The Carpenter's Arms W6
Wednesday December 1, 2010
A five-star review from AA Gill should be brilliant for a business. Right?
But in a bizarre twist it actually backfired for Hammersmith gastropub The Carpenter’s Arms, which has ushered in a new team of two brothers to take over the running of the kitchen.
“We were suddenly booked out weeks in advance and it meant the locals couldn’t get a table,” said Matt Jacomb, who runs the Black Lion Lane business with Simon Cherry.
“They became a bit alienated and got out of the habit of coming – it was staggeringly frustrating. If I had my time again I would perhaps have done a system of no bookings during that period.”
Newly-appointed head chef Nilton Campos, who trained in New York in the 80s and has since been part of the gastronomic scene in London, has now taken over the reins with his brother Julio Aredes, who is working as front-of-house manager.
Owner Matt, 47, who lives in Chiswick Mall, said: “They are good guys and I’ve known them for 15 years. They will be offering some very good pub classics as well as more complex dishes, and the feedback so far has been very, very positive.”
Julio and Nilton, originally from Brazil, have taken over the kitchen as a franchise deal, and Nilton is infusing the menu with influences from the Pacific rim and Brazilian cooking, alongside modern European fare.
The new cuisine includes a delectable array of starters full of bold ingredients such as tiger prawns, Roquefort, Thai beef and game terrine.
Among the mains, pub staples like burgers and fish and chips are offered alongside a delicious collection of more elaborate dishes featuring roasted scotch lamb chump, panfried veal escalope, roasted half poussin and pan-fried sea bream.
Matt, who also owns the Green Room pub in Goldhawk Road, admitted he and Simon had needed to take a different tack with The Carpenter’s Arms after a recent slump in business.
“We’ve had an interesting time,” he said. “We’ve been well reviewed but with the timing and the recession, it’s been a massive struggle.”
While Matt and Simon are both proud of the pub’s reputation for good food, they are also keen to get locals coming back for a pint or a glass of wine. Simon, 46, who lives in Wendell Road, Shepherds Bush, said: “We want to make it more bistro than fine dining.
“With the AA Gill review it became very restaurant-led, but we’re hoping to make it a more accessible sort of place that people will go to weekly, rather than as a monthly treat.”
For more details, call The Carpenter’s Arms on 020 8741 8386 or visit www.carpentersarmsw6.co.uk (opens new window).