This small-plates brasserie fits the bill for a quick pre-theatre bite but it's no destination and the bill mounts quickly.
The National Theatre has lots of café-bar areas, which ebb and flow like tides; a surprisingly good restaurant, called House; and then this small-plates brasserie. What’s good about Terrace is the waiting staff’s first enquiry: ‘Are you going to see a show?’. Of course you are, or you wouldn’t be there. So dishes arrive swiftly, just as they should.
The menu reads well enough: a mixture of modishly Mediterranean and international dishes. But the 'small plates' really are small, and the bill can add up quickly if you’re having a meal and not merely grazing.
The best dish was a tiny steak tartare, prettily presented with a quail's egg in the centre. But this nibble costs £8, and even the vegetarian snacks aren’t much cheaper. Potato frittata was a slice of a ‘Spanish omelette’, served cold; courgette salad was a tangle of decorative strips – pretty, but again, not very substantial.
Like buying an umbrella in the rain, eating here is a distress purchase: your show is about to start and you need to eat first. Considering that its customer base is such a captive and ephemeral crowd, Terrace is better than you might expect, but it’s no destination. If you have enough time to dine at the aforementioned House, it is much preferable (if even pricier), and a mere minute’s walk away.
National Theatre, Upper Ground South Bank
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 5-8pm; Sat noon-2pm, 5-8pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Waterloo, Southwark or Temple|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £70|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
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I usually don't take the time to write reviews but i have to share this little hidden gem! A friend of mine who worked at IBM, on southbank, had his leaving drink there this summer. We had a great time on the terrace overlooking the bank and the Thames. last week i went to see Skyfall at the Imax with my partner and decided to try the venue in winter. we arrived there at 7pm and it was absolutly packed but the host offered us to have a drink at the bar waiting for a table at 7.45pm and we went to have a look at the landscape photo exhibition below (BTW this is an amazing exhibition that deserves its own review!). when we went back up 40mins later, it was a totally different athmosphere: all the diners left to the theatres, the lights were soft and we were offered a table by the front window over looking the river. quiet romantic! the food was just as amazing as the service! we shared the platter with special mention to the seabream carpacio, the perfectly cooked rabbit with dauphinois, the Lamb shepperd pie, the zucchini friti and the braised beef. it was very well presented and our waitresss, an actress apparently, was really bubbly and funny but still very professionnal and focused! The dessert was to die for: we had the figs and the marzipan tart. we finished with a cocktail (coconut punch and chestnut manhattan) on the outside terrace (they have blanket to warm up). you don't need to go to the theatre to eat there, and I would recommend to arrive after the plays start so you are not rushed and you can choose your table!!
Once you actually finally find your way up to this gem of a discovery on South Bank you’ll be in for a very pleasant surprise. It’s an interesting space set out with lounge seating to the left and then the usual restaurant table layout to the right and the centre with a long bar along the back wall. A feature of the restaurant, after the friendly and knowledgeable staff (!) is its fabulous balcony space (you can also eat out there in the summer) which offers views of the Thames and over towards Waterloo bridge and when we visited they also offered red blankets so the views could be enjoyed despite the cooler weather. The menu is truly exciting with fish, meat and salad options plus a Chef’s Gourmet Selection. We went for Steak tartare with quail’s egg (prob the best one we’ve tasted this side of the Channel!), Slow cooked rabbit with dauphinoise sweet potatoes and jus (Slightly dry but nethertheless super tasty), Sea bream carpaccio with raspberry vinaigrette, dill and rocket (out of this world, delicate and beautifully presented), Cod cheeks (described as Chubby Cheeks by the CHARMING French Manager) with cauliflower purée and crispy pancetta and finally a scrummy Goat’s cheese and vine tomato salad with ajili mojili dressing. Whilst this sounds like a huge amount of food the lovely thing about this restaurant is that they specialise in small plates so you can order multiple options/combinations and really treat yourself to one taste sensation after another! Finally I need to mention the cocktails. I won’t bore with minute detail but basically they were beautifully presented and carefully mixed and simply great fun! We were tempted by: Coconut Punch, Toffee Apple Collins, Chocolate & Orange Margarita and Greg’s (so good we asked his name!) Liquorice Sour – YUM! In all it was a great evening and a great surprise. If you are looking for something a bit different with exceptional quality and a nice environment which hasn’t been discovered by the tourists yet head for the Terrace... Tip: Head there after 7.30pm when the theatre crowd has left and enjoy a very chilled out and relaxed atmosphere without the usual evening crowds – bliss!!!!
Had an absolutely delicious meal here before seeing a play in the Lyttelton Theatre. The food was fresh, exciting and yummy and the service excellent, had absolutely no worries about getting into the theatre on time, and came back for leisurely drinks after the show. The seasonal cocktail menu was the perfect proverbial cherry on top! Highly recommended!
I ate here last week with a friend, as it was a convenient post-work meeting place. The service was great - really friendly, speedy, and attentive without being pushy. We ordered steak tartare with quail egg, sea bream carpaccio, a rabbit dish with sweet potato dauphinoise, a kind of deconstructed ratatouille, and courgette chip type things. We also had some fresh bread and a bottle of tempranillo to wash it all down which was lovely. Each dish was super tasty and perfectly sized for sharing, and while we weren't actually going to the theatre The Terrace would make for a lovely pre-show stop-off due to the variety to choose from, speed, and lightness of the dishes. Would definitely recommend.