Rick Stein - Barnes
I was incredibly excited to discover that my favourite television chef, Rick Stein, had opened his latest restaurant a stones throw from my office in Barnes. I immediately headed over for lunch on a Thursday and had the set menu of 2 courses, starting with a wonderful beetroot and cream soup followed by pan fried hake on a bed of spring onion mash. I also had a side of skinny chips because I'm greedy and it was Koningsdag (my King's 50th birthday) but for £20 that was am absolutely amazing lunch. The atmosphere was vibrant and fun as you would expect with the recent opening of a celebrity chef's new restaurant. Even Heston Blumenthal walked in for a spot of lunch as I was having mine. Clearly there is much interest to try Ricks new joint amongst his peers.
The location is also fantastic with lovely views of all the rowing clubs training on the Thames. The decor is fitting for the location and has a distinct warmth that reverberates throughout the restaurant. The waiters were fantastic. Attentive, relaxed and easily engaged. I don't buy the whole cliche that waiters need to be invisible, fading into the background, only present when needed. Some restaurants aren't like that, they have a frivolous atmosphere that requires its staff to be involved in creating a fun environment and thus should be anything but invisible. The are an integral part in creating a relaxed atmosphere and so it is at Ricks latest addition to his fishy business.
A wonderful culinary experience.