Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Benugo Bar & Kitchen

Benugo Bar & Kitchen

Restaurants South Bank
3 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)

Time Out says

After years of struggle, BFI Southbank has finally figured out its catering. Or, rather, they got Benugo to figure it out for them.

The low ceiling, square dimensions and lack of natural light have long hampered the riverfront space, and Benugo haven’t succeeded in making it into an appealing venue. But it’s a different story in the newer bar further back, always busy with a mix of cinephiles and other revellers who’ve realised that this is the best place to drink on the South Bank.

In a roomy space decked out in kitchen-sink fashion with an artful jumble of furnishings, the efficient staff serve beers and decent wines at slightly above-average prices, plus food from a short list of snacks and sandwiches.

The Benugo makes a welcome change from the dreary bars elsewhere on this stretch.



Address: BFI, South Bank Centre
Cross street: Belvedere Road
Transport: Tube: Waterloo tube/rail
Do you own this business?

Users say (7)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
0 people listening

I had a disappointing dinner at this restaurant on Southbank last week. It's a large restaurant and has a very swanky feel to it, perhaps a little too formal considering the quality of food that is offered. The menu looks nice enough, standard British fare, however the end results were all pretty disappointing. My beetroot gnocchi was bland and flavourless. A friend's reuben sandwich was tiny and unsatisfying - definitely not worth the £13 price tag. Sweet potato fries were flaccid and uninspiring. The desserts also failed to impress - the sticky toffee pudding was overly sweet and lacked depth of flavour, and the chocolate fondant was similarly disappointing. Nothing was awful, but nothing was good either, and at £30 a head we expected more. Unfortunately most of the options in the area are average chain restaurants, so there's not a lot of competition, but I won't be returning to Benugo.


The BFI is a lovely venue, but its coffee and kitchen is a pretty hectic place. It's not the relaxed environment you'd come to expect, it's full of life and energy and hustle and bustle. Not recommended if you want to sit down for a chat, unless you come during the quieter hours/days, but it's a pretty fascinating concept with the idea of it being a 'hidden' bar. Nice place, somewhat subpar atmosphere. 


I would have never thought to go here for drinks after work but my friend spotted it in Timeout so we decided to come after work for a drink on a Friday.

You would have to know about as it is at the back of Benugos but very cute as the entrance is a bookcase and then the decor inside is like an old library.
It was empty when we arrived so we got our pick of seats - nice comfy sofas. There is a small bar with one waiter and an extensive cocktail list. I'd recommend the elderflower and champagne cocktail. 
It remained fairly quiet most of the early evening but nice vibe with good music.
Will definitely be back although cocktails aren't cheap! Bar menu also looked tasty!

The service at this place is pretty subpar. And I speak with some authority here, as I've spent 3 full days at BFI Southbank for an international TV drama event and had experienced their service (or, rather, lack thereof) on more than one lunch and coffee break occasion. One time our waiter had no clue if they serve Coke Zero or Diet Coke and whether there's lemonade (according to the menu they do home-made lemonade). On a different occasion none of the two waiters we've approached had the slightest idea of what either the soup of the day or the market dish of the day were. That being lunchtime I find rather unforgivable - it's not like the chef has barely stepped in after foraging the Borough market for the best of the seasonal produce. On that same occasion it took them 20 min to serve the drinks and 50 min to deliver the main course. The catch of the day, by the way, was sea bream, and it was wonderful. And so two stars go solely to the chef who can cook, even though the manager doesn't really know how to manage his place.

Great food but far from relaxed. I find the restaurant frenetic and cold. they struggled to meet our time lines even though we told them the exact time we needed to leave for our film. it wouldn't be my first choice in the future


BFI benugo bar is an atmospheric bar with a relaxed vibe perfect for either meeting with friends or a date. There is plenty of comfortable seating and dimmed lighting and good selection of bar food and drinks. If you look very closely there is even a hidden bar tucked with a secret bookcase opening.

Staff Writer

Restaurant, bar and the drawing all in one place. BFI and Benugo have got this spot on. The main bar and lounge area is relaxed, great vibe that is perfect to unwind, relax and enjoy time with friends. The Drawing Room a hidden gem, for somewhere a little more away from the crowds. The selection of drinks are good, from classic martini's to hand selected ales. A solid quaffable wine list as well. The restaurant delivers simple and pleasing dishes. Staff always attentive. Has not failed to please yet.

Nearby Restaurants