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Florentine Restaurant & Bar

Restaurants, Contemporary European Lambeth
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
Special Offers
1/2
2/2

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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. 

Details

Address: 6 Hercules Rd
London
SE1 7DP
Transport: Tube: Lambeth North
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £80.
Contact:
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Special offers

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-7:30PM

Offer valid until Oct 17 2019

Users say (7)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|7
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Tastemaker

Florentine is an all-day dining brasserie-style restaurant in Waterloo and boy is it a top restaurant well worth your time. 


With a pan-European menu, it has slick interiors in low-lit settings that provides an intimate atmosphere. It's cosy as heck and great for groups as well as loved-up pairs.


The food was fantastic. The rib-eye steak was meat perfection - juicy and just the way I like it. The tiramisu and Venetian doughnuts were also a sweet success. The outstanding item on the menu was the ravioli. It's just smothered in this incredibly buttery sauce with shavings of truffles that took it up a level. 


Noise level is generally kept to a minimum which allows for meaningful conversations to flow. Service was fabulous too. Receptionists are so welcoming and waiters are very attentive making sure your glass is always full.


It's perfect for dates or to celebrate a special occasion (think birthdays). You won't regret coming to Florentine.

Tastemaker

Average at best.  The service was very odd on our visit to Florentine, at times we couldn't find anyone to help us for around 10-15 minutes, then later we were asked by 3 different people if our meals were ok. The food was average, nothing interesting or special. They have a set menu which is good value but they didnt have all the dishes available and they request that you decide at the start if you want 2 or 3 courses which I found very odd.  We went for 2 as were unsure of the portion sizes, we probably would have chosen 3 if we could have decided after our main so they are just cheating themselves out of orders!  Wouldn't rush back to visit. 

Tastemaker

I didn't even realise this was attached to the hotel until the receipt arrived. Despite it being quite classy/formal inside, the menu prices and general vibe doesn't match that! I came down for brunch and really enjoyed it. There's nothing crazy or wacky here, it's just good classics like fry up, eggs on toast, porridge and fruit etc. Only crazy thing is truffle scrambled eggs which is good in my book!


Would love to come back for the flatbreads or the main dishes - no longer ostrich egg season I'm afraid!


A lot of other reviews here complain about the size of portions, which could be a fair review except that the price of most of the dishes here are actually fairly low. Probably more a place where you order a pastry/small dish to accompany a cooked meal - still works out fairly good value!


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.

tastemaker

We visited Florentine for a team breakfast, and sadly we left feeling slightly deflated. 


Firstly, if you order anything on sour dough - which is a large proportion of the menu may I hasten to add - ask for two slices, as the one, thin, measly slice they give you just isn't enough. 


I ordered the poached egg and avocado on sour dough with added smoked salmon. My eggs were cooked wonderfully with a picture-perfect runny yolk, however I can't say the same for the rest of the table who's eggs went from perfect to poor across most levels. 


The amount of salmon served was enormous - it was like they had given me a whole packed. However this was oddly served on a separate side plate, like all of our additions, even bacon, creating an almost DIY build your own breakfast feel.


Overall, it was a disappointing breakfast - I've had a lot better in London. And, what's even sadder, is that I'm not sure I'd want to return for the Ostrich egg as I don't think I would trust them to cook it to perfection! 

Tastemaker

I saw this place pop up on my social media feed with it's promotion of the Ostrich breakfast, which is clearly a very fun concept. However this was not what I ordered, as there were not four of us to share the hefty price and also they didn't have a veggie option. Though the manager said that they would consider it for the future......

Instead I ordered one of their flat breads, which was nice, with an amazing truffle oil, but why they served it mixed with bland ricotta instead of a nice goats cheese or something is puzzling. My friend ordered avocado on toast with the thinnest piece of bread and decided to order a few more dishes to fill himself up. All were tasty, he said, but all were pretty small.

Overall the best thing about the place was the staff, who were absolutely lovely, but it's too polished and 'fancy' for my humble tastes and I honestly don't think that I'd want to spend that much on food that didn't really impress me. For those with more champagne budgets however, you will absolutely get quality, tasty food but it's just didn't have anything for me that would convince me not to simply make my own avocado on toast on a piece of bread three times the size at home. I guess it's just not my cup of tea.

Tastemaker

Florentine serves exactly what it says on the tin: Eggs Florentine. Alongside eggs benedict and eggs royale, all of which are actually the same thing, but with different toppings. Situated along the same stretch as the new Park Plaza Waterloo along Hercules Road, it's easy to miss as it looks like part of the hotel. I thought it'd be a cute indie cafe at first, but it's actually quite fancy on the inside, with a full cocktail and drinks menu available alongside their surprisingly extensive menu. I came with a friend and we didn't dare order the Ostrich Egg (60 quid!) which was intended for four people, and we instead got the florentine (spinach) and royale (smoked salmon). We were feeling adventurous that day and also ordered the tuna tartare, and a truffle flatbread. As to be expected from egg specialists, the egg dishes were really well done, and a single poke from a fork sent the yolk oozing out like molten lava. Tasty tasty molten lava, and disastrous only if you drip some onto your clothes. The tuna tartar was interesting, and came with an edamame paste that went surprisingly well. But the truffle flatbread was the one that really surprised us the most. With truffles, wild mushroom and cheese, the smell alone was heavenly, and taking a bite out of it an absolute delight. Florentine is a must visit place if you love eggs and flatbread, and if you're courageous enough, you might even attempt the Ostrich egg! It'll probably make for a great instagram moment, at the very least. Plus, Florentine also does regular deals and discounts, so check their website so you don't miss out!

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