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The River Café

Thames Wharf Studios, Rainville Road, LONDON, W6 9HA

3 rosettes

Once more unto the café, the Hammersmith waterside bolt hole that helped inaugurate the turn to Mediterranean simplicity in late 1980s London. A long steel-topped bar runs along one side, a wall of deep windows overlooks a narrow stretch of green and then the Thames on the other. At one end of the room is a wood burner, alongside a bank of ranges where the rest of the cooking is done, and the whole place is presided over by immensely friendly waiting staff, whose knowledge of the authentic Italian menus and extensive matching wine list are hard to fault. The kitchen has resisted all temptation to gild the lily, allowing beacons of simple tradition such as fritto misto of red mullet, cuttlefish and violet artichoke, with a wedge of unwaxed Amalfi lemon, to shine. Fish is always stunning, as witness the wood-roasted whole Dover fragrantly dressed in oregano, marjoram and lemon, which comes with cime di rapa and slow-cooked Pugliese tomatoes. Meat could be veal shin with its marrow, simmered in Nebbiolo wine, alongside tomato bruschetta and cavolo nero. If you've room for a primo pasta dish, the crab linguine remains a reference point, as does the wonderfully gooey pear frangipane tart, served with softly whipped cream.

Further information

Tel: 020 7386 4200
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email


Dates closed: 24 Dec-1 Jan, BHs
Sunday lunch available.
Days closed for dinner: Sun

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Italian
Chef: Joseph Trivelli, Ruth Rogers, Sian Owen
Number of seats: 120
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Disabled toilets.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.
Parking available.



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Nearest station: Hammersmith

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