Waterloo Brasserie, Waterloo
119 Waterloo Road
SE1 8UL (Map)
020 7960 0202
by Blake Pudding
I had heard that there was a buzz about this place amongst the beautiful people of South London (don’t titter at the back – there are beautiful people in South London) so I thought where better to impress television moguls Charlotte Johnstone and Gareth Jones. The inside is decorated in aspirational late 90s northern hotel style. This involves apples in enormous vases and gloom punctuated by blinding spotlights plus a glass-walled cellar in which first growth clarets are ostentatiously displayed. The very loud mood music added to the dated feel.
The full English breakfast (£11.50) which Gareth ordered was tiny and came with dry butter beans. I don’t eat baked beans myself but you can see from previous LRB debate what most British breakfasters think of non-Heinz beans. Charlotte went for eggs Benedict (£6.50), which consisted of one egg, one rasher of bacon on toast and some separated hollandaise sauce. I went totally crazy and ordered the duck egg, ox tongue and tomato confit (6.50) with brown toast. The duck eggs were off so I got hen eggs instead. Brown bread was off too. The ox tongue was fibrous and bland and the tomato “confit” turned out to be a soggy, burnt tomato wholly lacking in flavour.
This wasn’t a terrible breakfast but everything about the Waterloo Brasserie - the stingy portions, the silly prices and the ineptness of the cooking - suggests a place designed to make money from people who don’t really care about food. This place should fail but I fear it will be a roaring success.