Canteen Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road , London, SE1 8XX

  • Canteen 2007 - Royal Festival Hall
  • Canteen 2007 - Royal Festival Hall 2

SquareMeal Review of Canteen Royal Festival Hall

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Canteen Royal Festival Hall is recommended for

Child Friendly | Outside Seating

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Waterloo Tube Station 346m

Embankment Tube Station 354m


Address: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road , London SE1 8XX

Area: South Bank Borough etc

Opening times

Mon-Sat 8am-11pm (Sat 9am- ) Sun 9am-10pm

Nearby Landmarks

Royal Festival Hall 36m

Queen Elizabeth Hall & Purcell Room 129m


Telephone: 0845 686 1122



Food & Drink: 5.4

Service: 3.7

Atmosphere: 5.9

Value: 5.4

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Allison M. bronze reviewer 31 July 2014

I chose this restaurant for location purposes and had a budget to stick to. This was a client lunch which started at 12.30. After waiting over 45 minutes we called the waitress over to ask for her to take our order. An hour later she arrived with our mains for us to tell her that we hadn't even had our starters. The starters immediately arrived after that. When I popped over to the reception desk to complain on the timings as my client had a 3 pm meeting i was told that they cook everything fresh and don't start cooking the mains until they take away our starter plates. 5 mins after taking our starter plates we received 4 meals, 2 being rib eye steaks so i question how freshly cooked these meals actually were. More like warmed up from the previous time the waitress tried to give them to us! The food was okay, nothing special but didn't feel it should've taken 2 1/2 hours to have a two course meal. I would question going there again with clients as it wasn't busy in there so unless they didn't have many staff working there was no excuse for a diabolical service. Result was I told them i wasn't paying for the service but they didn't offer me any other compensation.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Tommo80 09 May 2012

I went to Canteen for a breakfast meeting, with the understanding from one member of our party that this was a lovely place for breakfast. bearing in mind the restaurant was very quiet, only 3 other tables occupied, the service was terrible. We had to call the waitress over after 20 minutes to take our food order. Of our party we had all ordered poached eggs, all of the eggs were overcooked, but we had waited so long, that only one of our party decided to send their order back. I was completely underwhelmed about this restaurant, and would definitely not go again, for the money we spent I would have expected food to a much higher standard.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Greg F. 28 February 2011

We visited this restaurant again at management's invitation after complaining about an underwhelming meal there last year. We were pleased (but not surprised) to find the food quality and service had improved substantially, which probably explains the invitation. It was easily up to the standard when the restaurant first opened and we would happily visit again Our booking was for a pre-show dinner on a Saturday night but there was no rush; they're clearly used to the pre-show crowd. The menu had simple well-made English dishes with favourites such as sausages and mash, homemade chicken and mushroom pie, syrup sponge etc. Felt like part-1950s school dinners and part upmarket pub food, great if you have an appetite. Highlights were: the pie, delicious gravy and seasonal greens, desserts included an amazing bread pudding, mint tea made with fresh mint. Lowlights: Meantime IPA (they have real ale on tap) was a bit bubbly for my liking although very tasty, coffee is weirdly served in a glass, which means it cools quickly. Overall: recommended. Staff were switched on and keen to show how much things had improved. We enjoyed this visit and noticed the people around us did too, esp the birthday group at the next table. If you're reserving a table, the best ones are those in the middle of the restaurant; they're more comfortable and cleverly have their own coat rail so you have plenty of space.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Alice S. 29 December 2010

Overall, the reputation is greater than reality! Food is good though. Atmosphere is average and Service…well, you can't expect a Customer Service Excellence when staff is treated as just that “staff”. They are threatened, not considered and very badly paid!! They work “doubles” 2,3 days on the run and even when they are feeling poorly they are forced to work outside in a freezing cold snowy winter day!! ! Staff are not happy working there, still they need to earn a “living”! The behaviour of the staff is due to unsatisfied needs: recognition and being part of the business. Most of the reviews There is a total mismanagement as for the personnel! And…I won't say what happens “backstage”…amongst the management…relationships, etc… Appalling!!! The equation is simple: NO GOOD MANAGEMENT…NO GOOD ANYTHING!!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

gmbklm silver reviewer 26 November 2009

This was our first visit to this branch of the Canteen, despite our many visits to the Festival Hall and the nearby National Theatre. The décor, design and location are very good, but we felt that the restaurant PR around the quality of its food was quite misleading. Consistent with other reviewers, we thought the food was very mediocre at best – more like a up-market chippie – bland, over cooked, little obvious care etc. If they really are buying good quality ingredients, something is going badly wrong in the kitchen. Front of house was a bit off hand, and service was generally inattentive and not very professional – when they bring the wrong item, it must be your fault, not theirs. It’s a long way from being a British food version of Wagamama. Most of the customers were quite young, so perhaps the poor service and poor food were acceptable, given the genuinely low prices. However, I would prefer to pay a few pounds more and have an enjoyable rather than a poor finish to an evening. Conclusion: Give it a miss.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Elizabeth B. 09 November 2009

I went to the Canteen behind the Festival Hall last weekend, and although the food was quite good, the service was dreadful. Everything we asked for we had to ask at least twice, and the place was not even half full. The staff were so inattentive it almost seemed like some sort of practical joke. When we eventually got our bill (after a 20 minute wait and three requests) we explained to the waiter that we were not leaving the service charge (that they automatically add) and he just shrugged. I left feedback explaining what had happened on their website, which promises: “We will investigate any feedback promptly and report back to you within 7 working days”. 8 days later and I'm still waiting…

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Barnaby S. 08 September 2009

What a disappointment. A well designed restaurant in a great location with an enviable south-facing terrace was let down by poor, inconsistent and slow service, coupled with a quality of food one would usually expect to find in a cafe. For a restaurant that sells itself on the providence of its food, to present a roasted chicken breast which was dry and tasteless, with a ‘salad’ of 3 lettuce leaves and a small pot of mayonnaise was inexcusable. Regardless of the price, to murder a piece of meat in such a manner was inexcusable.