New restaurant looks set to beat the jinx of the Thames Road site

The restaurant business isn't a logical one. With four restaurants closing on the Thames Road site you would have thought it was time to try an estate agency or a mobile phone shop on the site. But the people behind Annie's believe that the right restaurant could thrive in this location and given the quality of the restaurant they have set up, the paucity of competition in the area and the good local catchment area they may well be right.

Annie's is being run by Lorraine Angliss who has 20 years experience in the industry and has hired an experienced team of staff to make sure customers are not disappointed.

Six years ago Oliver's Island was on the site and was a popular local eaterie. It was replaced by Grano which was much admired for its food but less admired for its prices. It won awards and rave reviews even in the national press but didn't survive long - its much less popular sister restaurant Riso on South Parade remains (although seems to have had a recent face-lift). Then in quick succession we had Mamma Maria and Cafe BL which failed to capture the imagination or sufficient customers.

Does Annie's have what it takes to survive on Thames Road? Grano's popularity may have been undermined by its high-priced menu and Annie's has pitched its cost at a lower level. Courses are reasonably priced for the standard of food on offer. The revamped Bull's Head across the road is offering inferior food at prices that are not that much cheaper.

The best choice to start appeared to be a Spicy Fried Chicken on Summer Leaves with Sweet Chilli Dressing (£6.00) which looked great and tasted better. For mains the Slow-cooked Spiced Pork Belly with Apple & Champ (£10.00) was delicious if slightly too fatty for some and the Char-grilled Calves Liver (£12.50) was done perfectly although the accompanying mash was too oily in the opinion of the diners that chose the dish.

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Overall the meal wasn't perfect but you could put that down to teething troubles as it was the opening night. You will pay more and eat less well in other restaurants in Chiswick and central London and Annie's has the potential to become a rival to other restaurants in the same price bracket such as the Chiswick Restaurant.

A meal for two with wine at Annie's will probably set you back around £50-60 including service. It is certainly worth a trip down to Thames Road to try it out and unlike some of its predecessors it deserves to thrive as it is a welcome addition to the local restaurant scene. If you don't know where it is there is a link to a map below.

Annie's 162 Thames Rd W4 3QS Map 020 8994 9080

Been to Annie's or any other local restaurant? Let us know what you though either by e-mail or on the forum. If you want to write a full review of a local restaurant send it to us.

August 8, 2002


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