Dinner at The River Café, London

Reunited with the family again, it called for a celebration (we’re rarely all together). The River Café is a gorgeous little Italian tucked away in Rainville Road, although it’s quirkiness and creative menu make it far different from your typical Italian restaurant. 

When inside, you’re immediately hit with an array of block colours and a buzzing atmosphere. I love the amount of natural light in the restaurant, especially since it stays light for so long during the summer. It makes the place seem so much more spacious and open, not that the space isn’t big.

The kitchen is just behind the bar of the restaurant which I love. You can see the little busy bees cooking away.
We had a sneak peak at the desserts…

The almond tart with fresh strawberries looked so good. There’s not much better than fresh strawberries in England when it’s summer. Or anywhere. Or anytime, actually.

The Chocolate Nemesis and Lemon Tart weren’t visually as interesting but you can tell they’d be good.

They also displayed an array of fresh, colourful veg.

At least I wasn’t stuck for choice…

Also, can we appreciate how tanned I am?

My break from drinking after Mallorca that I planned in my head was never going to work realistically. I ordered a Rossini, which is prosecco with fresh strawberries and was very yummy and fresh, perfect for the summer evening. Mama Bridges got a virgin Rossini, which was sweeter and I got secret drink envy…

The best thing about family is they usually have roughly the same tastes as you, so our selection of antipasti (that we, of course, shared) were everything that I wanted to try. Their food is defined by their vibrant colour and flavours.
The Mozzarella di Bufala was very good. Usually big chunks of mozzarella can taste quite bland but this definitely wasn’t the case.

The Insalata con Granchio was my favourite – an interesting but delicious combination of crab and artichoke.

The Capesante con Vongole was Scottish scallops seared with clams, tomatoes, chickpeas, chilli, marjoram and Tercic Pinot Grigio. Everything worked together beautifully.

I also enjoyed the Calamari ai ferri, which was different to a lot of restaurants as it was chargrilled.

In Italian meals, after the Antipasti will come their first course (primi) then second course (secondi) followed by dessert. However, being good we decided to skip the first course (which is generally always a pasta) and go straight for the second, apart from Dad who spotted a pasta that he liked, so he ordered a first course instead of a second.
Fair enough though, the Taglierini al Bosco (with asparagus, summer herbs, cream and parmesan) was so good.

Although being good, for me the Salmon was better. They cooked it medium so the inside was still a little raw. The zucchini fritters were so my thing. They were an easy replacement for chips, ten times better for you and (surprisingly) just as delicious. I can see you rolling your eyes with disbelief at my healthy alternative – trust me they were good.

Ming ordered the turbot – both beautiful in presentation and taste.

Mum went for the seabass, which was equally as good.
I feel like with fish, and probably the rest of the food, I can sit all day and describe how fresh/good it tastes, but really you’d just need to try it for yourself. All I can share are my pretty pictures and the fact that the way they cooked it, what they cooked it in and what they served it in, they had got it all right. The mix of flavours together are the reason this place is spoken so highly of.

After minutes of eating (very literally) it was already time for dessert. Dad had spotted his favourite on the menu, Affogato with whiskey.

It was delicious. For him, of course. I’m not a whiskey gal.

The standard glass of dessert wine was ordered, and shared amongst us (mostly Dad and I).

Ming and I, being super good, ordered some green tea.

You know this place has our ultimate approval when they use loose tea leaves – it shows just how fresh everything is.

Mmmmmmm nothing like a green tea to stop dessert cravings. Ha, kidding, I had to be dragged away from that almond tart.

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