Erin was next up for choosing our 3rd The Food Club meet up, this seemed an easy task, as she had been to a birthday meal recently at Riverlife in Dalry and had an amazing time. I was very excited by the choice because I live not far from Dalry and I have often wanted to try this French/Caribbean restaurant. Riverlife is BYOB, so Erin chose to have the meal on a Friday; we met at the Jolly Botanist for drinks after work and then walked over to Riverlife for 7pm.
From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special, but it has a very quaint and intimate interior. Because there were 11 of us in total, we took up a large section of the restaurant and because I had my back to other customers it was easy to forget that we were not dining privately, and that there were actually other customers there. The service was very relaxed, but still very friendly. More than just being friendly, our waitress was extremely knowledgeable about the menu, and very vocal about her preferences – which I love! It turned out that it was the owner, Buumba,who was serving us. As Erin had been here previously, I took her lead when ordering and Buumba quickly showed excitement and stated that it was her favourite dish; this obviously added to my enthusiasm for the food.
Erin and I shared prawns with ginger and garlic to start, which were extremely tasty; the prawns were delicious due to the oil and balsamic, along with the fresh cherry tomatoes. However my main course was definitely the highlight! I chose the coconut, coriander and almond fish fillet, which came with carrots and crushed potatoes and I could not recommend this enough! The fish melted in my mouth and the sauce was the perfect addition. The potatoes were a bit dry, but luckily there was a good amount of sauce, so there was plenty for both the fish and the potatoes. I would definitely have this again, although everyone’s food looked great, so I also want to try more of the menu.
Surprising, just as good (if not better) than the food was the atmosphere. We were pleasantly surprised to find a guitarist singing songs after our meal, which we all quickly started to sing a long to. This rapidly led to customers standing up to sing! I can’t remember ever having so much fun in a restaurant and it is especially rare to find a place with such an inviting atmosphere, as well as such amazing food. The whole evening was brilliant, I genuinely felt like I was in a friends’ home in the Caribbean, drinking wine, eating good food and having a fantastic time. I am planning my next visit to Riverlife already – and so should you be!
Atmosphere – 5
Food – 4.5
Price – 4
Service – 4.5
Total – 18/20