Wow. Please allow 2 to 3 working days to mentally, (and physically), digest that meal… in the meantime? Again, wow.
Annie’s in Chiswick claims to be your ‘home away from home’, and it’s very easy to see why. Homely is the very best word to describe this charming, almost boutique-like wonder of a restaurant. Hidden away, just a stones throw from Kew Bridge, Annie’s is busy, not crowded, not noisy, just busy. The best thing about the constant footfall? They’re busy with regulars. Customers not only seem to know the staff, they also seem to know each other. It’s almost like a massive gathering for Sunday dinner with your neighbours, and despite living away from the area, we also felt very at home. The staff are polite, professional, and very efficient. They’re well presented, but not stuffy, they really seem to be part of what makes Annie’s so “comfortable”, and so unique.
The food was even better than we’d heard. After being told David Tennant, Ant & Dec, and many other celeb’s can often be found enjoying the culinary delights at Annie’s, we’d also been told the food was “exceptional”. It lived up to the reputation which precedes it, but sadly, no sign of Dr Who, or PJ & Duncan (can’t win ‘em all)
We started with a cocktail each. I enjoyed a tasty Bloody Mary (Sunday morning, standard), and Sarah chose a raspberry Bellini. We also ordered a bottle of house red to accompany our food.
I confess, I had my heart set on a steak before visiting. On arrival, I noticed a family of 5, all sat happily, each enjoying a roast. I thought “one of those would do the whole table”, and with that, my heart (previously set on a steak) was immediately, and forever changed. Given that the portion size was big enough for a small army, we opted to just have one starter, the grilled halloumi salad (served with roast sweet potatoes, quinoa, and and figs). The halloumi was cooked to perfection, it had such flavour we were each compelled to comment on it. The salad was beautifully presented, and the different sparks of taste infused in just a way to ensure each mouthful was a different experience.
Onto the dinner. Have I said “wow”? I have? Well I don’t care, WOW.
Roast Pork Belly for me, the beef for Sarah.
Towered perfectly on a bed of traditional vegetables, roast potatoes, a huge Yorkshire pudding, just the right amount of (very tasty) gravy, and accompanied by a separate serving each of cauliflower cheese, we both, simultaneously vocalised our astonishment. This roast was beyond “good”. To call it “good”, would be like saying “Meryl is an overrated actress”. The pork belly fell apart, it just melted, you couldn’t get it better if you tried. The beef was delicious, cooked well, and not at all chewy. The roast potatoes, (something I find near impossible to find even remotely close to “home cooked roasties”), were genuinely spot on. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.
The whole meal wasn’t just “good”, it warranted this comment from Sarah, “can I say something controversial? This might be the best roast dinner I’ve ever had”. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that. I can’t say it’s the best I’ve ever had, because my mum would probably give me a clap round the ear (but, it was the very best roast I’ve ever had away from home!)
Despite being full, and despite the fact (some) food was left, we ordered dessert (cheeky). I enjoyed a delicious, thick, rich banoffee pie (nicely topped with banana whipped cream)
Sarah chose one of her favourites; Eton Mess. Both matched up to the rest of the food in the way one would expect. Tasty, filling, and very “homely”. We finished off (and were just being greedy at this point) with an espresso martini each.
We can honestly say that this beautifully decorated, very cosy gem is fully justified in having such a good reputation. It’s no wonder it’s full of locals, (people don’t go back to a restaurant unless something really attracts them). For these (regularly) returning locals, it’s the shabby chic decor, the service, but mostly, it’s the fantastic food. ‘Just like mum used to make’, but with none of the dishes to fight over (not) cleaning.
Our rating? 8/10
Find Annie’s here