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Foodie Friday #19 : Lunch at The River Café, London

End of February was Scott’s birthday. Instead of giving a present, we would arrange something to do together, either a short getaway or a special restaurant that we want to try. This year, I arranged to have lunch at the legendary River Café!

It was the wettest winter in history but we were blessed with a beautiful Saturday afternoon with plenty of winter sunshine (yep, even the weather was arranged). After a 15 minutes walk along the river from Hammersmith Tube station (strongly advise to do this walk during daylight, don’t do it in the evening), we arrived at The River Café.
The outside of the restaurant is very under-stated, but I recognised it straight away, because: A) there isn’t any other restaurant or café around there, and B)
I have seen it so many times on TV!

Let me set the record straight now that I am not attempting to write a restaurant review on The River Café. This lunch experience at The River Café has re-enforced my belief that if you use the freshest ingredients, cook with the most attention to details on every step and cook from your heart, the dish will turn out beautifully. With the great service delivered by the staff, it is a winning formula.

Take for example my starter: it was an assorted vegetable tempura (it actually had a much fancier name but I couldn’t remember). The star of this dish was the tempura batter – it was light and crisp, not greasy or oily. The batter was well-seasoned flavoured with rosemary!

My main course was char-grilled scallops and monkfish on a rosemary skewer. The scallops and monkfish were the freshest and meaty. It was REALLY flavoursome. But what I impressed most was the smell of the dish. As soon as it was put down in front of me, it smelt DELICIOUS that lifted my appetite straight away, I couldn’t wait to pick up my knife and fork, but luckily still remembered to pick up my camera first.

When I made my reservation, I mentioned that it was a birthday lunch (I had it in mind to get a nice table by the window). The kind chef scribbled a chocolate “Happy Birthday” on Scott’s lemon tart with a lit candle. It was a small thing but a great touch. When his dessert arrived, I felt as emotional as it was my birthday!

I cannot hide the fact that how expensive the lunch was (ouch! Ouch!! OUCH!!). However, everything was perfect – great food, friendly service, buzzing atmosphere… oh! And when we left, we saw the most beautiful sunset over Hammersmith Bridge. It was a perfect day. 

Three course lunch for two from a la carte menu, two beers, two coffees and a carafe, with service - £195.00

The River Café
Thames Wharf Studios, 3 Rainville Road, London W6 9HA
Reservations are made online by visiting their website


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