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Benugo Bar & Kitchen

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Tuesday 3 April 2007 6.05pm
....had an excellent review in City AM today. Has anyone been? It's in the refurbished NFT / BFI Southbank as it's now called.

They gave it 4 stars, and also cited Waterloo as being one of the emerging or trendy areas of London (others being Camden Town, Hoxton, Balham and Marylebone (?!)). Apparently they also do a weekend brunch and a Sunday roast.

Annoyingly, their website still isn't updated to feature info about the Bar & Kitchen, but when it is, all the info should be at At the moment the site just tells you about their sandwich bars, and has a few photos of the Waterloo branch.

Tuesday 3 April 2007 7.07pm
Went to the BFI on Sunday to play with the film archives; Wonderful. But our South Bank Show documentary froze after 35 mins and the N key did not work on 2 keyboards.
O well initial teething problems , just minor. It is an absolutely fantastic resource and I urge EVERYONE to go - it's free so nowt to lose.
Watch the film on Waterloo Station , in a time when men wore hats and ties.
Benugo is ok - great Sofas - unimaginative and yet another chain unfortunately.
I know with franchises you can get a predictable level of service and food but the downside is that you could be anywhere.
I am dissapointed that their isn't 1 family own or locally owned outlet on the southbank; NOT 1.
Wake up guys. Take a chance and get some locals involved. Or try to engage the local community.
I'm not gonna end on a negative though - go to the new BFI archives - it's just fantastic.
Then walk to lower Marsh and go to Coopers or Ruby Murrys or have the Salted Mackerel Bento Box at Inshoku for 6 quid between 12 and 2 weekdays.Or olleys fish and chips ; a lot further but worth it.
No connection to any of the above.
But Yum.
Tuesday 3 April 2007 9.06pm
Much as it would be nice to have independent/family owned places along the South Bank, it's never going to happen now that the area is such a money spinner - the rents must be astronomical.

I like Benugo as at least it is a small chain - however, after great coffee, pastries, sandwiches and salads being such staples of their other outlets, the new format Bar & Grill seems to have left all this behind. It wants to be a grown up restaurant and bar but the sofas are a perfect coffee and cake lounging zone. We went last week and just about managed to get a coffee but no sign of anything to eat with it. When I asked about cakes, I was looked at like I had two heads and eventually the perplexed waiter said there was a cheesecake on the restaurant dessert menu. All the snack options are more suited to alcoholic drinks - eg. olives, etc - and we eventually opted for a pint of sausage rolls! Quite odd with a latte.

Hopefully they will introduce some more suitable options once they've been open for a little while. Whilst it's a great evening drinks and meal location, during the day, most people probably want something more casual. Why have all the sofas?
Wednesday 4 April 2007 6.35am
We went into the place on Saturday, (having run away from a totally overcrowded Borough Market). I was really impressed - good food, good service and very reasonably priced...hope this is not just introductory behaviour before it gets grotty and overpriced.

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