The River Café 333

Squaremeal Review of The River Café ?

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016My favourite place to go for a special occasion”, says one admirer of The River Café, while others are quick to praise the “stunning views” across the terrace and river – “especially on a sunny day”. But this place is also a year-round winner, with a colourful wood-fired oven standing proud in the crisp white and blue space, and a menu of “spectacular” food and drink inspired by the artisan traditions of Italian regional cuisine. Seasonal ingredients are paramount here, and we suggest homing in on the salads, pasta and anything from the aforementioned oven – perhaps chargrilled squid with fresh red chilli and rocket or hand-cut malfatti with boozy slow-cooked pheasant, fennel and pancetta ahead of, say, veal shin in Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo with risotto bianco and gremolata. After that, plump for one of the indulgent gelati, some regional cheese or pannacotta with grappa and pomegranate. It may be “getting ever more expensive” (especially if you plunder the list of stellar Italian wines), but fans still think “everything’s wonderful” here.
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The River Café
10

The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar halfstar emptystar emptystar empty

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This restaurant should not be in business

by   (1)

Sep 2013

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I do not understand how this restaurant is still in business. The proposition is flawed. Being Italian and a food enthusiast I was excited to try a restaurant with such a good reputation for producing great food and whose kitchen has trained the likes of Jamie Oliver and Theo Randall. Despite lacking what I would define “the chef's touch”, the food was good. Excellent ingredients, nicely put together and cooked in accordance with Italian traditions. No issues there. Unfortunately everything else...

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El Jay Dee's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 2

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Is this really Michelin Star dining?

by   (1)

Aug 2013

We've lived near the River Cafe for some time and I often pass it at the weekends when the car park is packed with expensive cars and the restaurant is equally packed with their well healed owners. I must admit it looks fantastic – especially when everyone is sat outside on the terrace – so we were excited to go there for lunch. Possibly my expectations were just too high but with starters around £18 and mains from £34, high expectations are encouraged. The food was obviously not terrible but we...

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Alex B.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 3

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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Just not that great

by   (1)

Jul 2013

Unfortunately our dinner at the river cafe was in the same week I found out that my favourite restaurant in London had closed down, a restaurant that did not have a Michelin star for which I could never figure out the reason. So tonight I spent all night figuring out the reason why the river cafe does have a star. The service was so-so. My wine was topped up once by the waiter. The ossobuco tasted like an old school dinner, the spinach was so salt I can't wait to get home to drink a gallon of water…and...

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Sippora V.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 4

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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by   platinum reviewer (107)

Jan 2013

Italian classic in London. Always packed and buzzing. If you don't want to drive all the way out to hammersmith (or struggle to get a table) you can also go to theo randall who used to be head chef there and now has his own place offering very much the same great food offering

London Gourmet's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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by   (2)

Dec 2012

I barely recognised this restaurant from the critic's review of it, and overall it's a big disappointment on several key grounds. First, diners are packed in like sardines into a crowded space with tables and other people's chairs almost touching yours. Second, paper table cloths? Third, the food is good but really nothing special, nothing outstanding, nothing surprising, no nice touches, almost just dumped on the plate. We visited here for dinner, wanting to compare it to the other three michelin...

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Jeremy r.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 3

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   (2)

Oct 2012

Every time I go, I'm ever so slightly disappointed by the lack of atmosphere at the River Café. The staff are lovely – helpful and attentive, without being “in your face”. The food is consistently good (though the chocolate pudding is always a little ordinary). I find it quite expensive, given that it doesn't feel that special on dark nights, but I keep going back which is testament to the overall quality of a meal there, and it certainly feels like a lovely treat every time.

Caroline D.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

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by   bronze reviewer (8)

Jul 2012

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I had lunch with my family on Saturday 23rd May. A fairly expensive restaurant with such a good reputation and winner of awards, etc. should know better. … For £80 per head, I'd like a proper table cloth and not a paper one (and please spare me the ‘environmentally conscious speech’ because it's a lie: the only reason is to save money). Similarly, you don't want to have so many tables close together that it makes difficult for guests (and waiters) to walk across the room. The feeling is that you...

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Umberto S.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 7
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 4

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

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by   bronze reviewer (9)

Jun 2012

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Probably the best restaurant I have eaten at in London. Fabulous room, very bright and airy (we went for lunch) with a very buzzy atmosphere, both from the clientèle, and also from watching the bustling staff in and out of the open kitchen. Yet at the same time very relaxing, and the sort of place I would have loved to while the afternoon away at. The food was spot on Italian. Very fresh, fabulous flavours and well presented. Plus the most amazing almond tart, where the texture was as divine as the...

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Adam D.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 8

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The River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road ,London W6 9HA

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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by   bronze reviewer (9)

Mar 2012

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have been here many times now, mostly for lunch, but occasionally on an evening too. There is something very unique about the River Café – perhaps it centres on their choice of ingredients and their simple philosophy with food, but you can always guarantee a tasty, well-presented meal within a lovely ambience.

Sian B.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 8

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Ruth Rogers

Ruth Rogers had no formal culinary training before she and her friend, the late Rose Gray, founded the River Café in 1987. It hasn’t proved a handicap; the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 1997 and its various multi-coloured cookbooks have sold over a million copies. Rogers came to London from the USA in 1967 to study graphic design; it was her architect husband, Richard Rogers’ Italian mother who instilled in her a love of good food.

Essential Details for The River Café

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Area: Hammersmith
  • Price: £71.00
  • Wine: £24.00
  • Champagne: £66.00
  • Private Dining: 18

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