Photography by Mitra Nataraj
Rejected by the Wapping Project for their strict reservation-only-on-a-weekend policy, we decided to check out one of the more welcoming restaurants in the area. A short walk away and true to its name, we found Riverview, known among those in the know as Dockland’s best Chinese restaurant in 2009. With room to spare, we had hardly finished amusing ourselves with the large fish in the tank by the door before we were ushered to a round table with a more expansive view of water. Satisfied with the ambience, we decided to take a look at the menu.
Starters were a host of duck pancakes, fried squid and asparagus with chilli and salt which set the lazy Susan and our expectations for the main course spinning. The kitchen however was unable to keep pace with appetite and expectation as the chef made hard work of getting the main course comprising Szechuan prawns, black bean and chilli duck and mixed vegetables across to us. There was nothing inspiring about any of the dishes and we moved quickly on to desert which was coconut Mövenpick ice cream.
With a heavy bill of £21 per head (including a glass of house white wine), this was not necessarily the best value for money in London’s far east and the distinction of best Chinese restaurant 2009 begged questioning who the competitors were. Londonist left wondering what the note in a fortune cookie might have read if we had got one. Perhaps, “Visits in the future, uncertain.”
River View is located at 16 New Crane Place (E1W 3TU). Visit the restaurant online at www.riverview-restaurant.com.
Written by Nikhil Kalanjee