The bold black words ‘Belsen’ and ‘Nuremberg’ painted on the floor inside the entrance to Topolski are presumably a nod to the space’s former life. For it was here – in a lofty railway arch on the Southbank – that Polish war artist and muralist Feliks Topolski created the Topolski Century art bunker, a visual world ‘tour’ that reflected on monumental global events. The chilling floor décor isn’t the only unsettling note about the bar/café, which despite the colourful artwork and a winning industrial aesthetic, somehow still manages to feel cold, dark and dreary.
At least the food should be good, as it’s a largely eastern European-inspired menu drawn up by Company of Cooks chefs Bruce Wilson and renowned pastry chef Claire Clark, promising a mix of soups, snacks, lunchtime mains and sharing boards from day to night. But, as with the space, it’s a mixed bag; the fish board featured a knockout beetroot-cured salmon and pickled herring, but a charcuterie selection was the kind of thing most of us could put together from the chill counter of our local Lidl – with portions minuscule for a fairly pricey £7.50. A pleasantly smoky beef shin goulash lacked the heartiness our empty stomachs craved, leaving us eager for more food, but too late – it was past 8pm and hot dishes were no longer on offer.
The impressive range of drinks – including house-infused vodka cocktails and gins, and Prosecco on draught – remain a draw, and suggest that the emphasis after dark is firmly on the drinks.
|Venue name:||Topolski Bar and Café||Contact:|
158 Concert Hall Approach
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Average User Rating
4 / 5
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Topolski is an absolutely brilliant bar and remains a somewhat undiscovered spot amongst the chains of the Southbank. Not only are the space and the artwork on the walls fascinating, the music is always good and the sharing platters are the perfect accompaniment to the great array of reasonably priced drinks on offer. The staff are friendly and there is so much room that you can always find a place to perch. Highly recommended.
Trendy venue - often with live music and cool artworks. Dishes are sharing plates - lots of meat and cheese. Drinks are vodka with infusions.
Lovely, lovely staff. Really interesting venue, - reminds me of Berlin. Great reasonable food and an excellent meeting place. Cool vibes and music