....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 www.benugo.com. At the moment the site just tells you about their sandwich bars, and has a few photos of the Waterloo branch.
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.
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?
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.