Sometimes it happens that, when you have finished writing a post, you press a wrong button and everything is lost. (why does the auto-save only work when you don’t need it I wonder…). This happened to me with my truly excellent Bocca Di Lupo post and I am writing it now again with significantly less enthusiasm I have to say.
Despite my computer disability Bocca di Lupo deserves to be written up. I wanted to go there so many times already but never managed to get a table. This time however the queue in front of Spuntino was too long, so we moved on to Bocca Di Lupo located in a little Soho side street. After 20 odd minutes that we spent sipping prosecco and people watching we were finally seated at the bar.
I like the atmosphere at Bocca Di Lupo very much. It is stylish and down to earth at the same time, the patrons being a good looking mixed crowd of post-theatre and pre-party diners. From the people at the reception to the waiting staff, everyone was very friendly, attentive and forthcoming.
As the name already promises, Bocca di Lupo serves Italian food. I thought I would know or at least be able to translate most Italian dishes but when looking at the menu I realised that I had still a lot to learn. There were quite a few dishes I had never heard of and had not the faintest idea what they could possibly consist of. Provenance is a big issue as it is also stated in the menu from which Italian region the respective dish originates from,
I do really like the fact that you can order small and large portions of most dishes which makes the food at Bocca di Lupo ideal for sharing (or not sharing for that matter). It is not exactly cheap and some of the dishes (see below) are bordering on seriously overpriced, but there are enough dishes under 10 pounds to choose from that you can get away with a non-bank breaking bill when ordering carefully.
I had no idea what Crescentine, prosciutto sardo & squacquerone (7 small, 14 large) could possible be, so it had to be ordered. The ‘bread’ was reminiscent of fried pizza dough, still warm and very pleasant eaten together with the mild and creamy cheese (squacquerone stems from the Emilia Romagna) and the thinly sliced delicious prosciutto. This is comfort food of the highest standard.
I have to order a dish that promises to be ‘extremely spicy’, in this case the Orecchiette with ‘nduja (extremely spicy home-made salame) red onion & fresh tomato (7.00 small, 14 large). Finally a place in London were you get your pasta served al dente without having to fight for it and send the plate back 3 times! Again the thought of comfort food comes to mind. I have eaten more sophisticated pasta dishes, but this in its earthiness was rath enjoyable. Of note, it was spicy but not extremely so.
For some vitamines we chose the Broad beans, rocket, lemon & mint (7.50). This I really thought was overpriced. Not a bad dish and certainly healthy but slightly tasteless and absolutely not worth 7.50 pounds! Or are broad beans an expensive ingredient?
After so much green there had to be space for dolce . None of the usual suspects on the dessert menu – no tiramisu, no panna cotta and no zabaione. Again a lot of stuff I have never heard of and our choice finally fell on the Palle del nonno (6.50). 2 fried dough balls came filled with a hot chocolate/ricotta mix, faintly tasting of orange and this was unlike everything I have ever eaten before. It was quite nice but I don’t think I would necessarily order it again. In addition,Â 6.50 pounds is just overpriced for this, particularly also considering the presentation (or better lack of any).
In the end I did enjoy my visit at Bocca Di Lupo and I am intrigued to try more of their food. I was considering a green light and I would have given it, but the pricing seems a bit random particularly for dishes that can’t cost very much to make.
- Food: 6/10
- Service: 7/10
- Atmosphere: 8/10
- Value for money: 6/10
- Chances of returning: 20%
- Verdict: In the end it’s an interesting restaurant and good food – IÂ like it but I don’t love it.