When a friend of mine was going to be going out of the country for many months, it just wouldn’t have been right if we didn’t go for a leaving lunch.
Waterloo Bar and Kitchen had an old sort of feel to it. Its dark wooden furniture, black panelled walls and some booth cushioned seating made up the dining area. The back of the restaurant is where the open kitchen was. There is always something good about being able to see the food being prepared and made. There was also a small bar area.
There was a good range of food on the menu. As it was a cold day, it felt like the meal should be started off with soup. The soup of the day was Vegetable Soup. It was a fairly big bowl of soup and I couldn’t finish it all. The soup was tasty but was also spicy. I am not sure if it was due to chilli or pepper.
For the main lunch, the Pan Roasted Halibut was great. It was served with fondant potato and saffron creamed leeks. The halibut was soft and moist. It would have been better if the skin had been crispy. The fondant potato was just the right amount of potato for the dish. The saffron flavour really came through in the sauce of the leeks.
My friend had the Squid and Chorizo Salad with chilli, garlic and coriander dressing. He was happy with how the squid was cooked. It was tender and not rubbery. The only thing was that the squid was bland. This was because all of the dressing for the salad was on the bottom of the plate. It felt like the dressing had been put into the bowl, then the salad leaves and then the squid and chorizo. Basically, the dressing had not been mixed with the salad items.
The Chargrilled Rib-Eye Steak that my friend had was a good meal. The meat had been cooked as he had wanted it. It came with fries and a little pot of peppercorn sauce.
Although the starters at Waterloo Bar and Kitchen were not up to scratch, the main dishes and the desserts certainly made up for it. Talking of desserts, my friend suggested that we should complete our meal with this.
It is always difficult for me to choose something else whenever I see Fruit Crumble and Custard on the menu. But I resisted this time and decided to try the Pear and Frangipane Tart. This was a lovely dessert. A slice of warm almondy pie with pear served with vanilla ice cream. It was a yummy dessert and hit the spot just right.
The dessert on the specials board was Orange Creme Brulee and my friend chose this. It had the classic caramelised top and a creamy filling. My friend was happy with this dessert.
The staff were really great, friendly and very attentive. At every stage of our meal, they did ask if everything was okay. Even though I had only stated some dietary requirements on my starter, the staff checked with me if the ingredients in all my other dishes were okay with me. This was done without me asking and he also checked things again with the chef.
The service at Waterloo Bar and Kitchen felt very personal. At the end of the meal, the staff asked us if we had enjoyed the food. It was nice that when we mentioned the couple of points about the dishes, he took note and said that he would pass our comments onto the kitchen.
Waterloo Bar and Kitchen, 131 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8URRating: