The Refinery Bar and Restaurant in Southwark is a modern and very chic looking bar and restaurant with music and late night’s available every Thursdays and Friday nights making it the perfect after works venue. On the three occasions that I have visited, I have never pre-booked, but it’s advisable to book for group bookings especially during lunch as it does get very busy. Once inside you will see the funky decor, a bar on one side with space to stand around but a more restaurant feel at the back with lots of tables. The tables are decorated well, with candles, plant pots and they also have a range of odd looking chairs to sit on. The kitchen is also on display were you can see the chefs at work. It’s a great atmosphere.
The Refinery’s drinks menu is extensive with a good range of beers, spirits, and wines but more importantly a great selection of cocktails including skinny cocktails for those counting their calories and a range of sharing cocktails for 4 or more. I opted for the ‘Porn Star Martini’ from the skinny range of cocktails which included cariel vodka, passion fruit and a prosecco chaser, it was pricey at £9.95 but lush.
The food menu is extensive with nibbles, starters, sharing boards, salads, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, other mains and deserts. Here are items that I and the other diners have tried: A selection of flour station bread with olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and butter (£5.95). I loved how the breads were presented once looking through the bag there was a selection of breads with different textures and flavours, but they all complimented the oil and balsamic vinegar well, it’s perfect for sharing, otherwise you’d end up in a carb coma!
For the vegetarian diner a Halloumi and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Spanish figs, watercress and pomegranate (£8.95) was chosen.
A Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich served with mayo, tomato, bacon salad leaves and chilli jam (£7.50).
And from the burger section: Maryland Buttermilk Chicken Burger with pickled gherkin( £9.95) and a Butter-bean Burger with smoked cheddar cheese and a tomato chutney (£8.95) with a side of Cowboy Fries in honey, chilli and garlic (£4.25).
I opted for the burgers on visiting the Refinery on different occasions, and I must say that I preferred the butter-bean burger over the chicken burger, but both were presented well. Although sides are not included with the meal, you can’t have a burger without fries now can you? So I’m glad I opted for the cowboy fries, they were delicious and tasted just like masala chips, yum, yum! There are also other tattie options including katsu curry fries which I definitely want to try next. I must say we all thought the food was impressive, with good portion sizes so you wont stay hungry. The reason why we couldn’t try any of the deserts even though the selections available looked great, so we got the bill, which was given in a book, a very cool idea, even if you can’t take the book home!
The Refinery is a great venue for drinks and food alike, the decor, atmosphere are all good even though prices are a bit steep and staff can be slow at times, it’s a great venue to check out, if your ever in t he Bankside area or visiting the near Tate Modern gallery.