We have had a time long desire to come to River Cafe, which is based in Hammersmith by the river (hence the name) and was owned and run by chef Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray (until her death in 2010). River Café specializes in beautifully traditional Italian cuisine.
It is located by the river it is a long walk from the station through housing estates – which is rather bizarre setting for this Michelin stared restaurant. As we entered the relaxed reception we were warmly welcomed by the receptionist who allocated us a waiter who sat us down. Now I have to say this booking was for my birthday and to add to this that I have been looking forward to coming to this restaurant for years; so when we were seated on the thoroughfare to the kitchen I was a little put out. I asked to be moved as we were constantly being knocked by hurried staff as we were situated right on the aisle to the kitchen and bar, we came early in the evening so the place was half empty – there was no excuse. However when I explained we were seated by the window – which was much better.
Our waiter was a larger than life Londoner and he rolled off the list of specials. After ordering an aperitif we looked at the extensive menu. I have to say everything looked so good I was really torn (even though I usual hate when people waiver usually over choices). In the end we ordered the chargrilled squid with fresh red chilli & rocket and the buffalo mozzarella with marinated in crème fraiche & marjoram. The food looked almost as good as it tasted; rustic, full of flavour and most importantly simple. We devoured the dishes very quickly.
For main course we both ordered the steak fillet with seasonal greens. I ordered mine medium rare and my fellow diner went for medium to well done. Now this is the meal I would order on my last day on earth – juicy bloody slices of the best quality steak with al dente greens that were well seasoned. Unfortunately my fellow diner cannot stand bloody steak so she could only eat the outside of the steak. I say unfortunately but I got to eat the rest of her steak. Happy Birthday me!
Service throughout was fun, friendly yet sublimely professional so we could forgive the seating issue earlier. As we walked out the restaurant was full to bursting point. We saw Ruth Rogers in the kitchen finalizing dishes – how incredible. Needless to say we left on a high (me more so than my fussy friend) and as a result Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls would give this place:
Food Service Atmosphere