Rick Stein, Barnes

Rick Stein, Barnes

Rick Stein and Jill Stein are opening a new seafood restaurant in Barnes, London.

Rick Stein, Barnes - Classic seafood dishes in London


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Rick Stein on his new restaurant in Barnes and life in Chiswick

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staff   food  

Rick Stein said he’d never open a London restaurant, but he didn’t take into account the lure of Barnes… The Resident quizzes the iconic chef-restaurateur about his latest project – taking over the riverside institution that is The Depot in SW14 It’s fair to say that The Depot in Barnes and Rick Stein could both be described as institutions.

After 30 years of pretty much defining local brasserie, The Depot’s founding fathers have sold up, and the restaurant is beginning a new era under the reins of the iconic chef-restaurateur.

Having always professed that he would never open a London restaurant, Stein readily admits that what attracted him to the gorgeous riverside site in Barnes is that it’s as London as he can get without feeling like you’re actually in London.

he exclaims, before adding: ‘Although we have made some changes, we’re keeping true to the heart of The Depot – it’s not going to become a fancy restaurant, it’ll stay as a great place for friends to meet.’

So it’s no surprise that the new Depot menu will benefit from this passionate expertise and will feature some iconic Seafood Restaurant favourites such as Dover sole a la meunière, and salt and pepper prawns.

Rick Stein Barnes review – celebrity chef serves the only seafood in ...

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menu   food   ambience   value   desserts   drinks  

Rick Stein Barnes insists on beginning each meal with a small ‘bar snack’.

By far the most successful of the ‘bar snacks’ I ate at Rick Stein Barnes had to be the salty salmon-ish mousse on a crispbread.

If you stick to pan-fried white fish at Rick Stein Barnes then you’re in for smooth sailing.

Even though Rick Stein Barnes has a menu, decor and locale distinct from its sister restaurants, as a whole it feels like a cookie-cutter by-the-numbers franchise operation designed to milk the wealthy locals for as much as they’re worth.

When other London restaurants are doing brilliant, mind-expanding things with brill, sea urchin and fishes I can’t even identify, Rick Stein Barnes just isn’t good enough.

review of London seafood restaurant Rick Stein Barnes in Mortlake ...

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food   staff   location   drinks   value  

The salad was fine but the hard chunks of fish barely tasted of mackerel and were grotesquely salty, even for a salt-loving diner like me.

It was a little unfortunate that the last fish soup I ate was the stunning version at three Michelin star Auberge de vieux Puits just three days earlier, but nonetheless this was a competent version of the dish, with reasonably good fish and shellfish flavour coming through (13/20).

This is not just a matter of flavour – small sub 2 kg turbot cost less than half the price per kg of large (say 4kg plus) specimens, yet this dish was priced at a chunky £36 for a portion despite using a tiny fish.

This dish was a major improvement, the prawns correctly cooked and the curry sauce a little grainy but having a pleasant blend of spices; the only real issue were the almost raw beans (12/20).

My main course arrived with no cutlery, and a glass of wine that we ordered just sat on the bar until I finally got the attention of the waiter I had ordered it from, even though he had walked past it twice.

Test Driving Rick Stein Barnes - the top chef brings his seafood ...

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This sees him opening his first restaurant in London's leafy Barnes, with seafood the main focus.

Previously Stein has been on record as saying he'd never open a spot in London, so the announcement of his restaurant in Barnes was something of a surprise.

Indonesian seafood curry - sea bass, cod and prawns served with pilau rice and a green bean and grated coconut salad with crisp fried shallots, garlic and chilli.

Our standouts were... The Indonesian seafood curry - a lightly curried dish of sea bass cod and prawns that ticked all our boxes.

From our visit to Rick Stein we found a seafood restaurant in a great riverside spot, a beautifully designed room and seafood dishes that lived up to our fairly high expectations.

Rick Stein, London SW15, restaurant review: a bit of a grey area

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food   menu  

Which gave me the opportunity to tell Chap of a first date many years ago in which my then-suitor proceeded to very carefully consume his stalks, leaving the asparagus spears stacked tidily on the side of his plate (reader, I nearly married him).

Given that we’d already made the piscatorial faux-pas of coming to a fish restaurant on a Monday, I only went and chose hake alla carlina (pan-fried with a tomato and caper sauce) – which was on the set menu, too.

As for the hake — well, I sometimes like to order “slightly boring fish” in fish restaurants in case they suddenly become the new “sexy fish”.

Chap fared much better, pronouncing his Provençal fish and shellfish soup with rouille and croutons delicious.

I had a spoonful and, if I were being picky (which, hovering on the Barnes/Mortlake Borders at the time, I necessarily was) the flavour was not sufficiently “dirty fish” to give it a truly Provençal kick, but it was nice.

London's best riverside restaurants

What could say summer in London more than a table by the Thames?

Whether you want your food to come with a side order of iconic views in the centre of town or you hunger for a more tranquil setting in a quieter corner of the capital, here are out 10 favourite riverside restaurants in London.

Whether you call it a boutique hotel or a restaurant with rooms, there’s no denying that this pretty Georgian townhouse has one of the plummest riverside spots in Richmond, with the Thames flowing serenely beyond the flowerbeds of an immaculately maintained English garden.

Inside, the elegant dining room’s French windows open onto a balcony for al fresco eating.