Benugo Bar & Kitchen

3.5
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838 Reviews
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£25 and under
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British

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Pre/post Theatre
The Benugo bar & kitchen at the BFI Southbank encapsulates all the things we are proud of and sets them in a great bar and restaurant environment. From lounging on a Sunday with brunch and the Sunday papers to drinks after work, the Benugo bar and kitchen is a great place to unwind with friends with one of our expertly made cocktails, a glass of wine and food from our menu of British classics.
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Overall ratings and reviews
3.5based on all time ratings
3.5
food
3.5
service
3.6
ambience
3.2
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
London
9 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2016
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Very enjoyable lively venue, practical venue for the Southbank or for wandering along the Thames

OT
London
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The service was excellent. The food was delicious and good value for money. The ambience was good.

OT
Surrey
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2016
Overall3food2service5ambience4

It was cold with a constant draft from the window. The food was average and portions small. The house wine was awful and we sent it back.

However, excellent service, but not a good dining experience.

Wouldn't book there again.

NY
London
3 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A lovely evening with good food and attentive service. The only challenge is actually finding the restaurant the simple addition of saying it's actually inside the BFI would make all the difference.

s
London
100 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2016
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Regular haunt but starters below par on this occasion. Terrine was inedibly salty and herring portion was miniscule.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2016
Overall3food2service4ambience4

The menu itself is very good. Wonderful dishes. However, just let down by not serving fast enough so food cold when we got it.

J
London
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2016
Overall3food1service2ambience4

Im afraid to say that the food options and quality are really poor, the service isnt attentive at all, which is a shame because the place is really nice and its a good spot to actually talk with someone. Drinks are ok, you can order one or two.

EN
London
4 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2016
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It wasn't anything spectacular-
We were seated shortly after we arrived.
When we enquiries about children eating for free with an adult main. The waitress did not seem to know about the promotion.

As we were short of time,

I did not pursue or further and just ordered my food and my companion's.

The food did take awhile to come. And as a result,
We had to eat very quickly and leave shortly after-

Wouldn't be in a hurry to go back again, honestly -

s
London
17 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2016
Overall2food2service1ambience3

We are regulars because of the convenience, but the place has some way to go before it earns a decent rating from us. The service is polite but often all over the place. I was served the wrong main course and had to wait for 15 minutes for the right one, during which my husband got through most of his. Apology came but they didn't handle it very well. They should have taken back my husband's food and brought both back together. Instead, they rushed getting my main course to me so my pasta was undercooked - much more undercooked than al dente. The courgettes were badly overdone, meanwhile, in the 'seasonal vegetables', so a watery mush. Chocolate soufflé was very good.

J
London
7 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I dine regularly at this restaurant. The food varies and so does the service....on November10 in the evening (should have taken his name) the (appears to be restaurant manager) was superb. Professional and made the experience just so different to the last time we dined which was not good (albeit during BFI festival). A restaurant is only as good as its staff. This particular member of staff should be cherished in the hit and miss service we experience in London.

TR
London
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2016
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Nice food and mostly good service, except that ... when I explained on arrival that I'd booked in advance, I was asked to take a seat at table without the staff checking my name/booking. As a result, I received an email from Open Table saying that Benugo had reported that I'd not turned up at the restaurant!

y
London
26 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2016
Overall5food5service2ambience3

Lovely food- new waiter- would was quite nervous

But despite it being in a half empty restaurant, was seated by a pillar in a dark area. Without even the candle on the table being bothered to be lit.

b
London
18 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2016
Overall1food2service2ambience2

First issue was how long our food took. An hour and 15 between starter and main. I asked and was repeatedly told it would be 'a couple of minutes'. These couple of minutes went on for half an hour. When the food came it was below average. Duck was undercooked - asked for medium and it came out blue - and was the chewiest duck I've ever had. My wife had chicken but was more like a poussin leg. Tiny portion that was dry and overpowered by the black pudding stuffing. Staff did apologise a lot and gave us 35% off total but so one small positive. Wouldn't go back and wouldn't recommend to anybody.

V
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2016
Overall4food3service4ambience3

I have been here twice now and it works. Both times were a pre National Theatre bite to eat. The menu just about covers every eventuality, vegetarian, smaller plates, inclusive menu, full a la carte, seasonal. There was an excellent tasting beetroot risotto that was just a little too al dente, as were the veg, but then I love them like that. Pleasant and convenient setting. Good South Bank meeting place.

m
London
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food, ambience,location and friendliness of staff really good.
However, when we sat down at 6pm, telling our waitress that we were going to the NT we were assured that we had plenty of time. Our drinks arrived at once but we had to wait an hour for our food. We left in a rush and only just got to our seats in time.

k
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2016
Overall3food2service4ambience4

aubergine parmignano very good,cauliflower cheese risotto not good(rice was much too al dente).waitress was very helpful.food still a bit variable.
it's a lovely quiet,peaceful venue.

