Putting the art in arches | Topolski, 150-152 Hungerford Arches, Concert Hall Approach, London SE1 8XU
As we sat in Topolski – a new Eastern European pop up members bar/cafe/art gallery in the railway arches near Waterloo station, I wondered if Eastern European food could be the new ‘thing’. What with Ognisko‘s revival and the ever-popular Baltic not far from Topolski. If it is, I’m surprised it’s taken so long.
Named after Feliks Topolski, a painter who created a 15ft by 600ft painting in the arches, it took him a really long time, fourteen years and was completed just before his death. History (and art) lesson over, its new incarnation’s menu is the work of Company of Cooks’ Bruce Wilson and Claire Clark. Specialising in fruit infused vodkas and gins, craft beers, sharing boards and a few larger dishes and an impressive looking array of desserts and cakes.
This place could be cool if they ditched the mirrored disco ball that cast an unsightly wave of white sparkly light around the room, making me feel slightly uneasy and verging on travel sick. We shared a Polish charcuterie board and a Meat board – £7.50 each or £14 for two. They contained fresh white bread, dark rye bread, pickles, a couple of slow roasted tomatoes and a selection of delicious cured meats (including Kracovian dry pork sausage, Finocchiona, Trentino speck, Salume Toscana and 32 Month Parma).
I could have eaten a whole bowl of those juicy slow roasted tomatoes. The boards weren’t enough to fill us up but fine for a pre-show snack, or to help soak up the large and deceptively strong infused vodkas. I must add that the service was super smiley and attentive, the manager was particularly on form. I saw him out the corner of my eye scoop up a poor woman off the floor so swiftly after her chair embarrassingly fell over. Now that’s service.
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 11am – 11pm
Thurs – 11am – 12pm
Fri – Sat: 11am – 1am
Sunday – Closed
Nearest station: Waterloo