NAC: Simple yet effective (June 2014)

Despite the somewhat pretentious name, NAC (an acronym for North Audley Cantine; the last word making me think more of Shoreditch, and then cringing) is a very welcome addition to the north-west Mayfair dining scene. This is not a formal place along the lines of Fera, Maze, Helene Daroze and the like, but a beautifully created and very informal bistot. One can’t help feeling relaxed here, a perfect sort of place to come either for a lunch or just a coffee. The white-washed walls and retro furniture work here, making NAC feel airy and spacious. The staff were friendly but in no sense overbearing and the food is simple yet effective – maybe the motto for the whole restaurant. You can often judge the quality of a restaurant by its bread – and NAC amply passed the test, its offering being fresh and moist, inventively brought to the table pre-sliced in a red and white stripy paper bag. Two of our party opted for the Cajun chicken, while the third sampled the tuna salad. Both dishes were elegantly presented and the clear impression was on freshness and quality of ingredients. The pricing was very reasonable (mains come in at around £10-15) and we also indulged in a pleasant glass of Sauvignon Blanc, a lovely match for a summer’s occasion. This place should prosper and the only slight disappointment (more so for the owners than us) was how relatively quiet it seemed. Go now, before you struggle to get a seat there.