Several months ago a blunder by grass cutters caused a large section of Syon Park’s historic wall to fall down.

While this was bad news for the estate which belongs to the Duke of Northumberland, ironically it was probably very good news for the Hilton which also shares its land. Suddenly passers-by had a virtually unobstructed view of the hotel, which for anyone who’s never visited before was likely to have provided a timely reminder of its existence.

Few restaurants would deny attracting passing trade is a precious commodity - and for all its undoubted plus points the question of whether the recently opened Clubhouse can fulfil that aim as yet remains unanswered.

Especially as the wall is almost rebuilt at the time of writing!

Two major attractions, the treasured London Butterfly House and the educational and fun Tropical Zoo, used to play a big part in bringing crowds onto the estate. Since both closed it is largely the garden centre and Snakes and Ladders playground which attract the paying punters.

My friend and I visited on a Monday night (admittedly not the most popular dining out evening in the week) and upon arrival in the car park were stopped by a man who - despite being directly outside it - asked us where the hotel was.

Once inside, we were pleased to have signs to follow as the Clubhouse is a fair step away from the existing restaurant, the fine dining establishment called The Capability which I have reviewed in a previous column.

It felt a little odd having to walk the corridors of rooms when we weren’t actual guests, but we knew we were getting close when we climbed a staircase lined with signed photos of various celebrities including the cast of hit films like Star Wars and Dirty Dancing.

Once past the chill-out lounge and games room (featuring a fussball table and big screen TV) you finally reach the restaurant which has been designed to fit a long loft space with the kitchen at one end and the trendy and stylish bar at the other.

The Clubhouse at the Hilton Syon Park
The Clubhouse at the Hilton Syon Park
 

In between the two are a good number of tables, surrounded by furniture and decor with the clear purpose of encouraging diners to kick back, relax and enjoy American-inspired fayre at much cheaper prices to the Capability downstairs.

As we enjoyed our starters of seared tuna (£3.95) and bread with oil and balsamic dressing (£3.95) we were able to fully appreciate the atmosphere being created by the large disco ball, several lava lamps, tables with red London telephone boxes and vases made out of Budweiser bottles and ersatz signs for Fenway Park, Portobello Road and Covent Garden.

Executive chef Paula O’Neill has cooked up some highly tempting creations and given them fun and twisted names such as artisan burgers called The Mac Jagger or the The Hot Bird and pizzas named The Hank Marvin and The Posh Nosh.

My friend chose The 12 Ouncer steak (£21) and paired it up with curly fries (£3.50) and a mixed salad (£3) while I had a hot dog called the Across The Pond (£14) which was a hefty brioche style bun stuffed with a massive banger smothered in smoked apple wood cheese, bacon bits and lashings of BBQ sauce.

I also had a mixed salad and a side of the best onion rings I have ever eaten (£3).

All the meals were so colourful and fun, with the added bonus of being delicious and my dog in particular was the first time in ages I have seen a dish in a British restaurant which Adam Richman would be proud to boast about on his popular Man v Food TV series.

The Clubhouse at the Hilton Syon Park
The Clubhouse at the Hilton Syon Park
 

There was a nice touch for desert when our friendly hostess brought a tray lined with individual slices of cakes and asked us to choose whichever we liked to be served with ice cream.

Over coffee we were able to chat to the chef who explained the aim had been to evoke the spirit of a private members club and encourage groups who prefer informality and simplicity over presentation.

Put simply, the Clubhouse is a great place to spend an evening but we still came away feeling the key to making it a true success is to do everything possible to encourage local people to come and eat there.

I can think of a restaurant barely a stone’s throw away who despite also opening within the last few weeks is already packed every night simply because they are able to be seen by Brentford residents and are accessible straight off the High Street to all passing trade.