I'm looking for a really good restaurant in SE1 for a special occasion. We like Tas a lot but because we always go there we'd like to find something different this time. I would be grateful for recommendations - especially in the Waterloo area.
In the waterloo area - for my birthday recently I went to Baltic on Blackfriar's road. It was really nice, russian inspired food and, on the set menu, very good value. Its a nice interior - quite a long dark bar but opening out into a light and airy restaurant at the back. We went on a sunday night and they had live jazz as well which added to the ambience for a "special" evening.
I have also enjoyed Tas very much and of course Ev as well. Thai Silk is fantastic - the one near to Ev (Isabella Street) is better because it has a lovely outdoor terrace, and you can have drinks at Jack's before your meal.
There is a nice-looking Italian place on Lower Marsh Road, but I can't remember the name.
The Anchor and Hope is lovely but you can't book tables so not ideal for a special occasion.
The Waterloo Bar and Kitchen looks nice but I have not been.
Another vote for Baltic, the food is consistently good IMHO, although it can be a bit crowded (and noisy) Thursday through Saturday. Last time I went, I had to fight my way through a couple of big groups of people at the bar and we (2) ended up sitting next to another table of about 10 people at someone's leaving do. It wasn't exactly relaxing or quiet (although we had a very good time).
I also really like Ozu for special occasions. In County Hall, the restaurant tends to be quite hushed and feels private, and the staff are brilliantly helpful if, like me, you can't make up your mind what you might like off the menu.
With all due respect, Masters Superfish is a chippy (I don't think I'm being particularly contentious in saying this!), so I don't think it is ideal (or even vaguely suitable) for a special meal out.
The fact you can book tables doesn't change the menu (fish, chips, battered sausage, mushy peas etc). Don't get me wrong, I love it for fish and chips - but for a celebratory or other special meal.....!? No.
Apologies if the suggestion was some kind of injoke which passed me by!
The Italian on Lower Marsh is La Barca - a traditional Italian and they even do flambe at the table. Very, very nice food but once you start to add on wine, veg, etc it can get quite expensive but still worth it. Just make sure your eyes don't get bigger than your tummy!
Waterloo Bar and Kitchen - definite recommend. Very friendly, the food is well done, and it's manager is clearly born to be a host...
We had brunch on Saturday, and have eaten evening meals there a few times, never disappointed yet. The window claims 'parties large and small', they have a private room on the lower level, or you could maybe book the whole place if the party is big enough.