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“The River Cafe - Well Worth the Splurge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The River Cafe

The River Cafe
Thames Wharf Studios, Rainville Rd., London W6 9HA, England
020 7386 4200
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Ranked #1,500 of 18,003 Restaurants in London
Price range: $31 - $78
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Richmond, Virginia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The River Cafe - Well Worth the Splurge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Sitting along the Thames near the Hammersmith Underground stop The River Cafe transports one to an airy, natural setting to enjoy incredibly delicious Italian-influenced offerings. We arrived for lunch which started at 12:30 PM. The decor is bright and contemporary and full of windows to allow light to grace the dining area. The River Cafe also offers patio tables. Since it was sunny and the trees had not leafed out enough to provide shade on the patio, we chose a table inside seated by a floor to ceiling window.

This was our last lunch in London so we splurged a bit and began with a Telefonino cocktail. A refreshing concoction containing Zucca Rabarbaro, Campari, Punt e Mes, Lemon, and Fever Tree Tonic. In keeping with the Italian them we ordered a bottle of Dolcetta D'Alba to accompany lunch.

For our Antipasti we splurged again and shared a plate of Mazzancolle ai Ferri - split and chargrilled Scottish langoustines with fennel, sea salt, and olive oil. We were expecting something small. We were surprised and pleased to receive a generous portion, although we could have easily begged for more. These little lobsters were the very best plate of food we enjoyed in the UK. The wood fired oven grilled them to perfection and they tasted so succulently sweet that we were exclaiming our delight with every bite. But beware, the knobby spines can be sharp and while cracking the claws open to get at every luscious bite, blood was drawn.

For our second course we made selections from the Primi section of the menu. Hubby kept with the seafood theme and ordered Spaghetti alle Vongole with clams, chilli, parsley, garlic and Fiano di Avellino (an Italian white wine). Tasty clams with just the right seasoning. I opted for a meat-free Tagliatelle al Limone - with Amalfi lemon, chopped rocket, creme fraiche, and Parmesan. Subtle lemon flavor paired with the pungency of the rocket (arugula). The creme fraiche contributed to the richness of the dish. Simple, true, but the quality of the ingredients and the execution of the kitchen turned simple into extraordinary.

We could not resist getting dessert. The River Cafe features several ice creams. I had scoops of pistachio and chocolate. Yummy. Hubby went one step further and had an Affogato with Whiskey. All hail to the Brits.

The River Cafe was a great experience. It was expensive, but worth the splurge for us. The menu can change daily. While there were no issues with us walking to and from the Hammersmith Underground during the day along the Thames Path, the restaurant cautions walking at night.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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563 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Fabulous!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Despite the peculiar and abstract location (hidden down a residential street) it is a fabulous spot once you figure out where your going! Our party of four dined outside on the terrace overlooking the Thames! The food, wine and service is exceptional!! A changing menu incorporates the best available products! A must for good food!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Melbourne
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Memorable meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I booked lunch at the River Cafe hoping it would be a highlight of a long planned trip to London and it did not disappoint. We enjoyed a fabulous meal of fresh and flavoursome food matched with beautiful wine and fantastic service. Tom our waiter was a delight, very professional and with a charming personality. Courtney our sommelier also served us well. All in all a great day out.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Been wanting to eat at the River Cafe for a long time and was bitterly disappointed. To start the bread was stale or just bad, not sure. The starters we good as should be expected. My tomato pasta was under horribly under seasoned and really quite under whelming, not what I expected. Such a simple dish I hoped would be amazing. The dessert was good which made up some of the lost ground. In my opinion it is over priced for what you get and I would not make the trip there again. No one asked what we thought of the food, which makes me think they're complacent. Most patrons seemed to be regulars.

Visited June 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A bit of a shame!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

This restaurant is fun, with a great atmosphere the moment you walk in the door. The food was pretty good overall and my fillet was scrumptious.....but it was quite difficult getting anyone's attention which seems strange as there are waiters galore, and the wine steward (sorry cant call him a sommelier) was just not interested in us, think he needs to move on in life...
However we (2 of us that is) spent a long afternoon enjoying ourselves and eventually paid the bill, which due to excessive amounts of good wine (as it was my 50th celebration) amounted to £364.00....
It was a bit of a shame that when we decided to have another small libation the that restaurant manager didn't offer to buy us one teeny drink. But then why should you....? Andrew

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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