Sam’s Riverside officially welcomes paying diners on 4 November 2019 after a period of soft launch making sure the stoves were up to speed. The new establishment, masterminded by serial restaurateur Sam Harrison breathes a new lease of life into this most loved corner of west London and stretch of the Thames with impressive views of Hammersmith Bridge and a new Thames Path.
The 70-seat restaurant is part of the redeveloped Riverside Studios and features a large bar and private dining room. The restaurant will be open daily, offering a large selection of oysters and seafood, and a modern European menu with a focus on Anglo-French dishes. The pick of the menu which could go on to become a classic is Poor Man’s Parmesan, well-seasoned toasted breadcrumbs used as toppings for chicken. The open kitchen is overseen by Head Chef Harvey Trollope, in collaboration with Culinary Director Rowley Leigh, formerly of Kensington Place.
There is a strong west London flavour in the team behind Sam’s Riverside. Harrison won a lot of plaudits with Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick (2005) and Harrison’s in Balham (2007). In 2015, after a decade of successful trading, he sold both restaurants to the Hawksmoor Group.
Trollope worked for Marco Pierre White as Head Chef at Wheelers of St James, until 2011. This was followed by a two-year stint at The Ritz as Premier Sous Chef, under the guidance of Chef John Williams. He has also worked as a private chef, catering for international clients in Italy, and in the Caribbean (on Richard Branson’s private resort Necker Island). In late 2015, he launched Harvey’s British Eatery which focused on British cooking and evolved into a series of pop-ups in London.
Leigh has been a stalwart of the London restaurant scene for the past few decades. His early career included stints at iconic restaurants like Joe Allen, Le Gavroche and Le Poulbot (with the Roux brothers), before launching two highly regarded London establishments – Kensington Place in 1987, and Le Café Anglais in 2007. He is a regular recipe columnist for the Financial Times magazine, and author of two books – A long and Messy Business, and No Place Like Home.
A Taste of the Thames
Sam’s Riverside adds yet more garnish to the already enviable culinary offering along the Thames which already includes Ruth Rogers’ River Cafe. There will be even more dining options on the menu when the Riverside Studios finally throws its doors open after a five-year redevelopment in mid-November 2019. The complex will have its own restaurant and a cafe on the foyer to cater to visitors alongside three large theatre/studio spaces for television, theatre, dance, opera, music and comedy (with full production facilities), a 200-seat cinema and screening room, as well as a local community space offering a calendar of events.