Waterloo is one of those places that can be a bit of a culinary dead-end, Southbank has the usual chain offerings but if you’re heading towards the Cut, then it can be a bit of a lottery to decide where to go. When catching up with a friend and contemplating whether or not to duck into Byron for an always excellent burger, we spot an unassuming exterior in the form of Meson don Felipe and decide to chance our luck for a table at this spanish tapas joint.
The place is absolutely packed but there’s a spot for 2 at the bar which we snap up. The bar is the main feature of the restaurant and this is probably not the spot for a large group as large tables are nowhere to be seen. But this suits us just fine, so a glass of red in hand each and we’re eyeing up the menu.
As is the tapas way we order up a bit of a selection – my favourite Padron peppers, prawns, a mixed salad and some deep fried aubergine fritters.
The mixed salad is an odd mixture of salad ingredients, seemingly thrown together with no real consideration to whether they work and this is the only item we regret ordering. The padron peppers are a touch overdone, they could use being a bit crunchier but are still delicious,the deep fried aubergine is at its optimum level of cooked versus having a bite to it and the prawns in garlic could stop vampires in their track.
Although we haven’t ordered much, the portion sizes are generous and so we turn our attentions to thinking about dessert. This is where the party starts to fail though and our desserts aren’t quite up to scratch. Although I suppose we should have known better, chocolate themed desserts aren’t exactly part of the Spanish way and our order of an Affogato and Chocolate brownie don’t really do it for us.
Service is efficient for what is a very busy restaurant and our orders are delivered promptly and with a smile, which is exactly what you need. It may not be high flying gourmet, but it does the job very nicely indeed.
Meson don Felipe can be found at 53 The Cut, London SE1 8LF, a short walk from both Waterloo and Southwark tube stations. You can’t make reservations and I’d recommend this as a restaurant for 2 rather than large groups.