Sam's Riverside

British·
££££
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Silver Award
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SquareMeal Review of Sam's Riverside

Silver Award

Sam Harrison is west London restaurant royalty, having operated the much-missed Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick for 10 years. He’s back with this terrific brasserie-style restaurant which works hard to earn the loyalty of locals while possessing a corking river view and terrace which makes it a London-wide destination for the summer months, though the twinkling sight of Hammersmith Bridge is an atmospheric focal point whatever the time of year.

It’s a beautifully designed space, with big windows illuminating the room with natural light by day and super-flattering lighting casting everything in a golden glow come the evening. Statement floral displays and toffee-leather and petrol-blue velvet seating look as smart as the setting. But with Harrison on the floor for most services, the people here are as important as the place, and the friendly young staff are as warm as the lighting.

Legendary modern British pioneer Rowley Leigh is the culinary director and the kitchen does a mostly good job of executing his comfortingly familiar Anglo-French ideas. Pick of the bunch for us was a meaty tentacle of grilled octopus, crisped up with charring and accompanied by an excellent punchy saffron aioli.

To follow, steak and kidney came on dripping toast that acted as a sponge to absorb the meaty juices and was nose-to-tail eating of the most enjoyable order, though it’s not all so gutsy: sirloin with béarnaise and chips had all the flavour of bone-in cooking while diver-caught scallop ceviche was light, clean and prettily presented in the shell.

Only a starter of over-salted clams with braised trotter and white beans failed to pass muster, though Queen of Puddings ended things on a high note in the way that only a confection of custard, jam and meringue can.

Pre-theatre menus cater to the adjacent Riverside Studios and there are set-lunch and Sunday roast menus too, but you don’t have to eat here: the bar rustled up one of the best gin martinis we’d had in a long time, as chilly as the river flowing past in the night.     

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Fun, Lively, Romantic
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Waterside
Special Features
Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Sam's Riverside

As part of the major rejuvenation of Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, restaurateur Sam Harrison has launched Sam’s Riverside, an informal yet stylish restaurant and bar which features large windows, splashes of marble and an open kitchen.

As the name suggests, Sam’s Riverside overlooks the Thames and boasts impressive views of Hammersmith Bridge. Open daily, the kitchen at Sam’s Riverside is overseen by head chef Harvey Trollope and the menu of mainly Anglo-French dishes has been devised in collaboration with culinary director Rowleigh Leigh, who previously launched Kensington Place and has worked at Le Gavroche.

The space features a standalone bar which serves its own menu of snacks and light bites, alongside the usual beers, wines and cocktails. If you are just looking for a few quick and casual plates, you can choose from the likes of parmesan churros, grilled squid on nduja toast, and a buttermilk chicken bun slathered with red cabbage coleslaw.

Those who are settling in for the evening though can dine from the restaurant’s à la carte. On the menu, you can expect to find oysters and seafood dishes such as scallop ceviche or grilled octopus with pimento potatoes and saffron aioli. The rest of the offering champions modern European cuisine, which means the likes of beef tartare with quail egg served on dripping toast, or perhaps peppered venison chops finished off with onion squash and sprout tops.

To round off your meal, you can choose a sweet from Sam’s rather tempting selection of desserts. Traditional offerings include apple tart served alongside caramel ice cream and cider brandy, as well as buttermilk pudding with thyme shortbread, fig, date and walnut.

Sam’s Riverside is also home to a sumptuous outdoor dining area, while the chic private dining room can seat up to 18 guests.

This isn’t owner Sam Harrison’s first foray into the restaurant world. He previously owned Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick and Harrison’s in Balham before selling them to the Foxlow group in 2015.

 

 

Location for Sam's Riverside

1 Crisp Walk, Hammersmith, London, W6 9DN

020 8237 1020

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:00-14:45
Tue 12:00-14:45
Wed 12:00-14:45
Thu 12:00-14:45
Fri 12:00-14:45
Sat 12:00-16:00
Sun 12:00-17:45
Dinner
Mon 17:00-21:45
Tue 17:00-21:45
Wed 17:00-21:45
Thu 17:00-21:45
Fri 17:00-21:45
Sat 17:00-21:45
Sun Closed

Reviews of Sam's Riverside

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9 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Richard E

28 September 2021  
Food & Drink 3
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Where's the grouse?

I really REALLY wanted to like this restaurant.  Damn, I was prepared to fall in love with the place following Squaremeal's very own Ben McCormack writing in glowing terms about this being one of the best places in London to get grouse.  I read the article and booked immediately, the five week wait being worth it for the anticpipation of that most glorious of birds of the phasianidae family.

