Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Delfina

50 Bermondsey St. Send to Phone
020-7564 2400
Underground: London Bridge
Good lunch spot in a former artists’ canteen in Bermondsey.
Your Opinion
Add your own review

Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Breakfast & Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Fri. & Sun. 11.30am-5pm
Features

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Delfina Restaurant Review

: The space is vast, with its pale wood floor and acres of white walls displaying changing modern art from a nearby gallery. Originally the canteen for the resident artists of the Delfina Studio, it’s now a restaurant open to the public for breakfast and lunch (and Friday dinner). Flavours are robust and delivered with style and panache. Both the cooking and the ingredients, sourced from around Britain, have become ever more ambitious as in confit salmon and asparagus salad with lemon jelly for starters and braised pike with pancetta, fresh peas and broad beans for a main course from a short menu. Chef Richard Simpson is a dab hand with desserts as well. The wine list canters about the world and is reasonably priced with many wines by the glass; service is relaxed, willing and efficient. There’s an informal café serving food from 10am-noon and 3pm-5pm when the more serious restaurant is closed.

User Ratings & Reviews for THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Delfina
Average rating    1
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
Variable quality, low quantity, poor service.
by TRT on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:46 am
 
Recently (Dec 2011) went here for a works Christmas meal. The venue itself is large and well presented, if spartan. The food order had to be specified in advance from a menu, and place cards had been set with a diner's selection before the party arrived, which greatly speeded up ordering. The seats were extremely well spaced apart, which was a refreshing change to venues that cram the tables in as tightly as possible. This unusually generous space allowed plenty of room for side dishes, but this only served to emphasise the lack of consumables that were presented. Two pairs of two wine bottles (a red & a white) for a table over 30 feet long meant a bit of a stretch and three pairs would have made things easier.
The starter (shallot tart) was beautifully presented and delicious but somewhat small for the price. Two bites and it had gone, barely enough time to get into how it worked with the stilton dressing and the figs. A selection of breads were presented, but these were dry and unpalatable. The restaurant is only a ten minute walk from a degustibus, where they could have sourced a dozen loaves miles better than the ones on offer. Also, the butter pats were too cold - if the bread had been any fresher, it would have been un-spreadable.
The main course (a tagine and a chickpea dish with a minty raita) was, again, small and oddly served in three tiny bowls as if to say "never the twain shall meet", which is exactly the opposite of how these dishes should be eaten. To top it all, the dishes were served on top of a napkin, so without disassembling the plate, you couldn't mix the cous-cous in with the other dish! I sampled the side dishes provided with other diners orders. The chips were enormous, if few in number, and great when dipped in the raita, but the brussels sprouts were flavourless and hard - I'd question just how fresh they actually are. The baby leaf salad was fresh and mixed well, but the mashed potato was abysmal - grey, stodgy and lifeless. The waitress was hovering around nicely, topping up glasses as required and sorting out replacement bottles.
By dessert, things were looking up again. The cheesecake that I had was divine, and probably weighed more than the rest of the meal put together. The look of the other selections was good as well, though the chocolate boxes looked far too rich to eat. There was a slight slip up as to who got what dessert, but that was easily worked around.
The worst aspect of it all, for me, came with the coffee. As always, I ordered tea, which was delivered towards the end of a train of coffee. However no milk was supplied at that time. I waited for them to complete the handing out of the coffee, but still no milk. After that, it proved impossible to attract the attention of a server. Eventually I had to get up and go over to the gaggle of staff that were behind the reception desk, but by then my tea had brewed and my colleagues had finished their coffee and were preparing to settle the bill and leave. That kind of basic slip in serving is, in my humble opinion, unforgivable. It seemed as if whilst they could sell you a bottle of wine, they were all over you. Once the main race was over, they couldn't seem to care less and went about polishing glasses instead of attending to their customers. They certainly didn't rush to recover the coats they had taken away when we first sat down, leaving a group of us to wander away behind a sight screen to rummage amongst the coats for ourselves. I've honestly only ever seen less attentive service once and that was by an old battle axe who ran a roadside diner in Canada.
In summary, I found the food too variable in quality, too limited in quantity and the service barely adequate, especially given the bevy of staff they had on. I'm afraid that I couldn't ever recommend The Delphina to anyone else.
 
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11



RESTAURANT AWARDS 2014

Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.