Annie’s, the Burger Meister
Now here’s a restaurant that always guarantees a good time. I grant you, I may be a touch biased. It’s just a few doors away from my home and for years, this has been our local favourite. We’ve been here regularly for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, for birthday parties and other family events, and, at one time a good many years ago, my daughter even supplemented her student income by waitressing there. It even stood us in good stead when our own kitchen was being refurbished and, for ten days or so, we practically had all our meals at Annie’s.
This place ticks all the boxes. The menu is cleverly and seasonally put together, to offer all those homey dishes we so love, burgers, shepherd’s pie, fish pie, haloumi, salads, you get the idea, and is enhanced by interesting daily specials. The kitchen always delivers best quality and the food is super tasty, well balanced and satisfying. Staff are friendly, attentive and smiley. The pièce de résistance though is its super cuteness. So pretty, so cosy, so thoroughly charming, that you immediately feel completely at home here at any time of day. It never disappoints!
Here at Annie’s things are relaxed and laid back. They serve Brasserie style food and, to quote from their website ‘As for our cuisine, we like to think of it as ‘modern Brit-erranean’, taking our influences as much from comfort food as from fresh Mediterranean flavours. We do a fabulous Sunday roast too.’ What’s not to like? It doesn’t matter what time of day you pitch up here, there’s always something delicious to eat, whether just a light nibble or a full on meal. In summer, their lovely little garden at the back is a great hideaway to while away a few hours over a glass or two of wine. The world is just a happier place at Annie’s.
Recently I had an old school friend from Germany to stay. We’ve known each other since we were thirteen, so there’s a lot of mileage there! Not only has she kept a diary for all those years but she also has an amazing memory and can recall exactly what outfits we wore to which party way back in the 70s. She’s also very witty and funny, so there was plenty of laughing and giggling going on. Her memories of our wild teenage years were quite an eye opener for the Lovely Husband, I can tell you! For my liking, she focused a little too much on my complete atrociousness at Maths but I got my own back by reminding her of the English essays in minute script I used to leave for her hidden in in loo roll in a prearranged WC cubicle. Ah, those heady days! After a day of heavy duty shopping and sightseeing, where better to take her for a good chinwag than ‘next door’ to Annie’s?
To be getting on with while we perused the menu, we three way shared a portion of Salt and Pepper Squid with Soy Dip. Very nice, very crispy and a good way to kick off our meal. For his main course, the Lovely Husband chose, as he so often does here, a Lamb Burger with Goats’ Cheese, Caramelised Shallots, Mint Aioli, Chips and Salad, and as always it was super juicy and tasty, the goats’ cheese offering a nice creamy, slightly tangy contrast to the meat.
Us girls went for something slightly lighter, the fabulous Annie’s Grilled Halloumi Burger with Roasted Pepper and Tomatoes, Aubergine, Avocado, Hummus, Baby Gem, Herb Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries. This is a totally yum experience. The combo of ingredients, the hot juicy halloumi, the freshness of the tomato and avo, the sweet roasted red pepper, the fried glory of the aubergine and the mild acidity of the hummus, all a joyful party of flavours and textures. And nowhere does sweet potato chips as crisply perfect as they do here.
As far as pud was concerned, we were actually unusually restrained, all three of us sharing the Blueberry and Vanilla Crème Brulée from the ‘Specials’ blackboard, which comes with a warm homemade shortbread biscuit. Now this is one of those insanely good crèmes brulées with a properly done sugar glaze on top, which breaks into deliciously crunchy shards when stabbed with a spoon to reveal a smooth vanillary cream underneath, and not too sweet either, highlit by plump blueberries. I had to summon up my last shred of decency to share fairly. It would have been just too easy to have a battle of spoons within the tiny ramekin dish but, you know, one wants to at least pretend that one has some social graces!
For the three of us and including a bottle of Pinot Grigio and one of sparkling water, a coffee and service charge, we paid £91.29. At barely over £30 per head, this is seriously good value for top quality food in a welcoming and charming environment.
There is another, smaller, but no less cosy Annie’s on the other side of the river in Chiswick, which I have reviewed previously http://wp.me/p75KGT-1j2.
What I wore
Grey knitted Club Monaco jumper dress with pale pink silk tie sleeves, Nearly Black 50 denier Wolford Tights, pink suede Manolo Bahnik ankle boots, Hermes Birkin, custom hand-painted by artist Boyarde Messenger.
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