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53 The Cut
Established in 1987, this raucous tapas restaurant is a weathered institution that still manages to pack them in every evening, with regular full houses come the end of the week. Its location near
Waterloo’s theatres may be part of the draw, but most reckon Don Felipe’s success is down to its irrepressible vibe & laissez-faire attitude. The food has its ups & downs, & service
isn’t always tip-top, but reasonable prices more than make up for any shortcomings. Pull up at the bar if you’re tight on time, order a glass of chilled Spanish white & nibble your way through
some hot, fried bacalao with aïoli, patatas riojanas with chorizo, tuna croquetas or chicken livers in sherry sauce. If you’re lucky, dinner may come with a side of live flamenco music.
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53 The Cut
020 7928 3237
Waterloo East Station 85m
Southwark Tube Station 125m
The Young Vic Theatre 77m
The Old Vic Theatre 209m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
On Wednesday 7th August we had matinee tickets to see Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic and so decided to try Meson Don Felipe in The Cut, SE1 as we love tapas and it’s only a couple of minutes walk from the theatre. I'm surprised by the bad reviews on here, but maybe that was in the evening and we were there at lunchtime so it was quite quiet, although not empty.
We don’t like to rush a meal so we made a reservation for 2 hours before the show started. Arriving 15 minutes before the time of our reservation, we were seated promptly and politely. I was with my mother and her best friend and we needed to order mainly vegan dishes as my mum is vegan. Looking at the menu we were happy to see that almost half of the dishes on the tapas menu were vegetarian, with the majority of those vegan. We picked 7 dishes in total, including the Spanish omelette that the two non-Vegans couldn’t resist! We did check with the waitress that we would have enough food and she concurred.
Our wine and soft drinks were brought to the table promptly as was one of the dishes – the garlic mushrooms – which consisted of at least two types of mushrooms and was delicious. We were surprised that we finished the mushrooms before any other dishes arrived but were happy to have them as a starter and did not have to wait long for the rest to turn up. Halfway through eating we realized that they had brought us 7 dishes, including another portion of garlic mushrooms which we were perfectly happy to devour as well! All the food was delicious, but we all agreed the deep fried aubergine was the tastiest and not always found on tapas menus in this country.
They brought us the dessert menus promptly, although we were too full for dessert and once we’d declined they did not bother us again. They left us to finish our wine, although we did have to ask for the bill. The bill included an optional service charge, which always makes it easier, and was a very reasonable £ 50.96 for 3 of us including a 50cl carafe of wine. We paid £51.00 in cash and they even brought us the 4p change (which we did not take with us!).
The only negative would be the ladies toilets, of which there was only one out the back of the restaurant and pretty basic, although it was on the ground level which is quite rare these days and especially helpful to our party as both the ladies I was with require a walking stick and so would have had difficulty with stairs.
All in all, a lovely experience and one which we all look forward to repeating.
Food + drink: 1
We often go to the old and young vic, so this is a very convenient post theatre location. We hadn't been for a long time – having been regulars many years ago – due to a not great experience, but thought we should give it another shot a few months ago.
The tapas was just very poor quality. And the atmosphere was no longer great. Compares very badly with the quality of tapas now available around London. We won't be back unless something major changes.
Food + drink: 2
This tapas bar is pretty low on the scale of tapas bars in London. It is very popular because of its location near theatres but the service is poor and the food is also not great. When I asked the barman for a glass of wine he told me to relax. The judias verdes dish is good as are the calamares, but beware the pimientos padron. I nearly choked on the hottest chilli I have ever had – and the peppers in this dish are not supposed to be hot at all. Also it was outrageously expensive and you cannot hear yourself think!!
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