Sampling the Riverside Walk in Kingston
My resolution for 2016 was to discover more of the UK, and so far, I’ve visited Bristol, Bath, Wales, and Cornwall, with a few more ‘exotic’ destinations coming up this summer (including a repeat visit to Wirral). Last week, I decided to stay within the Oyster network and check out Kingston, which is a short train journey from Waterloo. Its small-town feel is immediately apparent, and spending an evening on the river Thames without being trampled by everybody else on the Southbank was absolutely wonderful!
The occasion was a bloggers’ event organised by the Riverside Walk in Kingston, an area that was formerly used as a car park. Hard to believe, really, as it’s now been rebuilt with lovely outdoor spaces and a number of restaurants, nearly all of which we were able to sample as part of the event. Busaba dropped out last minute, however, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we were already bursting at the seams with the offerings from the three other restaurants. I had been a bit skeptical in advance as all the restaurants are chains, and I tend to prefer independent establishments, but I’m happy to say I was proved wrong!
First up was CAU, an Argentinian restaurant that proved to be my favourite of the night, starting with their Patagonian Mule cocktail, whose fiery ginger notes went down a treat! We also had their Pink Spritz, but this didn’t quite satisfy my cocktail sweet tooth due to tonic being the lengthening ingredient.
There was a huge amount of finger food available, from mini pork belly to various meat skewers, salmon tostadas and beef tacos. All the meat was exceptional, but my favourite was probably the smoked lamb skewer.
And just when we thought we were done, we were brought these gorgeous and perfectly done steak skewers… heavenly.
They even provided dessert in the form of churros and brownies, even though we knew that we’d be having our ‘proper’ dessert at Côte Brasserie later! The churros were the best I’ve had outside of Spain (nothing will ever come close to the ones in Granada), and the brownie was wonderfully moist and topped with a wee marshmallow for extra decadence.
Next up was Comptoir Libanais, where we walked in to see a huge table covered in various mezze for everybody to share. The sharing culture prevalent in the East is one that is very close to my heart, so this appealed to me immediately.
I went back to the table three (okay… four) times to get my fill of mezze, and whilst the hummus was a little disappointing, the grilled lamb, chicken wings, and baba ghanoush were phenomenal. I was particularly taken by their homemade drinks as well – my favourite was the Leymona, a mix of lemon and lime. Sounds simple, but it was done so well!
Comptoir Libanais’ decor is what I love most about the place, as it includes a souk-style area with various Lebanese products on offer, from culinary products to beautiful bags.
And just as we felt we were about to burst, it was time for us to waddle over to our final destination of the evening. Côte Brasserie is a restaurant I don’t normally think of for gourmet cuisine, as there is one on nearly every corner in London. But I was definitely excited about the Crème Caramel and chocolate mousse, served alongside a delectably sweet dessert wine. And they did not disappoint… I particularly loved the chocolate mousse, as it wasn’t too sweet, letting the dark chocolate flavours shine through.
Quite a few of the other bloggers found the Domaine de Barroubio too sweet, but I relished its flavours due to my absolute lack of expertise in all things wine (my tasting criteria is: if it’s sweet, I like it)!
My verdict on the Riverside Walk? As I dragged myself onto the train back into the city, I looked back on an evening with some absolutely stellar food (most of which was courtesy of CAU). Kingston is not a destination that I had ever considered for a day out, but now I am definitely planning to return in the summer for a stroll along the river and probably some beef skewers!
I was a guest at the Riverside Walk for the Taste The World bloggers’ event, but as always, all opinions are my own. Other bloggers at the event were: Surrey Kitchen, Elle Bloggs, Californian Mum in London, Ms Food Blogger, Suburban Mum, Cake + Whisky, EatwithSteph, Citylicious, Eliscapade, Gratinsophinoise.