The Table

85 Southwark Street, London
The Table image
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Review Rating from 1 review

Address
85 Southwark Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0HX

Telephone
020 7401 2760

Region
Southwark

Nearest Station
Waterloo East (0.18 miles)

Opening Times
monday Opens 07:30 - Closes 16:30
tuesday Opens 07:30 - Closes 22:30
wednesday Opens 07:30 - Closes 22:30
thursday Opens 07:30 - Closes 22:30
friday Opens 07:30 - Closes 22:30
saturday Opens 08:30 - Closes 16:00
sunday Opens 08:30 - Closes 16:00

The Table is a new cafe which occupies part of the ground floor of architect's Allies and Morrison's studio building on Southwark Street. The cafe exploits its location, facing not only the busy Southwark Street but also Farnham Place at the rear. The café is designed to facilitate a range of activities, from breakfast time to the evening, but at all of these times the space is background for the food: cooking, serving and eating. An open kitchen and a food table in the main window make the activity of the place part of the life of the street.

The Table Picture Gallery

The Table - Southwarks finest.
The Table - Southwarks finest.

All In London Review

I would certainly put it on my list for a weekend lunch with friends...

Bankside is one of those areas that has undergone radical change – there are shiny new buildings all around and interesting places for both local people, visitors and those just passing through (I recall enjoying a deck chair to watch tennis on a open air big screen in the summer).

The Table is sort of place you stumble across. After probably passing it on the main road hundreds of times. Its stunning glass exterior might lead you to mistake it for a trendy office establishment rather than an informal brunch and lunch joint. And that’s not surprising as it is owned by leading architects (Allies and Morrison) who extended their studio into an eating space. Whilst there, I met Shaun the Chef – a charming man who talked with pride about sourcing produce from local suppliers in Billingsgate fish market and Surrey. Terry manages the front of house with an efficient but genuine smile.

The place is best known for its brunches and long lazy lunches. Like many modern establishments, it has a canteen feel to it – which makes it lively. You feel as if you are sitting in someone’s rather large kitchen. At a large wooden table. And the large windows make it bright and airy – and definitely part of the new Bankside street space.

The crowd is mixed – from smart young workers at nearby global financial institutions, local residents ranging from the cutting edge set to those with families and tourists and shoppers and everyone in between. Truly eclectic. I would certainly put it on my list for a weekend lunch with friends – especially before or after some shopping in the West End. And it has to be the best place for lunch if you are visiting The Tate Modern (the café there is sadly always totally busy).

When I was there, at an event, I was sampling a variety of its best known dishes served as canapés. I certainly remember a cool cheesy mixture within a truly hot chilli. Salty smoked salmon upon a crisp toasted bread finger. Creamy mushroom tartlets with pastry that melts lightly on the tongue. And positive parma ham wrapped around grissini bread sticks. There is little subtlety here – you know what you are eating and the flavours are bold to the point of audacious. My colleague – who was able to stay longer than me, and sample more foods - said that the roast beef, Yorkshires, belly port, quails eggs, courgette flowers and baby artichokes were excellent.

The main lunch menu offers a selection of roasts and a vegetarian option (Two course lunch costs £19.95 a person and three courses £22.95). Lighter lunch options include chicken Caesar salad (£5/7), steak sandwich (£7) and burgers (£8).

They have recently opened The Table Outside – which in warmer weather provides a lovely retreat for smokers – although the view down the one way street behind the building makes it slightly surreal. And they have finally started opening for dinner on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Reviewed by KimT
Published on Oct 20, 2009


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