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Hello Darling

Restaurants, Contemporary European Waterloo
4 out of 5 stars
 (Photograph: Elise Edge )
1/5
Photograph: Elise Edge
 (Photograph: Elise Edge )
2/5
Photograph: Elise Edge
 (Photograph: Elise Edge )
3/5
Photograph: Elise Edge
 (Photograph: Rah Petherbridge)
4/5
Photograph: Rah Petherbridge
 (Photograph: Hanson Letherby)
5/5
Photograph: Hanson Letherby

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A boho restaurant, close to The Old Vic, serving small and sharing plates.

Here at Time out, we take pride in waiting a few months before going to check out a new restaurant. Not only does this give the smaller indies a fair chance to ‘bed in’ but it also means we see a restaurant in its metaphorical pyjamas rather than all gussied up for a Saturday night. In the case of Hello Darling, it launched with a ‘MasterChef’ winner at the stoves, but by the time we went, it already had a new (non-telly) chef, who we hope is sticking around.

Because the vibrant, eclectic cooking is excellent. Case in point: two veggie showstoppers. Swede tartare sounded bizarre but was brilliant. Chunks of fleshy root veg came muddled with cured egg and crunchy gherkin over a deliciously oily slice of grilled sourdough. A plate of polenta – an ingredient that can easily go wrong – was equally majestic. Rich and cheesy, it was fat with juicy, buttery mushrooms, al dente green beans and kernels of corn. Meatier plates were also good, including a hunk of lamb (it could have been pinker: our only grumble) with a vinegary cucumber salad and wood pigeon with creamy cannellini beans, again splayed across toast.

Beyond all that, Hello Darling is a quirky little spot, where every table has been prettily hand-painted, dried foliage pokes from the ceiling and there are curtains dressing the walls (its owners are a pair of theatre set designers, though the vibe here is boho, not OTT). In this pocket of Waterloo – home to The Old Vic but thin on the ground for decent places to have dinner – that is a rare and special thing.

Details

Address: 131 Waterloo Rd
Waterloo
London
SE1 8UR
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £85.
Contact:
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