I went to the Rivington Grill in Greenwich for dinner on Thursday night as my boyfriend and I have decided to start visiting restaurants in our local area more regularly. We like our expensive Michelin starred restaurants but one or twice a year is the limit if we want to stay in the black. During March the restaurant had been running a 30% offer for certain lunch and dinner services so I booked a table last weekend just in time to take advantage of the offer. The Rivington is part of restaurant group Caprice Holdings and counts The Ivy, J. Sheeky and the original Rivington in Shoreditch among its sister restaurants. It is also featured in the 2010 London Michelin guide, and it was this recommendation and its location that promoted me to book a table for two.

The interior of the restaurant has large floor to ceiling windows, cream walls, dark wooden tables, bar and staircase, and the room is lit with ceiling lamps giving the room a soft glow. I felt relaxed and at ease upon entry and we were shown to a nicely sized table near the window so we could see the street outside and the long bar inside. The menus are on printed A3 sheets that are pre-laid so there was no faffing with menus and a wine list etc. We were then given a fresh crusty loaf served on an old wooden board – no side plates taking up table space, simple presentation.

Our orders were taken and we were told about the specials as well as being directed to the large boards above the bar showing this information, catch of the day was Monkfish. We went for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and sardines for starters, and then scallops and lamp chop for mains (really enjoyed all the different fish options on the menu, fits in well with the local area). The Rivington has a large well-stocked bar and also does cocktail specials, a big tick in my book. I went for a Cherry Daiquiri and the other half went for a Meantime beer. Meantime are a local brewing company on the Peninsular, a nice local touch, and another thumbs up from me.

Service was quick but not rushed, my eggs arrived perfectly scrambled with no indication that they were sat under a heat lamp slowly turning to rubber – very pleased. The smoked salmon was lovely and the sardines were light and tasty with a nice kick of flavour from the chilli, garlic, shallots and lemon juice. There was a nice break between courses, plenty of time for the boyfriend to order a glass of house red that he very much enjoyed.

The lamb was ordered rare and rare it was, possibly blue in parts. Our normal trick is to order our meat rare because we always expect it to be cooked more than requested – but not at The Rivington. Rare is rare, be warned if you also do this trick in other establishments! Saying this, the lamb, kidneys and bubble and squeak were enjoyed immensely. My scallops were cooked just right, as above, no rubbery taste and the bacon was full of flavour so it contrasted well with the delicate taste of the scallops. The mash was very rich and creamy and delicious, I had to push myself to eat it all. I really enjoyed the presentation, bed of mash, scallop in the middle and then bacon bits on top. Fun to eat, and very filling when you consider you are ‘only’ eating four scallops.

We felt stuffed so we skipped dessert. The desserts on the menu looked lovely and filling but we knew when to resist. I would have ordered the Bramley apple and cinnamon crumble with custard. Next time I will as I fully recommend The Rivington as a good local restaurant that serves well-cooked and simple food. It is not a ‘cheap’ restaurant but you won’t pay much more than the Gourmet Burger King/Pizza Express/Café Rouge chains that dominate Greenwich and that serve boring over-priced uninteresting dishes. The atmosphere is also lovely and the staff are attentive and informative. The bar area also serves food and looks like a good spot for a nice post-work pint/cocktail. Must get out at Greenwich station one night and head down.

Photos of the dishes are below…

Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs from the ‘On Toast’ part of the menu

Cornish sardines with chilli, garlic, shallots and lemon

Lyme Bay scallops with bacon and hedgerow garlic on a bed of creamy mash

Barnsley lamb chop with kidneys and bubble and squeak

Satisfied customer

P.S. South-east London blogger throughlygood posted a review of the brand-spanking new Bianco 43 yesterday (so new Google has not caught up yet). Looks like the Taste of India didn’t last, and its replacement is a good ‘un. Support your local area! :).