Bankside Restaurant / Southwark Playhouse

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Monday 10 July 2006 11.47am
I went to see 'Our Lady of the Drowned' at the Southwark Playhouse last Friday. It was every bit as good as the review on this website said and it is unfortunate that its run is now over as I would have recommended it to anyone who hadn't already seen it.

However I do have a complaint about the evening. We went for the very good value theatre / meal deal with Bankside Restaurant - 20 all in (amazing value really).

While the food at the restaurant was good the service was so, so poor. We were there by 6.15pm and said we had booked the theatre deal (we knew we wouldn't be having a leisurely meal). We thought that the restaurant would take that on board and make sure we'd have our food in time to get to our seats at the theatre. Despite a few prompts from us during the evening the service was painfully slow. At 7.20pm we decided we'd have to give up on the dessert which had not yet arrived and just leave. Even then it took an age to pay up! What made it worse was that we were the only people eating there. It should not have been difficult to bring the food in good time.

In summary - definitely check out the Southwark Playhouse but either resist the value of the meal deal and eat somewhere else or be very forceful at the restaurant and make sure they bring you your food before you have to leave.
Monday 10 July 2006 3.37pm
Hmm-doing the same deal on Wednesday for the Cherry Orchard-Chekhov play so will see how it goes!

I was one of the first diners when the Bankside opened and raved about it's value/quality of food. Had several parties there-dined frequently.Even did a customer relations evening with the management.
It's all changed especially since the 'sister'restaurant Bank opened in the city. The simple menus with value prices have gone out of the window and now are no different to anywhere else in the area in price.
Steaks were less than 11 the last time I had one now they start at 15.50.
Gone are all the meat options under 11.
Starters were all under a fiver now start at(sorry for the pun)5.50.
Yes the choice is more extensive but the original concept of good food at sensible prices ain't there no more!
Pity as the food has always been good but at these prices I can do the same/better elsewhere.
So just what happened?

Monday 10 July 2006 3.41pm
Looks like they've had a rethink - got their newsletter today:
Bankside SE1 wrote:
If you liked what we did before, you'll be pleased to hear we're doing it again...
Research tells us that you preferred how Bankside was previously, focusing on fast, fresh and affordable.

If you liked how we were before, you will be pleased to hear that we are back to basics.
Starters are 5 again, main courses 7.50 and 9.50

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Sunday 16 July 2006 9.41am
How was the Cherry Orchard ?
Sunday 16 July 2006 6.48pm
And did you get two courses in comfortably before you had to leave for the play?
Monday 17 July 2006 12.22am
Slightly OT but had good steak at Ev with their bar special: beef steak or lamb fillet with chips and salad plus glass of wine or bottle of beer, 7.95.
Monday 17 July 2006 7.49pm
Do bankside still have those funky little 'call waiter' buttons on the tables?
Tuesday 18 July 2006 10.29am
The Cherry Orchard was a very good production.I so love that little theatre.

Re eating two courses at Bankside before going to see the play-
1.get there at 6pm
2.tell them in no uncertain terms that you are on the theatre package
-and you can easily do it.
Food was very good-the portion of pate was so large I took over half of it home (they kindly wrapped it in foil shaped as a swan!)and had a very nice sandwich for lunch the next day!The menu is back to it's former glory and the standard is still high so vote with your mouths!
Re the call buttons they are still there but I didn't try it to see if it was still working.I had a mad theory that when you pressed it the waitress got an electric shock but that's just my warped mind!
Tuesday 18 July 2006 11.06am
it was advertised on the cast list for the Seagull at the national, and I wondered if it was any good, thanks, I must book in now

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