Sunday, 10 April 2016

Bocca di Lupo

Regional Italian

Roast suckling pig with chestnuts,
muscat grapes, white wine 
Bocca di Lupo has long been a household name in the London dining scene, framed for its simple regional Italian cuisines. Founded by Jacob Kenedy, this Soho Italian restaurant has always been a firm favourite for both locals and tourists from the start. It is an extremely difficult place to secure a table unless you book well in advance. The restaurant offer counter seating behind the bar as well as a more formal table setting at the back with table service. I was pretty impressed with my first dinner experience at Bocca di Lupo four years ago and wondered if much has changed since then.

Grilled mussels with chilli oil
Sea bream carpaccio with orange & rosemary

Not a great deal has changed from the menu, with a large selection of choices based on the style and the cooking method. The sea bream carpaccio with orange and rosemary was an instant winner, the fish was sweet with a hint of pleasant sour note and bitterness. Less impressive was the grilled mussels with chilli oil, the seasoning was lacking and the mussels weren't as fresh as it could have been. Tagliatelle with ragĂș bolognese was an accomplished dish with its smooth texture and bold flavours, but then again many other Italian restaurants elsewhere can match that quality at a cheaper cost. 

Tagliatelle with ragĂș bolognese

The meat of the crispy suckling pig was really moist but I found the chestnuts garnish were not ideal as the richness and thickness was rather overwhelming, however the white wine and bay leaves sauce were comforting with a lovely peppery tone. The whole slow grilled leg of lamb had an interesting dressing of honey and garlic, powerful in flavours with a delightful aroma. The skin was extremely crispy and the meat was tender enough at the same time. My dessert of Rhubaba, with baked rhubarb was basically an upgrade version of rum baba, the lovely sour tone of the rhubarb worked beautifully with the sharpness of the rum.
Slow grilled leg of lamb

The food at Bocca di Lupo was interesting and good enough to live up to my expectation, however, there were other two major factors that make me think twice before considering a return. The first would be the cost, it is very expensive for the level of the cooking, it was understandable to command such price a few years back when quality Italian restaurants were lacking, but these days there are plenty of other good Italian places that offer similar level of cooking. The second factor is the service, with only 2 hours for each seating, it is hard to get a proper meal out of it, not to mention we were been told to get ready to leave while we were having our desserts. To sum it up, a good Italian restaurant but not without faults.

Food 3/5

What I paid: 

£37 per head with water

Average cost without drinks and services:


12 Archer St, London W1D 7BB

Bocca Di Lupo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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