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The Riverfront

Restaurants, British South Bank
2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

What used to be called the Film Café (under the bridge, facing the second-hand book stalls) has been spruced up and brought into the Noughties with a new, posh-gastropub look. Service is chipper, and the place certainly looks much improved under the management of the people behind Benugo.

However, the dishes we tried were disappointing. A crab sandwich, costing a whopping £7 (plus an 87p service charge), was made using bread not a million miles from a white supermarket loaf. The filling consisted of tough, longlife salad leaves plus a smear of crabmeat – barely more than a tablespoon.

You might do better in the adjoining bar area. The Riverfront will be busy no matter what, because it has one of the most prime locations in London, and doesn't need repeat custom with a constant throughput of tourists and South Bank strollers.



Address: Ground floor, entrance under Waterloo Bridge, BFI Southbank
Cross street: Belvedere Road
Transport: Tube: Waterloo rail/tube
Opening hours: Open 9am-11pm Mon-Sat, Sun 9am-10.30pm, 10am-10.30pm Bank Holidays
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Users say (5)

2 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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

Very disappointing. Lots of waiters hanging around. Our veggie burgers when they came were stodgy inside (poor filling) and dry outside (been sitting under a heat lamp waiting for one of the waiters to bring them to us). Someone asked us if 'everything was okay' but didn't seem able to understand the possibility of any answer other than 'yes'. The manager needs to get a grip.

Absolute disapoinment, waited 20 minutes on food for it to come and be the wrong order said it would then take another 7minuites on another order mean while my companions food would go cold or be finished by the time my food would have come. I will not be recommending this place or go here again

Short spot of late lunch today with a couple of friends, the food was okay, not great, not awful, but the service was pretty terrible. It was pretty empty at the odd time we were there and the staff, of which there were many, ignored us and avoided eye-contact both for ordering and then to try and get the bill at the end. I've never seen so many staff avoid actually serving a table in an empty restaurant. When they did eventually come over to us they were okay, not rude, but equally they were very obviously uninterested in whether we were there or not.

The above review is out of date in my opinion. Finding a place to eat on the Southbank in the week before Christmas is nightmare without booking in advance. Most places that reliably seat you within about 10 minutes any other day of the year had about a 45 minute wait for a table for 2. So we found ourselves here at The Riverfront of the BFI and it was fantastic. The concierge was so friendly and always keeping us updated on the likelihood of our getting a table as we perused the menu. We were in a hurry to scoff down some food ahead of a performance at the National Theatre next door. Feeling both grumpy and disheartened by the queue monitors at Giraffe a few doors down, we headed in to the BFI on the offchance they could squeeze us in and they did so very swiftly! I had the daily special which was the slow cooked duck with butternut squash and plum chutney which came with a glass of house wine for £10 it was scrumptious. My partner had a veggie burger and yummy fries and we shared an epic and delicious sticky toffee pudding. The service was so friendly that the service charge which is added to all bills did not cause an issue for us and the atmosphere was buzzing. They are obviously used to serving people in a hurry and they do it with aplomb. I will be going back!!

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