekend and despite wanting to love the renewed restaurant, we found the menu overly-complicated and the service spotty. I'm sure there are some teething problem with service because it has just reopened, but the prices are not low, so they need to do better. The "sommelier" also spilled wine when pouring into each of our four glasses, noticed the spills and then didn't wipe the drips off the wine glasses. (I did it myself and then had to ask twice and wait 10 minutes for a new napkin.) It wasn't a brilliant first impression, unfortunately. I hope it will improve as it finds its feet, and simplify the menu!
They are not serious about offering good food or for that matter good service. It certainly wasn't good enough for me - even though Heston Blumenthal was sitting, eating in the booth next to me - I certainly wasn't impressed!