Village East 1

171-173 Bermondsey Street , London, SE1 3UW

  • Village East intr
  • Village East ctail

SquareMeal Review of Village East

"There's a nice friendly vibe in here", says a fan of Village East – an effortlessly cool factory conversion with echoes of New York's Meatpacking district. Despite cosy booths and urban mesh-style partitions, quiet tête-à-têtes are out of the question – so set yourself up with a cocktail from the regularly updated list (our favourite is the Tanqueray gin-based Earl of Bermondsey). The menu is a "real winner", packed with a savvy mix of comforting classics, cheffy ideas and healthy options: dishes range from Longhorn beef and bone marrow burgers to stuffed chicory leaves with braised lentils, pipérade and walnuts via pistachio-crusted hake with buckwheat groats, confit cherry tomatoes and lemon butter – all served with admirable bonhomie by "great staff". Getting a weekend table for brunch isn't easy, but it's worth the effort – if only for the buttermilk pancakes.

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8.5

Food & Drink: 8.5

Service: 8.9

Atmosphere: 8.0

Value: 7.9

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Andrea B. 04 December 2015

Amazing food, my favourite these days are the mussels with Chorizo. Basically I wanted to fall into the bowl, head first! But also the starters like baby squid, burgers, steak, veg Wellington, bread, wine selection are off the hook. Flourless chocolate cake, YES! Fabulous service, entertaining and attentive. Lovely NYC style interiors, the noise level and busy bar can test your conversation skills but shouldn't stop you from enjoying the place. You can't do wrong here!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Debbie A. 09 June 2014

Great experience all round with some real winners on the menu. Loved the atmosphere – feels like being in the Meatpacking district of New York City. With our table next to the prep area, one of the head chefs saw our amazement at the confit turkey leg and gave one to us (for free) to try. Fantastic when the staff have such passion about their food. Not much wine choice in the £20 range but overall we loved the place.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Kiki S. 27 April 2014

Village East is one of my favourite restaurants in the world. Yep, it's THAT good. Despite several incarnations, it it's never failed to deliver a uniquely laid back neighbourhood restaurant vibe. I love everything about the ‘new’ Village East; the atmosphere is great and the menu concentrates upon fresh and vibrant ingredients artfully put together. We usually share a main and supplement that with lots of sides. Last Friday, our bill came to a grand total of £30 each, including wine – I think that's just amazing. Just as we were leaving some friends came in so we stayed to chat. No-one tried to move us on and everyone seemed happy to let us chat by the bar. This is a restaurant that gets it absolutely right every single time, I adore it.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

Richard M. 08 September 2012

Been eating here for a few years – events with colleagues and then with friends. Most recently, went in March 2012 and was disappointed – as we were leaving the staff asked if we had enjoyed the food – when I said not really – they laughed. However, we went back this evening in the hope we'd just had a duff night back in march. September 2012 – firstly attitude from the woman that ‘welcomed’ us, then chipped glass for champagne – which they kind of understood why I might want a different glass – asparagus tart – RUBBISH – like pointlessly bad – tasteless and just filled a bit of time. Steak was Awful – for both of us. Told staff, they offered alternative and said it would be 12 minutes – felt like a well calculated response to ' we care… but really we don't give a sh*t' . Other guy that served our table was apologetic and kind and embarrassed by a few other cock ups by his colleagues. Won't be back.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 5.0

Toby N. platinum reviewer 06 June 2011

My first time dining here, its only 10 minutes drive from my home but somehow it's one of those places I've always managed to miss. Generally it's alright, though I find it hard to be quite as complimentary as other reviewers have been. The good – well value for money for a start; 2 people, 3 courses, water, 4 glasses of wine and all for £95, no complaints about that (although some of the wine on the list is excessively priced and similar bottles are cheaper in Mayfair establishments than here). Food was also generally good – I ate haricot bean and roasted garlic soup for starters – tasted rather more like potato soup, but pleasant, thick and hot, followed by Icelandic cod fillet with saffron orzo, chorizo and roast cherry tomatoes – a really generous portion, nice thick piece of cod sat on a great, risotto style, bed of goodies – sadly the accompanying chips I had as a side dish were really disappointing – machine produced, overcooked and a mass of shrapnel like pieces, followed by baked hazelnut and ricotta torte raspberries, Grand Marnier tuiles – nice but certainly didn't set the world alight. Service was fine – we waited a touch too long for drinks at the start and there was a tendency to bring the right dishes but hand them to the wrong person, but otherwise no problems. The less good – mainly the atmosphere; it was extremely noisy and very bad acoustics where you could hear the conversation 3 tables away but not be able to hear the conversation on your own table. Tables are also crammed in and very small so you've barely got space to move and the air conditioning didn't seem to be working so it was very hot. Would I return – yes, but it’s not a place for a romantic dinner and I'd try and find a day when it would be cooler and quieter.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Mr G 12 October 2009

Couldn't fault it! Excellent decor and the food lived up to it – warm squid and chorizo starter followed by seared venison was the best meal I've had this year by far. Service was efficient and unobtrusive and the prices reasonable. The bar at the front is lively without impacting on the restaurant and continues into the early hours. Cannot recommend enough.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Fiona M. gold reviewer 17 April 2009

I've been to Village East a few times now and always love it. Definitely much much cooler than all the dull chains around More London & the overpriced Pont de la Tour & clones by Tower Bridge. Great atmosphere, fab cocktails and good food. In fact, I like it so much I've even forgiven the waiter who told me I look like Nigella Lawson (who apparently is a regular – an accolade in itself!) The menu is creative & seasonal with yummy daily specials and the wine list ranges from £20 to £100, with a bargain “bin ends” page at the front – great for all the recessionistas out there! Last night I had lovely chargrilled tuna steak (beautifully cooked, still nice & pink in the middle) with seasonal veg and a mustardy sauce. My boyfriend had a great ribeye and our pre-dinner cocktails were yummy and really well presented. I've only ever been here in the evening and am inclined to think it would lacking a certain something during the daytime – the New York styling just wouldn't be as cool in the cold harsh light of day!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Mitzie8cake platinum reviewer 26 January 2009

I've visited Village East on a few occasions and have always been impressed with the flair in which simple well cooked food is combined and presented to make your visit worthwhile, especially for locals. With interiors that flow between boho cool and warehouse retro, efficient and friendly service and a buzzy atmosphere whether your dining or drinking in the bar, VE ticks all the boxes for a great experience. Food is predominantly British with good old fashioned and modern twists on tradtional fayre. The fish dishes are particularly well thought out and there are also a few vegetarian choices, which variate along with the seasonal menu's too. The one thing to not miss, is the to-die-for chocolate fondant and pistachio ice cream! A great place for an all in one night out, which in four trips so far, has not disappointed.

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