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SquareMeal Review of The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill

With steaks and burgers blazing a culinary trail across the UK, it was about time Cambridge got in on the act with a quality independent eatery. Step forward The River Bar, beautifully located along a decked broadwalk on the edge of the Cam, with views over the river and nearby Magdalene College. Inside, it’s ‘cookie-cutter steakhouse’ with exposed brick walls, dark wooden tables and prints of beef cuts on the walls, while the menu is exactly what you might expect: steak in all shapes and sizes, burgers, fish from the grill, a few veggie pastas and lobster mac. It isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t seem to matter. There’s also very decent wine list with ample choice, although the best bet is to head up to the roof terrace for cocktails and a rare view of the city’s spires.

Good to know about The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill

Cuisines
Steak

Location for The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill

Quayside, Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB5 8AQ

01223 307030

Website

Opening Times of The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill

Mon-Fri 6pm-11.30pm Sat-Sun 12N-12M

Reviews of The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill

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1 Review 
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Ellen F

Independent, but not necessarily better than a chain
24 October 2013  
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!
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