Rocket Riverside, Putney, logo Salad with Everything
Rocket Riverside, Brewhouse Street, Putney, London SW15 2NS

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Rocket Riverside Putney The decor inside is almost as attractive as the view outside the Rocket Riverside. The place has changed tremendously since I first went there to queue outside the cinema to see Saturday Night Fever. Putney's always been an upmarket part of London, but is getting even more hip with the building of plush apartment blocks on the river and with the improved shopping facilities on the high street.

Rocket is next to Victorian Putney Bridge Quite a contrast to this 19th Century article, "Putney Bridge is a graceful stone structure of five arches, connecting Putney, on the Surrey side of the Thames, with Fulham, to the North. The present bridge, superseding an ugly black structure, was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in the spring of 1886. It cost £240,000, and was designed by Sir J. W. Bazalgette. The surrounding district is very pleasant Above bridge is Fulham Palace, the residence of the Bishops of London since the first half of the thirteenth century and at the respective ends of the bridge are Putney and Fulham churches. Putney is a great rowing centre; and the Thames championship course, over which the Oxford and Cambridge boat race is rowed annually, extends from a short distance above the bridge to Mortlake."

Rocket Riverside sits between the St George's Putney Wharf development and Putney Bridge. The views down the river towards London are pleasant and can be enjoyed from the embankment in front of the restaurant.

The terrace looks like a lovely place to dine on a warm summer's evening and would be especially attractive for a Sunday brunch. Inside, the modern decor is bright, open and expansive. You certainly don't feel crowded in and there's a raised table that looks like it's inside a huge armchair, but giving a good view of the river scene.

The separate bar area, managed by Casper Hessenburg, is large and clearly oriented towards party goers who can revel in lounging chairs as well as sit at the expansive beverage counter. Since I arrived after my guest, we headed straight into the restaurant.

Having said all that, this is a family-friendly venue with a good childrenÕs' menu, and which is prepared to make any of its dishes available to children in smaller portions. The staff at Rocket Riverside are young, attractive and courteous, making the dining experience a pleasant one.

From the wide selection of very reasonably priced wines we selected New Zealand's Mansion House Bay Sauvignon Blanc (a silver medal winner at the London International Wine Challenge 2001) and Chile's Merlot, de Gras, Colchagua Valley. Both enjoyable wines.

Head Chef Jack Tylus has put together an interesting menu with some adventurous salads combinations and, in fact, salad with just about everything. I guess "Rocket" should have been a good hint of this. We commenced our meal with Smoked Halibut with Lemon Cr¸me Fraiche. The sauce was delicious though for my palate the Halibut was a little too delicate for but Alexis liked it a lot. Her Pan Fried Scallop with Celeriac Puree we both found to have a delightful smoked/barbecue flavour, with nicely browned but not quite crispy parsnip strips.

Alexis followed this with a big-hearted Lemon and Rosemary Lamb with tomato, red onion and coriander salad, warm chickpea dressing and rayta sauce. The rosemary worked beautifully on this slow cooked and tender dish, though the chickpeas were a tad tart.

My Roasted Corn Fed Chicken breast with asparagus, bok choi, baby corn, and carrots in a soy dressing was just perfect. The skin was nicely crisped, the overall flavour mouth watering and a nice variety of vegetables.

We finally rounded off the evening sharing a Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce. I love desserts with strawberry sauce and really wanted all of this lovely dish for myself, alone, just me. But my belt constrained my ire.

As we left the restaurant, I just had to take a look at the river from the bridge and decided that Rocket Riverside is certainly a pleasant restaurant with good service in a romantic setting. A great place to take your partner for a pleasant evening or your family for a relaxing brunch.

Wally Robertson, June 2003

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Rocket Restaurant, Soho, London Phone: 0208 789 7875

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Restaurant Hours:
Mon - Wed 12.00 - 15:00 & 17:00 - 23:00
Thu - Fri12.00 - 15:00 & 17:00 - 00:00 (midnight)
Saturday11.00 - 16:30 & 17:30 - 00:00 (midnight)
Sunday11.00 - 16:30 & 17:30 - 23:00
SundayPrivate hire only

Price per head: £23 inc wine
Restaurant Capacity: 130 (inside)
90 (outside)
Bar Capacity: 150

Nearest Tube: Putney Bridge
Nearest Train: Putney

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