Riverview revival

August 2009

A long time ago in another life, I lived opposite the Riverviewriverview2riverview1 Hotel (29 Birchgrove Avenue Balmain, Ph 9555 9889). It was, at the time, owned by colourful local identity, the legendary larrikin Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser. Let me just say that, as a publican, Ms Fraser was a very good swimmer. I often thought, while drinking in the daggy front bar, what a wonderful site for a great restaurant. And so it was, when Susie Carleton took over from Ms Fraser and turned it into a literary pub where the likes of Frank Moorhouse and the late Dick Hall were to be seen at the bar and upstairs at the restaurant. Now, The Riverview rides again, with English chef James Watson slinging hash. He calls his food Carpe Diem, which refers to the fact that he does tend to change his menu a lot, seizing on whatever great produce has turned up that day. We have yet to return to The Riverview but do hear great things about it and him, especially his Trust the Chef five-course meals comprising “one-off” creations for the table. I’ll seize the day soon

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