No, that’s not a typo – it’s indeed the best way to spell RiveRLife, which is where Girdy & Birdy headed for their latest review!
Birdy: It was me that suggested this place for a review, as I’d often passed it whilst walking into town, and wondered about trying it out. Considering Girdy was paying, this was the perfect opportunity, mwahahah.
Girdy: I’m an idiot. Not for offering to pay but because I’d been wanting to go to RiveRLife (is it really spelt with two capital Rs?) as it always looked great on ItIsOn. Did I remember to use an ItIsOn voucher? No. At the risk of a spoiler, we’re going back, voucher-powered this time.
Birdy: When I arrived, I was immediately disappointed to notice Girdy had gotten there first; his jacket was already on the chair. I was hoping for a second or two to brace self for his inane chatter, but he’d already emerged before I could even remove my jacket.
I soon got over my disappointment with the welcoming vibes of our host, Mario, and the overall relaxing atmosphere of RiveRLife.
There was plenty to look at, such as butterflies on the walls, and pretty colours and lights – so, I wasn’t just stuck with Girdy’s face the entire night. There was also incense burning, so just a warning if you don’t like that sort of thing!
Girdy: It’s always great to see Birdy, and we got to RiveRLife at about the same time so that was handy!
It wasn’t too busy, which is a shame, as RiveRLife is certainly good and large enough to host a few busy family tables but it meant Birdy and I could chithat. She’s such a good listener.
I was impressed with our host who managed to be attentive and yet give us space at the same time. It’s an art!
Having briefly glanced over the drinks menu, I ordered a mocktail for self, because that’s just how I roll. It was exactly my kind of mocktail, with the bright colours and grenadine at the bottom. Made it feel like I was back on holiday, so 5 stars!
Boudin noir aux pommes
For my starter, I had the boudin noir aux pommes, which I had to ask Mario how to pronounce.
It’s described as pan fried black pudding on a crisp crouton with caramelised apple, cider jus and a side salad – and that’s exactly what it was! I found it to be very light, and the perfect way to start off my meal.
When it came to the main, I’d ordered the mutton/goat curry, which if you know me, may seem like a bit of a risk. Spicy things are not for me generally, and because I’m so unfamiliar with French Caribbean food, I wasn’t sure how spicy it was going to be!
Turns out I needn’t have worried – it was just the right level of spice for me, the meat was tender and perfectly cooked, and I really, really enjoyed this dish. My only issue was that there was so much of it!
The meat portion was exceptionally generous, so I needed to enlist Girdy to help me out there; the man does have some good uses, and is particularly dependable at making food disappear.
Not all of it this time, because he let me down, so I still had to explain to Mario why I couldn’t finish all of the delicious food. Anyway, speaking of the Edinburgh Reviews human food waste bin, what did you think of the mutton/goat curry, Girdy?
Girdy: Birdy’s such a kindhearted soul and sometimes I think she worries I’m not eating properly. I do like my food, but don’t always get to show it as I do try and stick to a healthy eating plan.
Anyway, probably worrying about me again, Birdy sacrificed some of her goat curry to me and it was delicious. I would happily have this as my main.
For my dessert, I had the creme brulee, which is usually a pretty solid choice. It was absolutely delicious, and of course I ate the lot! Would definitely recommend choosing this dessert.
I was excited by the menu as I knew I’d be getting to try new stuff. My usual concerns – can I satisfy my endless stomach without sheer decadence of calorie consumption – were there. As it happens, I think Riverlife did me proud. I could have eaten more, though, especially that cheesecake!
What on Earth is Plantain and is it nice when fried? I had no idea, so ordered some and discovered it’s, well, I think it’s banana and it is nice when fried! I’d have it again but if/when I come back to Riverlife for a second time would I go for something else? I might, just to explore and full up.
What’s the difference between a casserole and a colombo? I really didn’t know, so asked our host and I could tell from Birdy’s reaction that she thoroughly approved of the intelligent question.
Mario kindly explained about spices! Gotcha. Sure enough, my delicious chicken colombo was Caribbean spicy in a way that a casserole wouldn’t be and I don’t think I’d have called it a curry. Certainly not a traditional Indian curry. This was a good call and I’d recommend it.
My star dish! It was… well, I’m going to use the word thic because it was chunky and delicious, a honeycomb of texture and sweetness and with some delightful ice-cream. I’d come back to Riverlife just for this again, and even though the Chef’s Cheesecake by implication is a revolving thing, I think I’ll order it again, just to find out whether Mario is some sort of cheesecake genius hiding away here in Edinburgh.
Birdy: Mario was a very friendly, welcoming and attentive host. He always came to ask us how our food was, and spotted instantly whenever we needed anything, and he also made the time to chat to us… and answer some of Girdy’s stupid questions about curry.
Girdy: Attentive and thoughtful but without being lurking or one of those hosts that always manage to interrupt you at the wrong time. Mario is a delight and knows his stuff!
Birdy: I had a really fun time at RiveRLife, and am looking forward to going back – hoping to try the chicken Colombo next time!
Girdy: It’s decided then. We need to go back. Riverlife deserves to be busier. Tell a friend, get a voucher as a gift or something like that, because your friends won’t be able to name many other French Caribbean businesses they know in Edinburgh and you’ll look savvy for recommending here.
A review of RiveRLife
We note that RiveRLife is on Deliveroo. We’ve not tried that yet, but we suspect the food travels well.