Review: Lasdun, Waterloo

Stylish Lasdun dining room

Stylish Lasdun dining room

I’ve seen a couple of reviews of Lasdun that are very pleased to finally discover a better place to eat around the South Bank. I mean, obviously, the area has been a desert of good dining options forever. Unaccountable, given all the entertainment in the area. But based on our meal last week, this feels like a case of “in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.”

We picked two starters and two mains. My terrine was pretty decent, soft pork with some pistachios and apricots scattered in it, a dollop of smooth peach puree on the side. Perhaps it should have come with bread? Maureen’s cucumber dish was very simple. The cucumber chunks were just fresh and not even seasoned enough, fairly plain sailing with a dollop of smooth blended ricotta. The bits of preserved lemon and dill oil didn’t add enough punch.

Cucumber starter

Cucumber starter

The mains were no bigger than the starters, which surprised me at £25+ each. Mine was a breaded fillet of gurnard with warm tartare sauce on a bed of nicely cooked chard, a very pleasing plate of food but decidedly small-plate sized. Maureen’s was Caerphilly cheese dumplings (gnocchi really) with girolles. This was a really dainty plate of food, a half dozen of the little gnocchi on it, tasted good but just looked – there’s no other word for it – stingy.

Of course, Lasdun is in the National Theatre and the sizing may be deliberate if most of their guests are going to be eating pre-theatre. But that being the case, the menu is nothing like good value; either £32 for a 2 course set, or £40 if you picked them off the main menu. The food would need to a notch more ambitious to justify the bill. And that’s my conclusion really: it’s perfectly nice food, well cooked, small portions… but maybe in the land of the blind the one-eyed man prices accordingly?

Dumpling start... sorry, main course

Dumpling start… sorry, main course

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