The (vastly improved) Common NW10 by M. Kuehn

Pulled Pork Pockets of Delight 
Sticky Spicy Korean Wings 
Rare Sirloin 
Butterscotch Indulgence 
Like most restaurants, when they first open there are teething troubles that need to be sorted out pretty damned quickly – bellies are unforgiving and so are the punters when they feel their wallets have been been emptied for no good reason. 
So I was a little trepidatious on my third visit, having had one good and one rather bad experience. 
Let’s not dwell on either. The present is what it’s all about. 
The setting for The Common is pleasant and spacious, with an outside area by the canal and a pizza oven which was heavily in use on my last visit. 
The menu had changed considerably. Not quite so sophisticated and principally aimed at the young folk living in the capsule rooms in the same building, it was reassuringly small alongside the pizza menu. 
We decided to taste a few of the snack like starters, a good mix of textures and flavours, followed by a steak and salad. A devoted carnivore, it’s a kind of bench mark for me. So many cooks get it wrong. I can’t think for the life of me why. It’s called process and you stick to it.
Presentation might not be as important as the food itself, but the food director, tonight’s chef, has an eye for detail. The wings were as pretty as a picture, incredibly inviting and the cloak of unctuous sauce, clinging for dear life onto the chicken was bloody good. Sweet and spicy, I’d have that again in a heart beat.
My second dish of the pulled pork, crammed into a home made pitta pocket oozing with delicious flavours was another very good mouthful indeed. 
The steak, perfectly rare and served with a very nicely dressed salad passed the test with flying colours. 
The finishing touch, an almost criminally indulgent butterscotch cream was wolfed down in a most unlady like fashion. 
At this point, however, I’m going to have a major whinge. What is the point of producing this well thought out menu when there is nothing to wet my appetite on the wine menu. The unoaked Chardonnay, the only wine that I fancied, was not available and the other choices were mind numbingly dull. There is no excuse for this. It’s just sloppy and a massive irritation. 
This aside, however, I would thoroughly recommend a visit if you’re in the mood for casual dining. The service was great, the setting a pleasure, the food a huge improvement and the prices very fair. It’s worth mentioning that you can order a takeaway meal for a fiver if you can’t be bothered to cook and on a previous visit, the pizza was so good I devoted an entire blog to it. 
Get the wine right and you’ll have yourselves a tidy little business. Job well done.

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