What: A 70-cover neighbourhood restaurant located within the redeveloped Riverside Studios on the banks of the Thames in Hammersmith.
Who: Restaurateur Sam Harrison is back in the game having taken time out from running restaurants for a few years. Harrison sold the neighbourhood restaurants Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick and Harrison’s in Balham that he ran for a decade and eight years respectively to the Hawksmoor Group in 2015, making the switch to consultancy and training within the industry. At the time he vowed to return to the restaurant game and, true to his word, he’s back in business. This time round he’s joined forces with head chef Harvey Trollope, a former premier sous chef at The Ritz, who will be under the occasional gaze of Rowley Leigh, who has been drafted in as culinary director of the restaurant.
The food: Sam's serves a strong brasserie menu, with items including starters of diver-caught scallop ceviche; clams, braised trotter and white beans (above); and grilled octopus, pimento potatoes and saffron aïoli, while mains include pork shoulder steak with chimichurri; and roast tronçon of brill, girolles, meuniere butter and chicken jus. Desserts have an Anglo/European bent, with the likes of queen of puddings; apple tarte fine with caramel ice cream and cider brandy; and rum baba with pineapple and verbena.
The vibe: Harrison is an old hand at neighbourhood restaurants and at Sam’s Riverside his experience is evident. The bright interior - designed by design company DesignLSM - with riverside view and accessible menu (pre-theatre is two courses for £17.50, three for £20.50) gives it an all-day appeal but the sleek styling makes it equally suitable for cocktail hour. To aid this, there’s also a perfectly put together bar menu with drink-friendly items including parmesan churros; squid and nduja toast; buttermilk chicken bun; and cep and ricotta flatbread.
And another thing: Sam’s Riverside is currently only open for lunch and dinner, but as of next year the restaurant will also be open for breakfast and brunch.
1 Crisp Walk, Hammersmith