For what’s supposed to be a 24 hour city, the watches of London’s bar & restaurant scene sure do seem to have a few hours missing. OK, so there are a handful of ‘underground’ clubs and exclusive member’s bars for the privileged few, but the rest of us are resigned to ending our nights prematurely instead of enjoying ourselves until sunrise. So when we heard about this 24 hour restaurant and bar, we couldn’t resist paying it a visit.
Located literally opposite the busy commuter hub that is Waterloo Station, the biggest surprise is why more people haven’t heard of it. We visited on a Thursday night and it was reasonably busy, although it was significantly quieter by around 10.30 when we left. The interior is all exposed brickwork, leather banquette seating and floor to ceiling windows with a most impressive looking bar, whilst the main restaurant is situated on a mezzanine level. With the lively crowd and banging music from the downstairs bar, the restaurant is more suited to social dining experience, as opposed to a relaxed dinner.
The great value menu is predominantly based around grills, with a massive range of meats and fish on offer; through-the-night and breakfast menus are also available for early risers/late revellers. We opted for the Scallops with Bacon, and the Pork Belly; both were well cooked and generous in portion. For mains, my Lamb Shank Tagine was slightly chewy but the complex flavours worked, whilst Dirty Perry enjoyed the Swordfish. Desserts included a comforting Apple Crumble and a most peculiar Tomato Cheesecake, which Dirty Perry warmed to, although I remained undecided. There was an overriding feeling that all of the food lacked freshness, but considering the prices and the venue being an all-night bar, it was reasonably fit for purpose.
The drinks options were just as varied and generous as the food. Glasses of wine from the extensive list started at around £3.75 and well made cocktails which appeared to be 50% larger than most average bars were £7. The service was also most cheerful. As one of London’s only restaurants with a 24-hour licence, a superb location, and affordable food & drink, Arch One is somewhere that we should all keep on our radar.
Food – 3/5
Venue – 3/5
Value – 3.5/5
Cuisine type – Grills & Modern Euro
Dinner for 2 (excluding drinks) – £40
Beer – £3
Wine – £3.75
Arch One Bar & Grill
1 Mepham Street
London, SE1 8RL