Same Thing, Different Decor?

We check out Kitchen and Pantry on Chiswick High Road

Related links

Eating out in Chiswick


Vote in the Chiswick Restaurant Poll

Endeared by their sign which read “Be gentle it’s our first day” I was tempted to give Kitchen and Pantry a go on Saturday. However, with what seemed like the majority of Chiswick’s parents and toddlers shoehorned in I just knew it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea.

Whilst I have no wish to reignite the child-free café / bar / restaurant debate, The Natural Café wasn’t really my thing – primarily because of the awful coffee they served - so I assumed that its apparent doppelganger reincarnation wasn’t going to be either.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised on Wednesday lunchtime when a friend of mine suggested we meet there for lunch to discover that the average age of the clientele had risen significantly.

The once battered interior has been given a thorough makeover in funky greens and browns and filled to bursting with large leather sofas and chunky wooden furniture branded with the maker’s name ‘Indigo’ (who boast amongst their clients Olympian Will Howden, TV’s Trude Mostue, Claire Sweeny and Corrie’s Vicky Entwistle aka Janice Battersby).

Jazzy background music was pitched just so, enough to soften noise of chatter though not drown conversation. Alas the melodies did little to instill any apparent joie de vive amongst the bevy of eastern European beauties who bustled behind the counter with great purpose but little consequence.

In fairness both my friend and I agreed that there were not nearly enough staff to cope with the lunch time crowd who were a mix of office workers, groups of students types and, like my friend and me, would be yummy-mummies-cum-ladies-who-lunch but who have the burden of having to work for a living and therefore have half an hour to catch up on a week’s worth of gossip, children and social arrangements.

Onto the food and there was an array of paninis and wraps on offer from which my friend chose the Mexican tuna (£2.75). I was drawn towards the chilled cabinet that housed a selection of ready made sandwiches, salads and smoothies to eat in or take away. I opted for a chicken and roasted vegetable salad (£3.25). To drink we had a cup of tea and an Americano and for dessert a substantial sticky date and ginger cookie to share.

The wrap, which came toasted, was delicious according to my friend although the chicken salad was at best the sum of its parts (not sure their version of roasting vegetables is quite the same as mine) however for £3.25 it made a pleasant enough lunch. My coffee was significantly better than many I’ve had in Chiswick although not quite good enough to topple my current favourite caffeine fix and the cookie, which fortuitously ended up in my handbag is proving delicious – I am eating it as it type.

The bill for our lunch came to £10.60 which we felt was fair for what we had. I would certainly return to Kitchen and Pantry although it wouldn’t be top of my list for lunch saying that it is a pleasant place to meet for coffee and a chat and on sunnier days a great spot for people-watching.

Emma Brophy


September 29, 2008