23 August 2014

Topolski Gallery & Bar

Concert Hall Approach, 158 Hungerford Bridge, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX

Cafes , Bars South Bank, Borough etc
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  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm (Thurs -12M Fri-Sat -1am)

Square Meal Review of Topolski Gallery & Bar ?

Replacing the Topolski Century art bunker (part of the Southbank’s cultural DNA), this new venture operates as a café by day and a bar by night – although the interior still features examples of Polish-born expressionist Feliks Topolski’s iconic paintings and illustrations, set against a handmade, post-industrial backdrop. The all-day café menu is packed with pickles, cured meats, fish and rustic ideas with a noticeable East European accent – from Kracovian ‘dry’ pork sausage with artisan bread, salt-baked beetroot with smoked aubergine or blistered mackerel with cucumber pickle to all manner of sweet offerings including everything from honey and nut tarts to chocolate and rum balls. In the evening, European craft beers, house-infused vodkas and wines provide the main attractions. World music, DJs and cultural events are also promised.

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  1. If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure for a big surprise…… Well, ok, not the woods – the southbank, and I at least was very pleasantly surprised this past weekend when I found Topolski Bar & Restaurant . Apparently I am very late on the bandwagon here as it’s has been open since last October. I have no idea how I missed it because I walk this route a lot, and I very rarely miss this kind of thing. The only plausible explanation I can think of is that I haven’t passed here in warmer weather, so maybe it hasn’t always looked so ‘al fresco-y’ – which is actually what caught my attention… It’s in the Hungerford Arches, between Waterloo station and the Southbank and occupies Feliks Topolski’s art bunker...
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  2. The concept of Topolski Bar was interesting enough to make me wander into the culinary void that is the immediate area surrounding Waterloo station and pay a visit. Recently launched in collaboration with the artist Feliks Topolski’s family, it fills a cavernous yet warm, high-ceilinged space (once the artist’s studio) comprising of three distinct rooms and with some of his vibrant pieces furnishing the walls. Staying true to Topolski’s heritage, the food here is Polish and the vodka is potent. It’s also house-infused with such novel flavourings as horseradish (served with tomato juice and spices - so a Bloody Mary), pink grapefruit (slightly bitter - good), blueberry (with cloudy apple juice - sweet - good to finish up on), and tarragon (not tried - there are only so many vodka cocktails I can justify on a Monday)...
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