Alas, our fabulous waiter was somewhat confused: "I've been here from the start and we've never had grouse on the menu".  Ah. Well nevermind, the menu is still a thing of great joy, and anywhere that has Lynch Barge blanc AND gives 30% off the food for members of Trade (if you aren't a member; join), can't be all bad.

And it's not all bad.  The situation, overlooking a car free (still) Hammersmith Bridge is a joy, even on a wet September night; the staff (all chummy and "mate") are a breath of fresh air in a post-covid atmosphere, where perspex screens still pervade; and starters were gorgeous: a crispy egg with peas (sort of a meatless scotch egg) and crevettes (big prawns, de-legged but, as our chummy waiter warned, having to be pealed by your brave correspondent) were just what was needed.  But, and it is alas a but the size of Ms Lopez's; the lobster.  Oh dear.  For a dish that's half a knicker short of a Turing it needs to be perfect. The lobster and crab roll shows that the kitchen knows how to cook lobster.  It needs a short, hot bath.  It has to hold its form.  It's a sweet piece of meat.  It needs to be treated with delicacy.  My poor creature had been left to boli/broil for way too long.  It was dry and overdone.  Easy to do: I've done it at home, but I wasn't at home.  I was paying a lot of hard earned for this and I wanted so much for it to be what it could be.  Around us, those with the sole, hake etc looked to have a perfect dish.

So will I, as our new bezzie wanted to know, be back?  Yes, I will.  There's too much to like here not to.  I'll just not be able to get a grouse, and will have to pass on the lobster I'm afraid.

Anon

19 June 2021  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 5
Anniversary lunch

A Fabulous gem of a restaurant. Stunning sophisitcated interior and location with great views of the river.

Very friendly and warm staff with a great menu selection, locally sourced produce. Can highly recommend!

Anon

19 June 2021  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 5
Anniversary lunch

A Fabulous gem of a restaurant. Stunning sophisitcated interior and location with great views of the river.

Very friendly and warm staff with a great menu selection, locally sourced produce. Can highly recommend!

Anon

30 April 2021  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Christian

The food was amazing, and to top it off the service by Christian was absolutely perfect. He was kind and caring, always making sure we were ok. Thank you very much! Really made our visit worth while. 

Anon

17 September 2020  
Wonderful new discovery

Absolutely loved everything about this place. The staff were incredibly friendly and the service excellent but the food is the real star. Fabulous location overlooking the river is a bonus but come for the food.

Alina M

13 November 2019  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
It is a great restaurant

This venue has excellent staff, great food and beautiful ambiance. 

Special Thank You to Rosaline for her kind and attentive assistance!

Definitely coming back!

Anon

07 November 2019  
Requires considerable reworking

This restaurant has recently opened and is having considerable teething problems.  The service was terribly slow (up to an hour for a starter is simply not good enough) and when the food arrived it was tepid (anyone heard of warming plates beforehand?). Worse still, it was bland and the meat was cooked far too rare. Actually, it was raw in places - why can't chefs understand the difference between the two? Furthermore, we also had sit around waiting for the sides to arrive far too long, making the situation with the tepid food worse. While we are on the subject of sides, there were no vegetables with any of the mains and so we had to buy many. This made the meal overpriced.

While the restaurant is beautifully decorated inside, as usual there has been no apparent attempt to try to dampen the noise of a full restaurant. It was difficult to hear each other talking because of the unsympathetic decor. My party were all in our 40s and 50s, have perfectly normal hearing and all expressed the same concerns. 

We are locals and will probably try the place again to see if it gets over these problems. It needs to knock it out of the park to win us over though.

Lucy G

04 November 2019  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
not only a stunning location

but a really cool interior and excellent staff, plus really great food.  The whole place feels very New York but with Hammersmith Bridge just outside the window.  Great cocktails and a very good atmosphere. Staff were friendly and efficient and the food was delicious, we are very excited about this new opening!  

Lordofthepies

03 November 2019  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Off to a great start

We were great fans of Sam's Brasserie in Chiswick and were sad when it closed, however, Sam's fantastic new creation by the side of the Thames is in a different class, great decor and an exciting menu all served by highly professional staff; it is a revelation, and I am sure it will do really well. Once we had found it, not so easy, but aim for Riverside Studios and walk a little further, it was a welcoming refuge from the strong wind and rain. With Rowley Leigh advising on the menu and kitchen, it should not come as a surprise that the dishes on the menu were so tempting that we found it hard to choose, but I ended up with a scallop ceviche followed by hake in a crab bisque with beluga lentils and finished with a Queen of Puddings; everything was perfectly executed with good strong flavours. This is a fantastic new addition to the rather poor West London eating out scene and it will be great when the weather is more clement.

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