Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Lasdun

Silver Award

Is there a building in London so divisive as the National Theatre? This jutting, angular concrete monolith dominates the South Bank skyline, and whilst it doesn’t rub everyone up the right way, you can’t argue that its brutalist facade isn’t instantly recognisable. Hidden away inside you’ll find Lasdun - the National Theatre’s resident restaurant, which we reckon will be far less divisive.

The restaurant itself pays homage by name to National Theatre architect Denys Lasdun, but it eschews the theatre's brutalist soul for something a little more sleek and modern. There’s a thread that runs through the two, but Lasdun is a beautiful, atmospheric space - dramatic low lighting meets dark timber floors and draping white tablecloths, and there’s a marble bar for those who want to perch before they catch a show.

It is a very well considered space, made all the better by a compact menu that also feels right at home in this very British landmark. The Marksman’s Jon Rotherham and Tom Harris are behind the menu, and there are Marksman signatures all over, from a classy guinea fowl and Tamworth terrine with burnt pear and peach, to the famous brown butter honey custard tart - about as perfect a piece of pastry work as you’re likely to find in London. The outstanding beef and barley bun sometimes makes a guest appearance too.

Elsewhere, this is a restaurant that doesn’t mess about. An aperitif negroni is suitably boozy and welcoming. Carlingford oysters arrive with classic finely-chopped mignonette and lemon. There are chips - good ones - and they aren’t averse to offering you ketchup or mayonnaise to go with them. Lasdun is slick and smart - this is the theatre after all - but it has no pretensions, and staff are similarly friendly, gliding around the dining room with grace.

Lasdun’s spot within the National Theatre may become a blessing and a curse; it feels like a great discovery, but it’ll be a great shame if South Bank passers-by don’t realise it exists. Here’s hoping it’s able to establish itself as a true destination restaurant.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Glamorous, Lively, Traditional
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegetarian options


The trio behind the Marksman public house in Hackney, Jon Rotheram, Tom Harris and John Ogier, have a new venture opening in Southbank. Following eight years of resounding success at the Marksman, Lasdun has opened within the National Theatre, taking over the former house restaurant spot. The unusual name Lasdun is in fact a homage to Brutalist architect Denys Lasdun, who designed the iconic concrete layered building in 1976.  

The 90-cover restaurant has impressive aims of creating a ‘world-class destination for local, national and international audiences to experience the very best of culinary and culture under one roof’ and notably sets out to celebrate local seasonal produce with a particular focus on British seafood. Within the restaurant is a central bar, a surrounding dining room and a private room available for hire by small groups. Upon entering you are greeted by a stunning marble oyster bar and a bespoke fridge showcasing London cured smoked salmon and smoked eel.  

Fans of the Marksman will be pleased to hear that the style of food will remain similar, being described as ‘brasserie style dishes brought to life through a classic yet contemporary lens’. In fact, there are rumours that the classic scrumptious pies will be on offer as well as the infamous brown butter and honey tart. However, do expect to see some new dishes such as grilled chops and fish served whole.  

In addition to the a la carte menu available from 5-11pm, there will be a pre-theatre dinner menu to make your evening more comfortable if visiting for a show. If you don’t fancy a sit-down meal, then pop in for a drink at the bar and indulge in the small plates, oysters and nibbles on offer. 


Do I need to book?

Booking is advised - you can book via the website.

Helpful? 0

Does the restaurant serve a pre-theatre menu?

Yes, the pre-theatre menu is very popular at Lasdun, offering a set menu that finishes before evening shows start.

Helpful? 0


National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

020 7452 3600 020 7452 3600


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun Closed
Mon 17:00-23:00
Tue 17:00-23:00
Wed 17:00-23:00
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat 17:00-23:00
Sun Closed


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Call Lasdun to make a booking on:

020 7452 3600 020 7452 3600

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