River Cafe, Fulham
1 Station Approach
Fulham (changed from Putney by popular demand)
by Blake Pudding
After years of denigrating South West London as a place populated by Henrys, Carolines or, worse still, Antipodeans, I have decided to embrace my inner Sloane. Perhaps it is my relationship with a young Putney lady or perhaps it is my advancing years but leafy, clean Putney is such a relief after “edgy” Whitechapel. I love being able to go out for a drink and not have people sneering at my shoes.
Alice suggested a trip to the famous River Café opposite Putney Bridge station (not to be confused with the Hammersmith restaurant that sells Italian peasant food to millionaire architects). Lovers of old cafes or just lovers in general will find much to admire here, including original tiling, mirrors, immaculate Formica and friendly bunch of Italians providing the service. One thing they won’t admire, however, is the food. I know this is a “classic caff”, so I am not expecting organic sausages or free range eggs, but when you order ham, egg and chips you expect a hearty piece of gammon, not that wafer thin stuff made from reformed pork product. I asked Alice what she thought of her sausage, she muttered that it looked “scary” and indeed it did. It looked like they had bought the worst sausage ever, deep-fried it twice, dropped it down the back of the fridge, fished it out a month later, reheated and then served it. It would be nice to assume that they were having an off day but food this bad suggests something rotten at the heart of this establishment.