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Locale (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Locale in Waterloo, London

3B Belvedere Road, County Hall, Waterloo, London, SE1 7GP
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 02074016734 | Email to Locale | Transport: Waterloo | Write review

Locale Review

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Please see below a template for a bog-standard review of a bog-standard Italian restaurant in London:

“Just moments from [insert local tube station], this clean, smart and stylish Italian eatery is perfectly located for visitors to [insert local landmark]. With wooden floors, pristine white walls, and an open view kitchen, [insert name of venue] has friendly staff and a casual atmosphere suitable for business dinners, romantic evenings, or a meal out with the kids. My [insert name of starter] was nicely prepared, with just the right amount of garlic/basil [delete as appropriate]. For the main course, my al dente pasta/creamy risotto [delete as appropriate] was delicious if a little salty, while the rocket side-salad was crisp and refreshing. Pizzas with a range of toppings are also available. The tiramisu/panna cotta [delete as appropriate] I had for desert was a gorgeous way to round off a very pleasant evening.”

Locale, opposite County Hall in Waterloo, is one of the myriad of Italian restaurants in London for which such a template could be used. It’s not that there is anything wrong with it – as bland as the pleasantries above are to read, they actually describe a perfectly nice Italian restaurant, which Locale certainly is. However, this is a template review for a template mass-appeal Italian restaurant, of which Locale is one of hundreds round London. All are near tube stations and landmarks (London is full of them), all have wooden floors, white walls, open kitchens, casual child-friendly atmospheres, serve salty risotto, have tiramisu on the menu, etc, etc, etc.

Such a review therefore tells you very little of interest – if you want such blandness, please refer to View London or Time Out (or complete the above template and submit your own review to either publication, it should be right up their street). However, for the more discerning diner – which as someone reading Fluid London, you are – I have striven to isolate the few remarkable aspects of this otherwise unremarkable restaurant.

Firstly, Locale is on great terms with locally-based clientele, offering a 15% discount to neighbourhood residents, the NHS staff at nearby St Thomas’ hospital, and (proving these are business rather than philanthropic concessions) employees of neighbouring petroleum giant Shell. This makes Locale consistently busy at all hours, but not as overrun with tourists as you’d expect of a venue so close to the London Eye and Parliament Square.

Secondly, happy hour from 5-7pm and 8.30-9.30pm offers daily discounts on a cocktail menu that is unusually broad for a restaurant of this type, and (judging from the house Bellini and potent ‘Aphrodisiac’ we sampled) of unusually high quality.

Thirdly, there is a Monday night deal on the range of steaks on offer. At £7.50 each, this represents great value, even if the accompanying peppercorn sauce we sampled had precious little peppercorn, and the complimentary rosemary mash had absolutely no taste of rosemary.

Finally, if you do eat here, start with a bowl of Sicilian olives whilst choosing your meal. They are absolutely superb.

And that’s just about everything worthy of comment here. There are a few interesting variations on the standard Italian menu – scallops with chickpea puree amongst the starters, suckling pig amongst the mains, apple strudel bizarrely amongst the deserts. But otherwise, Locale delivers everything you’d expect from a decent but unspectacular Italian restaurant, and very little more – which, for the thousands of diners who make such venues so ubiquitous, will be absolutely fine.
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Customer Reviews for Locale

Average (based on 4 votes): 4 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Locale.

“This place is nice enough without being amazing - as the review says, fairly bog-standard. The restaurant is really near the London Eye, which is why we went there”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Mike, Guildford (8 years 3 months 26 days ago)

“Loved it. Went there for an anniversary dinner, loved the food. Cooked perfectly. Highly recommended!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
[ Unknown ], Essex (8 years 9 months ago)

“Had a great meal at Loco Mensa last week. Proper Italian cuisine, not the chain stuff. Pasta with meatballs was excellent and my wife had the sea bass. Good cooking!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Mark Brown, teddington (11 years 5 months 16 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Locale

“At the end of a long day in London, my party looked forward to a decent Italian meal. We like Italian food... as cooked in Italy... by Italians. Loco Mensa seemed chaotic - our table was not ready, our drinks order was messed up. We upgraded (and paid for) our children to have an adult meal - they were served miniscule portions of pizza from the childrens menu. The pizza was bland. Eventually... after the children had finished their meal (didn't take long!) our main course arrived. My spag bol (all six forkfuls) was tasteless (I've had better out of a can!). Again the waiter got the order wrong and the meal was delayed. Portions were tiny. There was no bread. The desert was ordinary and small. The Resturant was hot. All in all it was a relief to leave. Our first priority on the way home... to get a decent meal!!!! Value for money? you must be joking! Kings new clothes syndrome I'm afraid!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Mike Ferguson, Bristol (12 years 25 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Italian
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Locale

Locale Food & Drinks

Locale Hire Details

Private hire available in both the restaurant and bar area for events and weddings. Three course menu and buffet menus available.

Updated 11/07/2007

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Venue ID: 4650

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Loved

"Hi guys, I come here with my friends and have very good time. I like your place very much and is very good times. I come back when I can soon. Thank you very much." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Dreadful pub, run by people who have zero idea about hospitality or running a pub. Upon arrival we sat in the back garden that only had one other table occupied , when we tried to order off the lunch menu..." Which venue is this?

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