By the Munching Mariner (published in East End Life, 4th May)
The River View is an elegant, comfortable Chinese restaurant in Wapping, nestled (as you might expect) against the Thames with great views of the river, Rotherhithe on the far side and Canary Wharf in the distance. A great location for the Munching Mariner! Possibly even better in the summer, when seating is extended to the terrace.
My Thirst Mate and I booked for a Thursday at 8.30pm. I asked for a table by the window and it was noted for our arrival. Our waitress, who attended to us all evening, offered to take our coats and guided us to our seats. She promptly presented complimentary prawn crackers and left us sufficient time to choose our meals. The service was attentive, but unobtrusive.
The menu (Peking & Cantonese Cuisine) is broad: plenty of choice under all the main headings. There are also three set menus, beginning at £20.50pp.
My Thirst Mate and I ordered separate starters, but ended up sharing. We ordered grilled dumplings and lettuce wrapped minced chicken. The dumplings had a good texture with just the right level of spice. The minced chicken was a new experience for us both, and a slightly messy one for me; the meat comes separately from the lettuce and is packed in with a spoon before being eaten by hand. Awkward, but very tasty!
For mains, she ordered chicken with cashew nuts in yellow bean sauce and I opted for sliced beef with satay sauce (both with rice). They were both enjoyable, though perhaps the yellow bean sauce was slightly dry; we both preferred the beef.
We debated dessert before sharing a 3-scoop sorbet which impressed us both.
Our bill came to £57.90 including a bottle of house wine and service. If we had made it between 6-8pm, we could have taken the Early Bird option: a three course set menu including a glass of wine for £14.80pp. View the main menu at www.riverview-restaurant.com.
The River View is at New Crane Wharf in Wapping, E1W 3TU. Wapping station is closed, but the restaurant is served by the D3 and 100 bus routes. Telephone 7480 6026.