Time Out says
A shiny all-day diner in Waterloo.
If it wasn’t printed on the receipt, you’d never guess that this attractive all-day diner is actually the restaurant for the chainy Park Plaza Waterloo hotel next door. I guess you can’t blame ’em; hotel restaurants tend towards sheeny, homogenous mediocrity, and Florentine is an unexpected treat.
For a start, the interior is snazzy with a capital S. There are leather banquettes and other mid-century-style furnishings. There’s a goldenly mottled up-lit wall. The dining room is sectioned off from the reception by a giant chainmail screen. It’s one of the most upscale-New York-looking joints I’ve visited in London in a while, and genuinely vibey, even on a Wednesday evening.
The giant menu is pan-European à la carte – with a dedicated flatbread section, for some reason – plus a few larger sharers, including a perturbing-sounding ostrich egg full english for four. A snack-sized aubergine and mozzarella piadina (a kind of Continental quesadilla) was smoky and fleshy, but no match for a main-sized flatbread topped with Tuscan sausage and stilton. It was a bit too crisp for my taste, but practically hummed with muscly, earthy flavours.
Even larger was a veal milanese, which almost breached both sides of the plate. It was excellent: crisp-fried on the outside, tender within. An Italian café staple done superbly. Venetian doughnuts were another fried success, pillowy and practically engorged with boozy marsala cream. If Florentine was a standalone joint it’d all be rather impressive. That it’s part of a slightly soulless hotel gets it serious kudos.
6 Hercules Rd
|Transport:||Tube: Lambeth North|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £80.|
|Do you own this business?|
20% Off the a la carte menu
Enjoy 20% off. Discount is not available in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service. Valid For: 2 - 6 People Mon-Thu 11:30AM-7:30PMOffer valid until Oct 17 2019
Users say (7)
Average User Rating
3.6 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
Being invited to hotel restaurants for lunch meetings fills me will dread. So many hotels just don't get it right - in fact they seem to play at being in the restaurant business , just so they can dish out the mandatory English breakfast.
Add to my dread, the fact it was a rainy August ( London summer ) day , and I went to the wrong hotel - Park Plaza seem to own the area with Westminster, County Hall and Riverbank all nearby.
So I arrive a little damp, and flustered with low expectations - and then Veronica happens.
She is the lady who has to try to jump my rucksack whilst welcoming us to the table. She had a smile that lifted the gloom and the time to talk us through the menu choices before getting our drinks.
It was not a big three course affair. We were there to catch up and in truth the food was secondary to the occasion.
But it was good - very good. My lamb with mash was delicious , and I must admit to picking at my friends excellent fried squid too.
The whole thing was pleasant and relaxed - and Veronica's smile never waned.
So I am now thinking - not all hotel restaurants are to be avoided
In fact I rather fancy returning to this one.
And if you fancy it - its the Park Plaza near Lambeth North tube station. Having Waterloo in the name thew me off the scent of rather a nice lunch.
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