Riviera Review: Exploring the Best of the Mediterranean Coast

Riviera, a new dining concept, has recently opened in the two-floor St. James’s dining space in London, filling the void left by the closing of Sake no Hana. The restaurant offers a taste of the French Riviera with a modern twist on traditional cooking.

As lovers of French cuisine, particularly southern French cooking, the team ventured to Riviera to see if it lived up to its promise. With an emphasis on quality ingredients and a contemporary approach to classic dishes, Riviera aims to transport diners to the sun-soaked shores of the Côte d’Azur.

Key Takeaways

  • Riviera is a new dining concept in London offering French Riviera cuisine with a modern twist.
  • The restaurant fills the space left by the closing of Sake no Hana.
  • Riviera emphasizes quality ingredients and a contemporary approach to classic dishes.

Riviera – The Full Review

The Food

Riviera is a restaurant that offers a feast that can last up to four hours. The starters are so delicious that it can take a while to decide which ones to order. The beef carpaccio is a classic dish that is done justice at Riviera. The foie gras and lobster brioche buns are nice, but one of each might be too much. The stuffed courgette flowers are a must-order dish that has been given a touch of up-market influence with the introduction of truffle and tempura batter. The mains of veal steak and turbot are served with mash and grilled asparagus on the side. The fish is buttery and flaky, while the veal is glazed with honey dijon. The portions are large, leaving diners stuffed. The desserts of Tarte Tatin and Creme Brulee with a side of lavender shortbread biscuits are irresistible and leave diners wanting more.

The Drink

Riviera offers a selection of cocktails and wines to accompany the meal. The L’heure Vente, an absinthe-based cocktail with lime guava and grapefruit juice, and the Riviera Elixir, a spiced rum and cognac cocktail with apricot puree and cinnamon, are both delicious. The Loire Valley La Cabriole is recommended to accompany the mains of both meat and fish.

The Look

The restaurant’s sheet-glass windows offer a stunning view of St. James’. The interior is decorated with a mix of rustic and ultra-sleek designs, which may seem odd in daylight but come together beautifully at night.

Final Thoughts

Riviera is an excellent restaurant that offers an enjoyable dining experience. The food is delicious, and the portions are large. While some of the cooking lacks that special something, Riviera comes very close to receiving a five-star review. Diners should clear their evening schedules to fully savor the experience.