With so much history and excellence associated with The Riverview Hotel, we were so excited to be given the opportunity to dine here. We were definitely attracted to the idea of ‘fine pub food’ and yes it certainly did deliver!
As stolen from their website:
“The Riverview has long been associated with good food. In its turn of the century hey- day it was licensed as a “Victualler”, an old fashioned term meaning “a tavern owner who is able to supply good food, beverages and other provisions for vessels at sea”. One hundred and thirty three years on, The Riverview has continued this tradition of providing excellent food.”
This couldn’t describe The Riverview in a more perfect way.
To start, the bartender recommended we try the Mojito and the Espresso Martini.
The Mojito packed a huge punch which kept me wanting more. I loved the way it was filled with zesty lime and mint leaves. The Espresso Martini was deadly. Well, deadly if you intend to sleep at night, as the espresso is strong and powerful! However, it was very delicious.
Now we didn’t order any tapas at first because we always seem to fill up on the mains, and then end up being too full for dessert. But the manager recommended we try the tapas, and boy oh boy we would have regretted not trying these gorgeous dishes!
The Barramundi and Chorizo was an awesome combination of flavours and textures! So easy to eat and caramelised beautifully. I did, however find that the Harissa Aioli on the bottom of the plate was a little too oily as an addition to oily food.
We then tried the Spiced Squid with Harissa Aioli. Firstly, I just wanted to say how amazingly FRESH this squid was!! Now this is the definition of fine pub dining because it was so fresh – soft, sweet and succulent. It was cooked so well and definitely took the stereotype of “chewy pub salt and pepper squid” away. This dish alone sets the standards high for typical pub grub done well!
We then tried the final tapas dish, the Mushroom and Polenta Chips with Gorgonzola. Now this was an interesting combination that I loved! These were more complex flavours and textures – showing how Riverview are experimenting with new interesting flavours, which is absolutely awesome. I love when places experiment, it means that the next time you visit, it gets better!
One main we had was the Wagyu Burger. The wagyu was so juicy and lean which really made this burger as good as it was! I loved that the cheese had been melted onto the beef patty. I would have loved, however, for the bread to have been toasted, as after a while it became very soggy.
The second main we ordered was the classic Steak and Guinness Pie. An Irish pie that was cooked to perfection! Full of flavour & understandably the crowd favourite. The pastry was very crisp and thin. The filling was gorgeous, loads of pulled steak that had been slow cooked in guinness. The mash and gravy were also cooked to perfection, I can’t fault this dish!
Something about Riverview’s menu that I loved, was that they had a great balance between new items that they were implementing into the menu like the Polenta Chips, and classics like this pie, and a full Sunday roast with a Yorkshire pudding. This pie was literally smashed within minutes – so I guess I’d suggest making a family sized one as I’d drive by and pick this up anytime, any day!
Something we tried our best to save room in our stomach’s for – mission accomplished!
Our first dessert was the Toffee Apple Panna Cotta. To be honest, I thought this dish was a little strange. The Panna Cotta had lumpy tapioca pieces set into it, and the apple sorbet unfortunately tasted more like basil sorbet. Furthermore, the apple puree at the bottom was very bland. However, as the one pit fall to the amazing dishes that we tried, I was not too bothered by this dish. It was one of those dishes that Riverview will keep refining until they get it right – and I have high hopes for what it could be!
Lastly, we had the Chocolate Mousse. Deliciously, rich mousse that just melted when it touched my tongue. If I wasn’t so full, I would’ve loved this so much more. The combination of the crunchy honeycomb pieces, and the soft creamy mousse was gorgeous. I would say it was one of the best mousses I have eaten!
We dined in the pub, however the hotel offers two areas of dining including the fine-dining floor located on the second level. We would love to try the fine dining restaurant in the future because if their pub food was high quality, then their fine dining would be off the charts.
The staff were so accommodating, very friendly and up for a chat. Riverview had an awesome family atmosphere, that I have not seen in many pubs on a week night. It is definitely somewhere I would love to bring my family back to.
All in all we had a great night, and will definitely be back in the near future!
*Recollectionsoffood were invited to dine at The Riverview Hotel by CP Online Marketing, however all opinions are our own.
The Riverview Hotel
Address: 29 Birchgrove Road, Balmain
Phone: 02 9810 1151
Hours: may differ with Public Holiday’s
Written by Trisha Alo-Emile