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|Address:||Quayside, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB5 8AQ|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 6pm-11.30pm Sat-Sun 12N-12M|
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I was disappointed to find The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill, which is actually independent, felt rather chain-y in already chain-ridden Cambridge. At first glance it looks good, in a generic steakhouse sort of way and it is in a lovely spot although our waiter rather over-hyped the table: the wonderful river view could only be viewed by a ballerina-worthy neck-twisting turn and as it was dark the unlit river was too murky to discern anyway. The menu is cookie-cutter steakhouse and borrows heavily from Browns in both content and layout. You can't really criticise it for that though (except for a lack of imagination perhaps): if you go to a steakhouse, you should expect steak, right? I started with pan fried squid with chilli and lemon. Well, that was what was described; that is not what came. What came was some squid absolutely swathed in a sticky caramelised onion sauce. WTF?! Not often I say that. Yes, it was spicy and a cooked half lemon bobbed on the edge, but why on earth would you serve a sauce which a) utterly ruins the dish and b) is utterly not as you've described? I gently pointed that out when the plates were cleared and the waiter admitted they'd had some problems with that dish. So do something about it! We shared a Chateaubriand main at £50 which was a touch overcooked despite asking for it medium (don't patronisingly put cooking temperatures/explanations on the menu if you can't deliver on it!), was slightly on the small side for the price and came with just 2 small pots of undercooked chips and a smidge of each sauce. Poor value for money. A brownie pudding was overwhelmed by a too-rich chocolate sauce which needed something to cut through the sickliness. Wine was fine, if unadventurous, but I was impressed that when I asked for a dessert wine (none on the menu) they came up with 2 bottles. Drinks are definitely its forte: I've been to the lovely roof terrace before for great cocktails. All in all, it's not terrible but it's all a bit style over substance; maybe that doesn't bother the good people of Cambridge who are just relieved to have been rescued from the plethora of pizza places. Get a taxi and go to Alimentum for the same price and better food, people!