"Super premium" Italian
|The River Cafe|
The River Cafe is perhaps the most famous Italian restaurant in London, a smart casual cafe, cooking seasonal Italian cuisine by the River Thames in Hammersmith. The River Cafe is well known for its popular cookbooks, excellent wine list as well as a holder of 1 Michelin star. The restaurant only does a A la Carte menu with about 6 choice for each course, it does not offer a set lunch menu like most other Michelin-rated restaurants in London.
|Char grilled squid|
|Mozzarella di bufala|
|Risotto with Dorset blue lobster|
My starter of risotto with Dorset blue lobster which had plenty of fresh ingredients, great seasoning in the risotto and the lobster was sweet but at £24 for a plate of simple cooking, I wasn't sure if it was good value at all. My main of grouse was a real treat, wood roasted with plenty of thymes. The rich and earthy flavour really stood but without being challenging at the same time, the meat was moist and together with the powerful jus just linked up everything so wonderfully, it was the star dish of the day, roast dinner at its finest. Dessert was a major disappointment however, my plum and almond tart was really ordinary , the plum was extremely sour and I failed to pick up much of the almond note in the pastry as the buttery taste was dominating.
|Whole wood roasted grouse|
|Plum and almond tart|
The cooking at The River Cafe was indeed quality but it was simply far too expensive for my liking, £40 for a main course at that kind of level was really questionable. It would set you back around £90 if you have a 4 course meal, that is more expensive than most tasting menu in other 1 Michelin star venues. If I directly compare to The River Cafe to most of the other 1 stars restaurants (Eg: Launceston Place, Fera, Murano), they all involve higher technical skills, nicer presentation and most importantly, better tasting profile. So while The River Cafe has a nice river view, friendly service and good food, at close to the £100 mark, my expectations were not met.
What I paid:
£90 per head with a glass of cocktail
Average cost without drinks and services:
Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA