roast duck noodle soup (front), pork crackling noodle soup (back), Olympic Cafe in Waterloo

roast duck noodle soup (front), pork crackling noodle soup (back), Olympic Cafe in Waterloo

Waterloo Station might not be the first place you'd think to look for a good quality, no frills, classic Chinese café - many would head straight to Chinatown for that. But tucked away on Lower Marsh Street, a short walk from the Westminster Bridge exit of the station, you'll find just that at Olympic Cafe.

With a menu that's mercifully concise compared to so many other Chinese establishments (only two pages here), this all day cafe covers soups, sides, noodle dishes, and rice dishes.

Every meal is £6 or less, so feel free to select whatever you fancy. But you'll find it hard to go wrong with the noodle soup section, especially on a brisk day. Simple and comforting broth, a load of thin egg noodles, lots of veg, your meat of choice, and a side of chilli sauce to ladle on to your heart's content.

The roast duck was great (£5.80), but I never can eat fat that isn't crispy. Next time, I'll be going for what my friend had, the crackling pork noodle soup (£5.80). Or the porky won ton noodle soup (£5). With a large glass of warm and sweet ginger and honey tea, our meal came to a meagre £6.80 each, and we were stuffed. You could even order a side or dessert and still stay under our magic £8 mark, such as some prawn crackers (£1.40), their slightly spicy sweet and sour pickled cabbage (£1.80), or ice cream (£2).

A great spot, with warm and friendly service too. I'll be swinging by whenever I'm in transit at Waterloo.

Words and photography | Leyla Kazim


130 Lower Marsh SE1 7AE

Opening hours
Mon - Sat | 12pm - 10.30pm

Tel | +44 (0)20 7928 2806

Last updated | 14th Nov 2016