J
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2016
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The food is quite good although portions are ungenerous and the focaccia bread (claimed to be baked in house) was stale. Service is generally courteous but seems a little disorganised. The waitress who took our order didn't appear to write anything down and the fries we ordered didn't arrive with our main course. Someone apologised but by the time they did arrive we had finished our meal. With a member discount it was reasonable value for money but overall one feels that there are better alternatives near by.
It wasn't a disaster but things seemed inferior to how I remembered them on previous occasions and I wasn't surprised that the restaurant was far from full at peak time on a Saturday evening.

PS
London
20 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2016
Overall2food1service3ambience3

We’ve been here a number of times and it is not consistent, on this visit the food was poor. I arrived and was promptly seated at the "best table" by the window on a rather shabby and grubby chair with a view overlooking the davlav portaloo.

While waiting I felt somewhat bullied into ordering a drink to start. Asked twice by different people who were quite persistent I gave in and ordered tap water so they would leave me alone.
We ordered a mix of dishes from the main and pre-theatre menu which, while not massively exciting, does contain a good variety of meat, fish and vegetarian options.

The chicken liver pâté starter was awful, too cold straight from the fridge, rather grainy and the flavour wasn’t good. The parsnip soup was a bowl of hot double cream with some salt and a hint of parsnip which I didn’t finish, I told the waiter who said he would tell the chef, we didn’t get any response.

The butternut tortellini pasta was quite nice, probably the best dish of the whole meal, al dente and the flavours good. The waiter asked how I would like the pan fried duck breast, I ordered medium rare and it arrived overdone, hard cooked all the way through. Why did he ask?

For desert the tiramisu was ok but the “apple crumble cheese cake” was the filling from a Mr Kiplings apple pie spread on top of flavourless filling.

Finally the bill arrives with a mandatory service charge listed as a food item, it doesn’t explain how the service charge is calculated or if you can choose not to pay it. It works out they are charging 12.5% service charge but the real problem here is that there is no explanation or option to pay more or less, or not at all, and if you don’t notice because it’s included as a food item, you might double tip.

All in all, avoid, Benugo really need to invest in their kitchen staff, I get the impression that they are making all this stuff in a factory and shipping it out boil in the bag for someone on minimum wage to serve up.

h
London
19 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I really enjoyed the environment of this place as it is the cafe of the BFI. It can be confusing at first as the name Benugo isn't stated very loudly. However the food is done well, prices are very reasonable, service is prompt, and the atmosphere is just great. You can sit here and work or have a long conversation, as I did.

Will return.

b
London
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was absolutely great, everyone was very friendly. Food was gorgeous, with various seasonal options. I am pesco vegetarian and like Benugo BFI because they are usually very good with the vegetarian options, I used to love that pan fried gnochhi. This time I felt it was a shame that both vegetarian option were risotto based, even though the flavours sounded good. I chose the Aubergine as a stater and the plaice as a main, both really delicious. Will definately come back again

g
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2016
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Delicious food, you can have something small and tasty or more substantial. Modern, slightly glamorous ambience, good cocktails, very friendly service. Reasonable value but not cheap.

h
London
169 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2016
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Benugo Southbank is extremely useful for pre or post theatre/film. The food--and wines- are actually more than 'useful'..good wine list and well prepared food. Charming service--out only complaints (common ones these days): too many interruptions to ask 'is everything ok' and intrusive music making conversation difficult in an already noisy acoustic. But will certainly keep coming back when at the National or BFI.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2016
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Unfortunately the service was very slow, we even had to go the bar to order wine to have with our main meal that had arrived.

SH
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Always reliable for quality for food and service in a buzzy early evening atmosphere. Just wish they would improve the lighting a bit as some tables are left in the gloom!

IB
London
12 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Don't be confused by the lack of Benugo signage . The cafe / restaurant we booked in the BFI. Is seemingly called The BFI cafe is this place . The staff don't seem to know this either , but it comes up on your credit card as Benugo that said this is just se you don't get lost like me . We had a beautifully cooked dinner

Q
Hampshire
29 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Second time here - wasn't as good as the first as the potato lattice was burned and unedible. The first time was really good tho, so giving it four stars. Great meal for a benugo!!

