Sam’s Riverside in Hammersmith: A glamorous glass cube dining space
A glamorous glass cube dining space has arrived upon the waterfront by Hammersmith Bridge. Restaurateur Sam Harrison has created this newcomer with the added expertise of head chef Harvey Trollope (The Ritz). Designed to entice the locals as well as becoming a destination place, Sam’s Riverside presents itself as a tranquil, grown-up restaurant adjacent to the newly renovated Riverside Studios, with the potential to rival the infamous and overbooked River Café just a stone’s throw away.
The large interior space is a calming combination of creams, marble-top tables and simple designs, like an elegant and sophisticated hotel space. There is room for 90 diners and a glass-walled private dining room offering an intimate space for up to 16 diners.
We chose a signature aperitif to start up the evening: the Bridge Negroni, which offered a light, medicinal blend of Tanqueray Gin with the aromatic liquor of Quaglia Bergamot. This went well with our recommended savoury opener of Parmesan Churros. They arrived crisp on the outside, with a fluffy interior and smothered in generous flakes of bold mature parmesan.
Next up, the grilled octopus starter with crunchy pimentos, potatoes and creamy saffron aïoli. It could have been a little more experimental and the octopus cooked for a little less time, but the additional vegetarian dish of salt-baked celeriac with silky hollandaise sauce and crunchy hazelnuts was absolutely spot on, with its inventive presentation and amalgamation of carefully chosen flavours.
The main course was accompanied by a chargrilled stack of sweet heritage carrots, crunchy hispi cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli. A simple dish, yet bursting with a delicious smokey, charcoal flavour. We chose the roasted brill, which was more complex and full-bodied. Interestingly, the sweeter taste of this fish was paired with a savoury chicken jus and an earthy scattering of tasty chanterelle mushrooms, creating a much richer flavour. The hand-cut chips that we ordered were a perfect accompaniment.
For dessert we had a light spongy rum baba cake with pineapple and citrusy verbena, and the house speciality, Queen of Puddings, which had a longer preparation time. This arrived as a mountainous concoction of gingerbread, pears and sickly peaks of singed meringue. It tasted just like Christmas, and was definitely made to share.
Sam’s Riverside has a sophisticated and classic laid-back charm. The service is refined and the location is even better. There are plans afoot for an outside terrace dining space, so watch this space in time for the balmy evenings of spring.★★★★
Photos: Cristiana Ferrauti
To book a table at Sam’s Riverside, 1 Crisp Rd London W6 9DN, call 020 8237 1020 or visit their website here.