Jason Allen 16/06/23
Lasdun | Quality Theatre Restaurant By The Marksman Team
Dinner before the theatre?
It’s one of the few times that it’s acceptable to have a play with your food.
And it’s just gotten a whole lot better thanks to Lasdun, which has just raised the curtain down on the Southbank inside the iconic, Brutalist concrete masterpiece of a building that is the National Theatre.
It comes to us from the team behind The Marksman, famed for being everyone’s quick-draw answer to the question ‘where’s the best Sunday roast in London?’, and who are clearly keen to show off their prowess on the other six days of the week, too.
While their skills in the kitchen are already tried and tested, the space itself was a slightly tougher nut to crack. They’ve wholeheartedly embraced the hard-edged concrete stylings – hell, the place is named after the building’s eminent architect, Denys Lasdun – but what that leaves is somewhere slightly more austere. It’s like The Marksman’s older, more serious sister, who has a very important job. If you’d go to The Marksman for a no-pressure first date – a cold drink and a flaky sausage roll – this is the place you’d go with your in-laws or for a client meet.
You’ll walk in, navigating your way through the throngs of theatre goers and up the stairs to the first floor, then through the imposing circular entrance to the restaurant. Inside, it’s a sizeable space, designed to take the heavy tides of pre-show traffic, and it’s awash with wood & brass fittings to try and soften the edges a little. If you want the best seats in the house, ask to be put in the far back corner, where floor to ceiling windows give you views out over the river.
The food ushered forth from the kitchen is absolutely first-class. You’ll find newly minted dishes like London-cured smoked salmon with seaweed butter & soda bread; grilled spring lamb; and Cornish crab with salt lemon & saffron. But there are Marksman classics there too, including their inimitable beef & barley bun with horseradish cream, or their gigantic chicken & wild garlic pies. And for dessert? You can’t really go wrong with their justifiably worshipped brown butter & honey custard tart.
To drink, the marble bar has plenty of aperitifs (try the vermouth & soda, it has a slightly cola-like taste which works delightfully well), as well as a decent wine list. And it acts as a standalone bar too, just in case you want to dip in after the the show for another round…
NOTE: Lasdun is open now, Monday to Saturday. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Lasdun | National Theatre, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX
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National Theatre, Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX
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7.6 | Good
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