Dinner at Rivington Grill exceeded all expectations. With Mum as my dining companion it was nice to hear her praise everything she had because I felt the same about my choices, writes Michael Holland.
I was already salivating when reading the menu, which looked good enough to eat with the lovely floral print on its front cover. Inside the choices were more tempting – I would’ve been happy just having lots of starters – but in the end I chose the Carlingford Oysters. They came with a concoction they called Hogwash! It was, in fact, a chopped onion and chilli affair that took the back of your throat out and brought tears to the eyes. Perfect. And if it had been called Sheep Dip I still would’ve had it!
Mum had the Potted Shrimps because they remind her of when she worked in The Angel at Rotherhithe in the 60s! Who knew? She kept that a secret for 50 years! Anyway, we paired these dishes with a nice glass of Delamotte champagne.
Mum kept the fish theme going with the Catch of the Day – Sea Bass. It was a beautiful thing, and being served up so fresh with its head and tail intact it looked like it could still do a few lengths of a shoreline somewhere. It came with purple potatoes and a caper sauce, and Mum could not stop saying how much she enjoyed it. Even when I went to the loo, she carried on the sea bass conversation with the lovely waitress who had earlier suggested the champagne and then proposed a delicious 2017 Tempranillo to follow.
I went for a meat dish for my main course because nothing could be meatier than Welsh Lamb Chops, and these two bad boyos were meaty – Over an inch thick and full of flavour. They came with minted vegetables and potato gratin, and because I can see beauty in the humble spud, I thought the gratin was very special.
As we allowed time to digest and think about how nice life was right now, Mum told me all about her trip to the Evacuees Association sculpture up north, and then about how she hated being evacuated, at which point I asked for the dessert menu… Mum had her usual crumble – Gooseberry this time: ’The best I’ve ever had,’ she said.
For me, three things jumped out of the dessert list and all had the word ‘Chocolate’ in their title. After a little mental debate I opted for the Chocolate Mousse with Berry Compote – Always a winner. However, it was so chocolatey I couldn’t finish it! It finished me! I did think of asking for it to be bagged up to take home but there was only about 3 or 4 spoonfuls left, so it would have been a liberty. But what made it even nicer was the Lustau San Emilio Pedro Ximenez dessert wine. Together they drew the best out of each other to make the ideal end to a fantastic meal.
Rivington is an excellent British restaurant that has taken the nation’s classics and got people to love them again. I noticed they have 230 different gins and a terrace where gin cocktails can be enjoyed properly. I’ll be back to spend some time there soon. We did push the boat out a bit but you can eat there for a fraction of what we spent, and I can guarantee that it’ll be good.
Rivington Grill, 178 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN
www.rivingtongreenwich.co.uk – 020 8293 9270