“ BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London United Kingdom SE1 8XT. Tel: 020 7401 3332 „
As some friends & I were going to a preview showing of the docu-drama programme Moonshot at BFI Southbank in London on a Friday evening, we decided to look some somewhere to eat beforehand. We didn't want to stray too far from BFI Southbank as it would mean more travelling and less time enjoying ourselves. The 7 of us met outside the BFI and immediately spotted The Riverfront Bar & Kitchen at the riverside front of the BFI. Talk about an ideal place!
Finding a table for 7 when you haven't already booked a table isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially when you're in London and it's busy. However, the Riverfront had a long table that was perfect for us and we could have easily seated a couple more on it should we have needed to.
The staff were quick to lay the table for us, with cutlery, napkins (paper) and salt & vinegar and other condiments, and then give us each a menu to browse. Then, once our drinks order had been taken, a waiter returned with a couple of glass bottles of water and proceeded to pour us each a glass of water. Throughout our time there, more bottles of water were brought to our table and left for us should we need more. I thought this was a nice touch as sometimes you actually want to taste your food, rather than have it tainted by whatever drink you happen to be drinking.... That, and for some it watered down the alcohol they were consuming!
The drinks we had ordered didn't take long to arrive, so I barely touched my water, but I noticed others drinking it. A friends & I had each ordered a Sprite (which arrived in a small glass bottle with a glass containing ice), another had ordered a Coke (again, this arrived like the Sprite), 2 others had ordered a bottle of red wine to share and the other 2 had ordered a bottle of white wine to share. There were plenty of drinks to choose from with one whole side of the menu taken up by various wines, as well as a blackboard listing various other drinks such as cider & beer.
It was a while longer before a waitress came and took our food order, but it wasn't an overly long time... We had been chatting and enjoying our drinks, and I think it had been just long enough for us to make up our minds. I'd noticed that the special on the black board was Fish & Chips for £7.50 and, having seen an order of fish & chips being taken to another table, I decided to go with that.
The fish & chips arrived in a long bowl type thing that was sat on a place with a shot glass of tartar sauce and another shot glass of mushy peas (again, I thought this was a nice touch). I tucked in and I must say that I quite enjoyed it. The chips were delicious, the fish was perfect and the batter was lovely & crispy. Just how I like my fish & chips! The portion size was just right too, not too big and not too small.
A friend had ordered beef & coleslaw with a side order of bread & butter. The beef looked way too pink for my liking, but my friend didn't have any complaints other than she would like more butter for the bread. The extra butter arrived swiftly and at no extra cost. I can't remember what everyone had, but I know somebody had scampi & chips and another had fish pie (which looked delicious too). We all tucked in and everyone seemed to enjoy their food as there was mostly empty plates left over when we'd finished.
Shortly after we'd finished eating, our plates were cleared away and we were asked if we'd like any tea, coffee or desserts. I didn't want anything else, but a couple of coffees were ordered along with a dessert - Apple Crumble & Custard. Again, these didn't take long to arrive... The apple crumble was a fair size and the custard arrived in a very small jug, and I mean very small! We all like a fair bit of custard with our crumble so my friend asked if she could have some more custard. Again, the staff were very obliging and brought out another very small jug of custard quite swiftly.
Once we'd finished, they were in no rush to get rid of us, despite the Riverfront being quite a busy place. We weren't hurried to pay the bill either. The staff said goodbye to us as we departed and made our way into the BFI for our preview screening.
I enjoyed my meal at the Riverfront and for London prices I didn't think £10 - £20 per person for food & drink was bad. They serve simply British food (not a lot of places seem to do that these days) at decent prices, the restaurant was clean and I found the staff friendly and helpful. There is seating available inside or out and the place is wheelchair friendly.
You can find the Riverfront at BFI Southbank beneath Waterloo Bridge in London. It's especially ideal if you're attending an event at the BFI Southbank.
All in all, I'd certainly go there again and recommend it to friends.
Cafe/bar/restaurant attached to BFI Southbank (formerly National Film Theatre) nestled underneath Waterloo Bridge.