It’s all happening in Brentford at the moment: lots of new developments and retail outlets springing up, and I was delighted to discover that Sam Harrison, with business partner Fanny Stockder (of Sam’s Riverside fame) have seized the opportunity to spread their culinary wings further still.
They recently opened Sam’s Waterside, in the new Brentford Project development by Ballymore, and situated facing the water (the River Brent, a tributary of the Thames).
It was a bitterly cold Wednesday evening when we went, but the place was buzzing, with a mix of families, couples and corporate groups.
The Restaurant Location
The restaurant itself is adjacent to Sam’s Brentford Larder (if you are looking on google maps) and, with warmer weather, it will be wonderful to sit on the terrace and enjoy the river views.
The restaurant decor is modern and stylish, with a central island bar, and offers a warm welcome on a cold night.
I’d been strongly recommended to try Sam’s famous Parmesan Churros to enjoy with our drinks and they went down a storm with my husband’s IPA (£5) and my cocktail: a TW8 Martini (£12.50 Dima’s Ukrainian Three Grain vodka, dry vermouth, caperberries and brine).
Reader, I was in martini heaven… a great indication of the quality of our meal ahead!
And a note on the service: our waiter noticed that I’d dropped a piece of parmesan into my water glass and came over to replace and refresh the glass. On a busy evening, we thought that pretty impressive!
We also enjoyed an excellent bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva Tor del Colle 2019 (£31). The wine list is well constructed and priced, starting from £28 a bottle.
One of the things I really like about Sam’s menu is that most of the starters are also available as a main course. As someone who’s often more tempted by starters, I was able to choose two starters, and supplement the main course one with a side salad and some fries…perfect!
I started with Handmade Burrata di Puglia, Decana Pear, Pickled Pumpkin, Aged Balsamic. Being a fan of bitter leaves, I was delighted that this beautifully presented dish was surrounded by treviso leaves. I’d not tasted pickled pumpkin before – it was earthy, but sweet, and the whole dish had an interesting mix of textures and flavours, with grainy pears, and bitter treviso. It was a generous portion and well balanced.
My husband chose Crispy Duck, Watercress, Persimmon, Citrus, which he declared spicy, fruity and fresh, with the crispy duck being offset perfectly by the salad and citrus.
Never one to resist a good steak tartare, I opted for a starter size of Bloody Mary Steak Tartare, Horseradish, Quail Egg as my main course.
It really was ‘bloody delicious’ and the accompanying salad (with different, wonderfully fresh, Italian leaves) was ideal.
The chips were fat, and piping hot and the starter portion was more than adequate.
My husband had Hereford Aged Ribeye, Peppercorn Sauce, Chips and raved about the tenderness and flavour of the steak. (as well as polishing off quite a few of my chips)
The dessert menu seemed slightly scaled down compared with the range on other courses. There were four choices and a cheese option.
Basque cheesecake appealed and again, a very generous serving with Sloe Berries & Wild Quince. The accompaniments were, I felt, a tad underwhelming, and didn’t offer much to the lovely cheesecake.
This was the only part of the whole meal that I felt wasn’t absolutely spot on.
My husband had sticky rum cake with coconut ice cream and thoroughly enjoyed it.
There’s a set menu at £23.50 for two courses and £28.50 for three available Monday to Thursday and lunchtime only on Fridays.
And for seafood lovers, there’s an Oyster Happy Hour menu 5-6pm Monday to Thursday.
We were really impressed with Sam’s Waterside and will definitely be returning. The manager, Kristin, was telling us that it is already proving very popular with local residents and businesses.
Price-wise, for the location, quality of food and service, I think it is better value than some ‘gastropubs’ too.
It’s on the 267 bus route too, a bonus for anyone living in Twickers or anywhere else on the route!