Food & Drink

Maria G’s Fulham Riverside: a delicious Italian success

Following its recent opening on Fulham Riverside in November, the Londoners decided to investigate whether the renowned Italian seafood restaurant Maria G’s was worthy of its praise. 

After sampling a considerable portion of its menu, we deliberated and concluded that it definitely is. 

The restaurant has all the charisma of the Italian seaside with the sophistication of high-flying London dining, bringing Chef Robin Gill’s nostalgia of working on the shores of Marina del Cantone, Italy to Fulham’s slightly chiller River Thames.

A waiter told us the first two weeks were extremely busy, and that there had not been one single boring moment on shift. 

When you first enter the doors of Maria G’s restaurant you know you are in for a treat.

The staff are welcome you to a glitzy bar, where they are ready to concoct a glamorous list of cocktails for you to sample while sitting back in the comfortable lounge area.

The low-lit lighting at the bar creates a tranquil atmosphere and is an ideal place to catch up with friends after a demanding day at the office.

A TRIP TO THE ITALIAN SEASIDE: Maria G’s is charismatic and sophisticated

The restaurant has all the charisma of the Italian seaside with the sophistication of high-flying London dining, bringing Chef Robin Gill’s nostalgia of working on the shores of Marina del Cantone, Italy to Fulham’s slightly chiller River Thames. 

Signifying its seaside origins, the modern, blue-toned decor of the restaurant is extremely calming and with the quiet chatter from neighbouring tables and gentle overhead music, it is quite the escape from the hustle and bustle of London life. 

The open plan kitchen, a unique feature of the restaurant, allows you to sit right in front of the chefs and glimpse all the talent that goes into your meal.

The option to sit on high-bar chairs or at a regular table makes the restaurant accessible for all.

TRANSPARENT: Watch your meal be cooked in front of you

The marble, polished tables, small candlelights and elegant furnishings set the scene for a more refined dining experience.

It is the ideal setting for a romantic or cosy meal, and not the type of place for a meal with younger, perhaps slightly noisy, children. 

When it came to the food, Maria G’s was put to the test, having to cater for a gluten-intolerant eater, which, considering the gluten-heavy traditional cuisine of Italy, could have been a complete nightmare. 

Kicking the meal off with a collection of antipasti dishes, we sampled the olives, the ricotta caponata, made gluten free, and the plate of Italian cured meats and house pickles. 

GLUTEN FREE: Not the most Italian friendly diet

While the cured meats were extremely fresh, the caponata was the highlight.

With the blissfully light ricotta balancing the earthier flavours of the pine nuts, and the sweetness of the cooked raisins, this starter was quite the taste explosion. 

The antipasti were enjoyed with a glass of the Verdicchio white wine, a slightly almondy compliment to the dishes.

All the wine tasted throughout the evening was suggested by staff and they were very knowledgeable in their recommendations, as each supplemented the dishes well. 

Up next, we dived into the chestnut agnolotti, made gluten free with the pasta being substituted with chestnut, and the squid ink linguini, alongside a glass of the restaurant’s signature Rosé. 

While there was no gluten free pasta available for those intolerant or allergic, the gluten free version of the chestnut agnolotti, with extra chestnut as a substitute, was still a wholesome, hearty dish.

Without being too rich, the earthy, yet creamy chestnut was a timely nod to the festive season and not a crumb was not left on the plate. 

DELICIOUS: A wholesome and hearty meal

As the waiter gave us the heads up that the squid ink linguine was the restaurant’s favourite, it had high expectations to live up to.

However, after tasting the well-seasoned pasta, we found this praise was fairly attributed: the clams and cockles were delicately interwoven into the buttery sauce, and the somewhat crispy clams added a pleasant change in texture. 

Then, just when you think you’re already full, Maria G’s tempts you to choose a secondi dish.

We tried the roast pollock with the Sauvignon Blanc, and if it had not already been proved by the signature squid linguine, Maria G’s certainly knows how to cook fish.

The pollock was extremely tender, easily breaking apart while being very fresh. 

Sat on a bed of chickpeas, pine nuts, cooked raisins and minestra nera puree, Maria G’s once again managed to blend a host of earthy and sweet flavours into one harmonised combination. 

TENDER AND SUBLIME: The pollock was perfectly cooked

We also sampled the beef rib braised in chianti, which was accompanied by a soft polenta side.

Where often beef may be criticised for being heavy or tough, this beef dish was extremely succulent.

The soft polenta nicely complimented the beef and also provided the dish with a touch of delicacy. The topping of Salsa Verde enriched the beef and was provided in a small bowl on the side, allowing you to decide how much you would like to add.  

Finally, on the last stop of the four course extravaganza, we tucked into the exceptionally refreshing mandarin sorbet and the hazelnutty dark chocolate mousse, both of which were a pleasant end to a delicious evening. 

PLEASANT ENDING TO THE NIGHT: A refreshing final course

It would not have been half as relaxing and enjoyable if it had not been for the attentive and kind staff.

Their small elegant touches and personal table-side manners made you feel well cared-for and valued, allowing you to completely unwind. 

After the Londoners’ escape to Amalfi-on-Thames, we are in no doubt that Maria G’s Fulham restaurant is a place which should be on every Londoners’ list of restaurants to visit.

If you yearn for an escape from the cold winter nights, why not allow yourself to be transported to the Amalfi coast and feel the warmth of Italy radiate from the newly opened Maria G’s on Fulham Riverside.

Related Articles