Trendy Shoreditch brasserie serving British classics. Food ok but nothing special. Won't be rushing back, but not bad if you're in the area.
Another glorious Saturday and I was looking for some alfresco dining to treat my brother and his wife who were down visiting for the weekend. After a quick check of Time Out's 'Best Alfresco Dining' I thought we'd give the Boundary in Shoreditch a try. You couldn't book a table on the uncovered roof terrace, but I was told we should get a table no problem if we got there early enough.
Anyway, off we set from Belsize in glorious sunshine only to arrive at Old Street to a massive thunderstorm. D'oh!
A quick call to the Boundary confirmed that the uncovered roof was no longer an option and so plan B swang into action: the Rivington Grill, which is part of the Caprice group of restaurants. I absolutely love the Ivy (both the food and the atmosphere) and so thought this would make a good alternative.
We got there about 19.00 and it was just starting to fill up. We hadn't booked in advance, but the staff were helpful and managed to find us a table. The menu is full of classic English comfort food dishes - sausage & mash, fish fingers, lamb chop, roast chicken - to name but a few.
After flipping between three or four choices I went for the rose veal escalop with girolles (mushrooms) and spinach. The other choices on the table were: Caerphilly & leek sausages, flat-iron steak, and scallops with black pudding and bacon. We also went for a couple of side dishes.
Service was generally good. The waiter we had to begin with was chatty and attentive, but he disappeared half way through the meal and his colleague failed to bring us a drink order (though we weren't charged for it), but waiter number 1 returned to take our dessert orders.
We brought lovely warm, fresh bread whilst we waited for the main courses, which arrived fairly promptly. There was nothing wrong with any of the food we had, but then again, there was nothing memorable about it either. My veal was a little overcooked round the edges but had a nice lemon flavour, the scallops and black pudding we're ok (but came on a bed of very buttery mash that isn't mentioned on the menu), the steak well cooked and the sides all adequate, but none of it was stand out.
The same went for the desserts. I had went for the 'Raspberry burnt cream', which was creme brulee with four raspberries plonked in the middle of it. My sister-in-law declared her gooseberry pie 'lovely' and my brother thought his elderflower jelly was 'ok'.
It may be that none of us went for the standout dishes (the roast chicken on the next table smelt delicious to be fair) but I was left with the feeling that the Rivington Grill was going through the motions a little bit and could be a real class establishment with just a little bit more attention and imagination.
How i'd improve it:
- The tables were really packed in tight and I could hear every word of the conversation of the people next to us. A bit more room would've been nice!
- Bring our drinks when we order them.
- Just a little bit more attention to detail and presentation.