NH
London
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2016
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Service was very slow but friendly. We all had burgers, with the current toppings of bacon and avocado. When it came out the burger was really average and the avocado was inedible as it was so unripe. My chips also weren't cooked properly. For dessert we had soufflés which were tasty but not at all light and fluffy as they should be. Last time we visited we visited we really enjoyed the food, but this was a big step down and I would hesitate to go again.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2016
Overall4food3service5ambience4

We thoroughly enjoyed dinner at Benugo Bar after a film at BFI on Tuesday evening, we have been several times before, the three of us had lamb rump from your new menu and just to mention this was very rare and rather difficult to eat, so perhaps medium would suit most people unless they specify rare? Also both Malbec and Merlot wines were out of stock, so we settled on a Cotes du Rhone which was fine. Service from the Norwegian waitress was excellent.

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2016
Overall2food1service4ambience3

Food very poor. Dry fish and tough meat. Cold chips. Poor.

C
London
23 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2016
Overall2food2service2ambience4

I've been to Benugo Restaurant so many times over the years, and it has been my favourite place in Southbank so far. Unfortunately, this time I was so disappointed that I'd have to start seeking for somewhere else.

Recently, they have been changing menus very often and quite regularly, and all my favourite food keep disappearing from the menu. This time, we are told again "a new menu" has just started. We looked at the menu, and we were so disappointed as none of the stuff they offer are no longer attractive to us.

As we had no choice, we ordered pre-threatre 2 course menu. Since my friend didn't fancy any starters on the menu, she decided to go for main and desert, while I braved myself with Baked aubergine & parmesan gratin. It sounds good, but it was just slices of aubergine drenched in oil and tomato sauce, oven-baked with a very little amount of parmesan and it was too greasy and monotonous. I'd rather have Pizza Express's Melanzane al Forno!

For the main, I had Sea bass with bok choy, mussels & bouillabaisse broth and I won't recommend it to anyone. I love Sea Bass, I love Bok Choy, I love Mussels, and I love Bouillabaisse Broth - but the new chef (?) got it all wrong, and they tasted horrible. My friend had Braised shin of beef and said it was like having corn beef.

The waiters seemed very stressed and not well-co-ordinated, so it took a long time to get any attention from them. They also forgot that my friend had ordered the dessert as part of the pre-threatre menu, and they had to take her order again.

If they run a restaurant, consistency is the best key for success, and I can't see Benugo can offer it any more. It feels like a long time when I used to give them four or five starts ratings. As a faithful customer, I kept going back repeatedly, but now my good faith has reached the lowest point. When I visit BFI next time, I'll stick to the bar area and eat elsewhere.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2016
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Great before the theatre. We were running late and they looked after us brilliantly. However OpenTable has marked that we were a no show which was not the case and I can't seem to get onto the page to correct this.

B
London
5 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience5

This is a great place to meet friends for lunch or dinner who are coming to London via Waterloo Station or if you are seeing a play or film on the South Bank. The food is simple but consistently good. The service is friendly but not massively attentive. There is usually a buzz and a good atmosphere.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2016
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Excellent service by very friendly and helpful staff in a restaurant with excellent ambiance for what was a pre-theatre meal. Decent food and wine though London prices of course. Would certainly re-visit.

DJ
London
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Good food, polite service. We booked for 9.30, arrived on time. Kitchen was closing at 10 (which we knew) and they wanted us to choose within seconds of arriving. We felt very rushed a d not terribly welcome at that point. I don't think they should accept 9.30 bookings if that's what they are going to do.

M
London
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We have now had three film and food afternoons + early evening dinners in Benugo at the NFT and they have all been very good.

Your booking system is easy and reliable plus it sends a neat reminder the day before.

On each occasion we have found the staff friendly and helpful.

Service time from ordering to eating is good even when you appear to be very busy.

Last Saturday the three of us all agreed that the chicken, which each of us had, was excellent and we are already planning our next film and dinner with others because we thought it went so well.

Do keep the standards up and especially look after your staff and they will look after your business. We will be back for more..................

Thanks and regards,
Martyn =;p+)

OT
London
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2016
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Pre-theatre, so we did not have much time (sadly). Food delicious. Service exceptionally good.

AP
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great atmosphere at Benugo at BFI - good friendly service. A lovely and well thought out menu always!

OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Much more relaxed than noisy/busy riverside restaurants.

TW
London
6 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Good fresh wholesome food to suit most tastes . Reasonable selection of wine at a decent price. Lots of other drinks Available as well .
Pleasant , knowledable , and efficient staff .
Nice bright Natural light area .
Tables , chairs , glasses & cuttelry clean and bright & smart .
Great cross section of diners .

T
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2016
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The service is always painfully slow - which makes pre-theatre meals very stressful. However the food quality and atmosphere compensate for it.