Waterloo Bar & Kitchen

131 Waterloo Road , London, SE1 8UR

SquareMeal Review of Waterloo Bar & Kitchen

Pitched just round the corner from The Old Vic, this chilled-out bistro is naturally an evergreen favourite with theatre types, commuters and locals alike. Solid wooden floorboards, whirring ceiling fans and worn leather booths set the tone for a menu of no-nonsense, cosmopolitan fodder that delivers a mix of unchallenging but ‘imaginative’ ideas from far and wide. Starters such as crispy duck salad with apple compote can be ordered as mains, and the full-line-up also spans everything from herb-crusted cod fillet with ratatouille to rosemary-marinated rump of lamb with garlic mash and redcurrant jus. Decent pricing and belly-rubbing puds like lemon drizzle cake keep locals coming back for more, while the brief wine list offers tasting notes for matching grub with grape. Brunch and Sunday roasts play their part, and pre-theatre deals also come ‘highly recommended’.

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8.8

Food & Drink: 8.9

Service: 9.2

Atmosphere: 8.3

Value: 8.7

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Lucy S. 18 September 2017

This place may be under-rated - it doesn't have much kerbside appeal and could do with an aesthetic overhaul. But the service was excellent, the food very enjoyable, the bottle of wine much, much cheaper than a swanky restaurant and really good. We had a very pleasant family Sunday lunch there which catered well for the vegetarians among us. It should have been heaving with customers but was only a quarter full. It deserves more!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Luncheon Vulture platinum reviewer 17 July 2015

After one too many below average meals at a nearby long established tapas bar (you know who you are), it was time to find an alternative pre-theatre eaterie for my occasional jaunts to the Old Vic. Step forward, Waterloo Bar and Kitchen. On arrival you quickly realise why their website has no photos of the exterior of the restaurant - it really is not much to look at and hardly enhanced by two empty, chair-less tables randomly positioned outside. Although why anyone would ever want to sit alongside the Waterloo Road to eat is quite beyond me. Do not be put off if your initial reaction replicates mine! This is an absolute gem of a place and I now reserve a table as soon as I book theatre tickets in the vicinity. The bright and airy dining room, with white linen bedecked tables, is very welcoming, matched in equal measure by the friendly and engaging staff. Menu is not extensive but has something for all tastes, beautifully executed and very tasty. We just opted for mains and desserts on this visit, and were satisfied with our choices of pork belly and chicken with prawns. Having found London's best tart tatin courtesy of Mr Atherton, we really could not bring ourselves to try the WBK version, but were more than happy with a crumble and a cheesecake. If I was in this part of town more often, I know I would use WBK much more, even without a theatre booking.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Polly B. 04 March 2015

We found this place by searching online for a Sunday brunch venue and I'm so glad we did. We booked for Sunday brunch at about 12.45 which wasn't really necessary as they weren't very busy which was a concern when we arrived. How wrong was the concern, the staff were really friendly, the menu had a very good selection of French style foods and brunch was absolutely delicious. I had smoked salmon with a poached egg, hollandaise sauce and a side of wilted spinach. All were very nicely cooked and tasted great. We also parked right outside, free on Sundays, and walked to the London Eye in fifteen minutes, so a very good location but off the tourist track and it showed in the quality of both food & staff.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Elizabeth R. 24 June 2014

Some weeks ago I contacted Waterloo Bar & Kitchen about using their Private Dining Room for my Birthday meal. I expected to be told that they would just give my party of 18 a large table in the restaurant, but happily the man I spoke to was very accommodating, and he was happy to let us have the room. We pre ordered the food and wine and everything was perfect. We were greeted by the smiling manageress who led us to the room and introduced us to our waiter for the evening. We were allowed to play our own music and as we got steadily more drunk we didn't have to worry about annoying neighbouring tables. The waiter was superb and we did not want for anything. The food arrived quickly and tasted yummy – I couldn't have asked for a better place to celebrate the big 4 0! I've never given anyone five stars, but this really was perfection.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Malcolm H. 11 January 2014

We visited on 10 January with some friends before the Theatre. The food was splendid, the service has excellent, (three different orders for how duck breast was to be served all provided accurately and cooked beautifully). If the food and drink was not given 5 stars – it was only because I did not drink that night. I would go anytime we were going to the Old or Young Vic – and it is within reach of the National Theatre. Highly recommended

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Oliver J. 28 November 2013

I visited Waterloo Bar and Kitchen prior to a performance at The Old Vic theatre and I had a great time. Luckily we had the good sense to book and the restaurant gets very busy pre theatre – which is little wonder, as it is right next door to The Old Vic. I started with the mussels and my wife had the Pate and we washed it down with a lovely couple of glasses of French white wine. For the mains we had duck and lamb respectively, both of which were excellent, and a lovely Australian red accompanied those. We just about squeezed a brownie in before toddling off the theatre. The French manageress ensured that we had enough time time eat, and yet didn't have to rush out the door.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 11 October 2013

If heading to the Old Vic next door this is the place to go for pre or post theatre dinner. If not – well unless you happen to life around the corner it's rather unlikely you'll ever end up here … Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad place. Good quality food and drink offering in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Its not flashy or upscale but a place to have a nice, decent meal before or after the theatre. Failry decent value for money

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

George C. 11 July 2013

Some friends and I visited The Old Vic for a wonderful performance of ‘Sweet Bird Of Youth’. We felt a little peckish after exiting the theatre, and so what better place to dine than Waterloo Bar and Kitchen, right next door to the theatre! We enjoyed some hearty British dish and some rather excellent wine that went down a little too easily! After that we stumbled pretty much across the road to Waterloo station to catch the last train home. A wonderful evening!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Garry j. 04 July 2013

Pre-theatre dinner – fast , friendly service and excellent food at a reasonable price. Well Done !

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Polly B. 10 May 2013

A quick non-stressful pre-theatre dinner, two seconds away from the Old Vic theatre, three seconds away from Waterloo Station! I'd ordered the halibut with the braised cabbage and spinach in lemon butter, rather than the saffron creamed leeks, with no fuss or confusion. We even had time for dessert. A wonderful dinner followed by a wonderful performance of The Winslow Boy.

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