Without a doubt Rick Stein is the most loved Television Chef in our home and I absolutely adore my copy of his book Rick Stein’s India, which I purchased after watchinf the series. It has been recorded permanently and every now and then we re-watch them along with all this other shows. I’ve heard he has recently been filming in Mexico so am excited for the next instalment of shows.
We have always wanted to go to one of his restaurants but they were outside London so hadn’t had a chance yet. However, he has now opened a restaurant in Barnes by the River Thames which we had to go and try out for dinner.
I knew I was going to love it as soon as we arrived and saw the water bowls laid out with “Chalky’s Pals” on them. Chalky was Rick Stein’s dog who sadly passed away and we felt like we experienced his grief with him as Chalky used to feature in all his shows.
The decor inside was gorgeous with shades of green and enviable views of the river. Definitely the kind of restaurant that is family friendly and has a more casual feel compared to other celebrity chef restaurants.
The service was excellent from the moment we walked in and we were greeted with lots of smiles and enthusiasm and immediately felt welcome and relaxed.
For drinks Amit went for a glass of Rick Stein’s Spanish white wine and I went for Jill Stein’s Mint Julep. Absolutely delicious cocktail and Amit really enjoyed his wine.
We were brought some bread and olive oil to nibble on whilst we pondered what to order from the menu. There were so many brilliant choices we were finding it tough to make a decision.
I settled for the Asparagus which was sourced from Cobrey Farm, Wye Valley and poached in olive oil and served with a scrumptious hollandaise sauce. It was beautifully cooked and the sauce was so lovely.
Amit went for the stir-fried Salt and Pepper Squid garnished with red chilli slices, spring onions and served on a salad of watercress, beansprouts and cucumber with drizzles of a sesame and soy dressing. He adored his starter.
For mains, I was intrigued by the Ravioli filled with sweet onion, Parmesan and fennel seeds and in a sauce of Porcini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and hazelnuts. It was definitely one of the best and unique Ravioli dishes I have had.
Amit went for the Hake Alla Carlina which is pan fried hake fillet cooked a Venetian way with a sauce of tomatoes and capers. He really enjoyed his main dish too and I did try a little and thought it was excellent.
Desserts are always my favourite part of a meal and I have to say the desserts we had at this restaurant were just outstanding. I went for a Sticky Toffee Pudding topped with Cornish Clotted Cream and I am still dreaming about that dish to this day.
Amit went for the Salted Peanut Butter and Chocolate cheesecake which was UTTERLY DIVINE.
Our entire meal was highly enjoyable and so reasonably priced too. We will definitely be back and make the most of the gorgeous river views. The menu was also very well balanced and although Rick Stein is known for his seafood dishes, there was a fantastic range of choices for vegetarians and other meat eaters too. I highly recommend it and we are so pleased we now have a London venue to visit.
For more information and to see menus visit the website here.