For Nibs' birthday brunch, us girls head to Rivington Street to sample the delights on offer at Rivington Grill, a restaurant and bar that is part of the Caprice Holdings collective, also encompassing The Ivy and J Sheekey amongst others (read my thoughts on J Sheekey here). Such credentials and a fine review from Krista meant I was certainly looking forward to this.
We arrived promptly at 1pm to find a virtually deserted restaurant but it very soon filled up and was bustling by the time we left. Service was relaxed and polite and we had a pleasurable and leisurely brunch sampling a diverse selection of their food.
We each selected a tipple, I had a brunch-tastic bloody mary which, to my surprise, had fresh horseradish pieces in it, and was very good indeed. The bread was served next whilst we deliberated over the menu. It was warm and served with just the right amount of butter, I find that happens all too rarely, and we were given 2 between the 4 of us whilst a later arriving foursome, Noy noticed, were given only 1.
I was most chuffed with my choice of Cornish crab with toast and mayonnaise. This was a real crowd pleaser, when it arrived there were envious glances from the neighbouring table, one chap proudly declaring “that must be the crab,” didn’t exactly take a genius to reach that conclusion…
The toast was thick cut and white, which I welcomed but because it was warm by the time I got down to the 3rd and 4th pieces they had gone slightly chewy due to the heat and had lost most of their crispness. The accompanying mayonnaise was velvety and tasted homemade and the chopped egg (white and yolk separated and beautifully served in a small ramekin) was an unadvertised delight. The lemon provided a welcome tang and the crab itself, presented back in the shell was perfect, a generous portion of both brown and white meat sitting atop a bed of seaweed. I thought the dish was faultless.
As a starter the crab was relatively filling and so, instead of a main, I opted for a side of bubble and squeak which was interesting. To quote Nibs it was "heavily herbed" and very very green. The flavour was a bit all over the place with so many herbs that it was difficult to detect each flavour, rather an overall sort of fragrance. I liked that it had peas in it (I'm a bit obsessed with peas at the moment) and it was nicely crisp on the outside. Nibs fared somewhat better with her side of fries which were pretty great, crispy and thick and served in a little tin pot.
As well as this Nibs had the Evesham beetroot and goatscheese salad. Again, a major element to the dish was not stated on the menu, this time it was pears. The additions were entirely welcome but it's curious that a beetroot, goatscheese and pear salad would be under sold by the omission of one of the trio from the description. In any case, Nibs was happy, as she's a fan of pears but the chips beat her, lucky for us we were all able to have a few.
Kid, by far the fussiest eater among us and the least interested in food in general, went for the sausage and mash. For a small eater, she did very well, quietly scraping off the onions and declaring the actual bangers to be a bit too meaty. Again we all got a tatse and I thought they were good, rather solid and flavoursome, with a rich gravy and fluffy mash.
Noy felt like breakfast rather than lunch and here are her thoughts:
First up was Macroom porridge. This arrived to me in a pleasing, yet slightly sloppy state - not really sure what else I was expecting though! From the first taste I knew that, for me, it was far too sweet but I carried on. It had a comforting charm that made it really moreish. The oats in it were a perfect consistency and nice and big, too! Next up was my much anticipated drop scones with lavender honey and bacon.
Pleasing to the eye and to the taste, too. The three pancakes were perfectly drizzled with honey - normally I wouldn't opt for this as not much of a honey fan, but adding mustard to the dish really took the edge of the sweetness. The bacon was slightly fatty and could have been crispier but the ratio of pancake to bacon was spot on.
This is a perfect brunch venue. It's nice how the restaurant and bar areas are seperated. I shall be returning.
28-30 Rivington St,