Zakudia, as you will know, is a Zambian word, meaning the enjoyment of food and drink. It’s also the name of this bar by Southwark Bridge, which is of note as the only non-chain outlet in a string of places to have opened over the last couple of years around Shakespeare’s Globe.
Stairs lead up from an office-like foyer to the first-floor bar. It’s a long, thin, low-ceilinged space, saved from feeling like a corporate conference chamber by a fabulous Thames panorama: from Tate Modern, past St Paul’s to Southwark Bridge itself.
At the arrival of the cocktail list and menu, my heart sank. While the former was a lavish full-colour production full of sexily-named enticements to kill off the rest of the day, the latter was a tatty photocopied sheet, with a selection – notwithstanding the odd nod to Africa – almost exclusively composed of standard bar and grazing fodder. A thirst-quencher arrived in the form of one of their fresh-fruit blends, which delivered a refreshing kick. The wine list being practically non-existent I opted for one of the two beers – a Finnish Lapin Kulta – whose distinguishing feature seemed to be a total lack of taste.
The arrival of my bread – a huge plate with dips – reinforced the notion that the grub here is just to soak up the brews. That said, it was tasty enough. Perfectly OK fishcakes and chips, for example, suggest that the food – if not the main thing – “does the job”, and in generous portions to boot.
With its laid-back service and attractive-going-on-neutral modern decor there’s certainly nothing earth-shattering about Zakudia. With its fab views, easygoing charm and quality cocktails, though, this is a useful place to know about on the ever more-trendy South Bank strip.