Saturday 28 February 2015

Benugo Bar & Kitchen, the British Film Institute, Southbank, central London

Housed in a vast space with a soaring ceiling, a shining flagstone floor and framed by glass, criss-crossed by diagonal girders, the Benugo bar and restaurant is an attractive and atmospheric place to eat. In the evening, the leather armchairs in the intimately-lit bar and lounge can be buzzing with cultural chatter, creating an arthouse ambiance. Although the menu is quite short, it is divided into seasonal, land, farm and sea, thereby covering most of the bases. For a main course, you can choose from pork belly, sea bream, gnocchi, sirloin steak and other fashionable favourites priced up to £21.50. The creamy butternut squash risotto with parmesan cheese (about £12) is excellent, boasting a lovely mix of flavours and perfectly-cooked rice. But the portion is a little light. The rocket side salad (£4.50) with cherry tomatoes and parmesan is also very fresh and enjoyable, but is similarly modest. As well as a wine list, Benugo BFI offers beers, such as Amstel, on draught. The service, which comes with a genuine smile, is warm and relaxed. 8/10