Riverhouse Bingham is flowing with top-notch food
Head to Richmond for a treat that will make you proud to live in the capital
At its best, you can’t beat London, even though, admittedly, as a city, it’s easy to slate. Soulless commuters, hectic everything, violent pigeons… it almost demands you criticise it at every turn.
But occasionally you have a moment where you look around and think, damn… I live here. In a good way.
I had one recently.
The sun came out, in April, which is never a guarantee, on the day I happened to be dining at the Bingham Riverhouse in Richmond, and my partner and I requested that we sit out on the balcony, overlooking the gardens and, of course, gorgeous river, with passing boats and a never-ending parade of cute dogs.
The staff were slightly bewildered that we wanted to sit outside – ‘outside? Are you sure? But are you sure you’re sure? Umbrella up? UMBRELLA UP?’ – while we were practically cracking open the factor 30, oiling ourselves into a slippery sun-soak.
It was past noon, so perfectly acceptable for cocktails, in my view, so we settled down with a Negroni – with a pineapple rum twist – and a cucumber gin, which tasted even better than their presentation (and they were presented very nicely.)
A good start, indeed.
And, so, drinks in hand, clinking before drinking, one of the London moments happened. I live here. Turns out, The Bingham is a lovely place to remind you of the city’s charm. You sort of feel like you’re on holiday. Which figures, as getting to Richmond from Leyton, where we reside, takes almost as much effort and stress as flying to Spain.
Worth it though, we conceded, while basking smugly.
It took a long, long time for the waiters to take our food orders, but I accept partial responsibility for this. It would seem that our ‘dining outside’ request unleashed quite the panic at Bingham, perhaps explaining the delay, and also, we looked so smug bathing in Vitamin D-drenched rays that they maybe thought they should just leave us to it.
When we were remembered though, we were served quite the redemption in the form of their sourdough bread, which was scrumptious enough to make this writer use a word as cringe-inducing as scrumptious.
And a consistent standard was retained, throughout a joyous three course meal, that was perfectly complimented by the weather.
The watercress risotto sounds boring, but was heavenly, and surprisingly more-ish.
The chicken terrine was light yet packed with flavour.
A poster-child for how to present a dish with colour and pizazz, they should put up a picture of their salt-baked beetroot, rainbow chard, quinoa, pine and dressing salad, which sacrifices no flavour despite looking closer to art than dining.
The roasted Hake, pea and mint served with jersey potatoes was the height of elegance, feeling rich – in the best way – but never rich.
And then the desserts really proved, had there been any doubt, that these chefs know exactly what they’re doing.
Does anything sound more crowd-pleasing than a banoffee cheesecake with caramelised popcorn and salted caramel ice cream? It tastes every bit as good as it sounds.
The Bingham would be perfect for couples, friends catching up, or a family dinner. A versatile, enjoyable and not-too-unreasonably priced (for Richmond, anyway, let’s put things in perspective,) restaurant.
And on a sunny day, that view is worth a bit of lavish spending in London. Where I, for a brief moment in April, was proud to live.