Benugo (BFI Southbank) SE1
REVIEWS, April 3, 2007
Overall Value
3.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
3.5
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience

No. Please. Do read on. Just in case you think you know it all about Benugo – the smart sandwich chain whose main problem is having too few branches – you almost certainly don’t. Well, not about the Bar & Kitchen anyway.

The BB&K is a new concept, in the British Film Institute – an impressive cultural complex, by Waterloo Bridge, that’s currently in the process of being re-launched. Unlike its café – whose open-air tables are hard to miss when strolling along the South Bank – the smartly decked-out BB&K, up on the first (main) floor takes a bit of seeking out.

It’s well worth the finding, though, as a fine example of the bar ‘n’ kitchen concept – which seems to mean you get gastropub-type food in a hip, but somewhat more restaurant-style, setting; typically in an emerging or trendy area (such as Camden Town, Waterloo, Hoxton, Balham or Marylebone).

It’s difficult to see simple dishes of this type being realised much better than they are here. It might not have been fancy, but our steak ‘n’ kidney pie, for example, was exceptional. Starters such as carrot soup, and risotto cake, were likewise fine examples of their type. There were only two puddings on offer the day we visited, but everyone on our table for three demanded a go at the attractively presented, and delicious, lime and lemon posset. For those with truly insatiable appetites, Neal’s Yard cheeses are also available.

Weaknesses? Service still settling in, and coffee on the cool side. Hardly grievous; certainly not at these sort of prices. The main problem with the BB&K? There should be more like it’

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