London: Bocca Di Lupo

19 Jul

I’m not a fan of Italian food as you can see from my lack of posts on Italian restaurants, but since Bocca Di Lupo specialises in regional Italian cuisine (dishes from the various regions of Italy) and serves them in small plates format – it’s a concept that I simply could not resist.

We had a late reservation (at about 930pm?) which I think was the only way we actually scored a last minute reservation as Bocca Di Lupo is insanely popular. We were seated at the end of the counter where we had a view of not just the chefs plating our food, but also of all the dishes that were going to be served. It’s not exactly the best seat as we just kept pointing to our waitress, saying “I want that one too” because everything looked so appetising.

The Complimentary Green Olives from Puglia were so huge and sweet, I couldn’t believe I was eating an olive. Does anyone know what kind of olive is this?

We started with the Shaved Radish & Celeriac Salad with Pomegranates, Pecorino Romano & Truffle Oil (£7.00). It was a lot of freshness and explosive flavours on one small plate that went surprisingly well together despite the seemingly diverse flavours.

My friend and I are both not fans of sweetbreads so on hindsight I don’t know why we ordered the Deep fried Artichoke and Sweetbreads (£??). The artichoke was lovely but we both just poked around the sweetbreads for a bit. It tasted extremely rich and foie gras-ish to me, but I’m just not a big fan even though I like foie gras. It’s probably more advisable to share this dish amongst more than 2 people.

After the sweetbreads, the Rustic Pork & Foie Gras Sausage with Farro & Porcini Mushrooms (£??) almost felt healthy. The sausage was really good in a rustic, homemade kind of way and the taste of the foie gras really came through. The farro (which tastes like barley) and mushroom “risotto” was so delicious, I had to stop myself from eating too much it since we had a few more dishes to go!

The Squid Ink Risotto with Squid (£??) was a much bigger serving that expected, given that it was the “small” portion. But as expected, this simple and familiar dish was also well executed by Bocca Di Lupo – the squid ink flavour was robust, and the squid was fresh and well cooked.

I need to apologise for the very out of focus picture, but the Grilled Girolles with Parsley (£??) were too good not to put a picture to it. I’ve never had girolles (a kind of mushroom, also known as golden chanterelles) before and they were so succulent and rich in flavour.

By now you would have probably realised that we majorly over-ordered, since we were only a party of 2 girls. This was the last dish of Deep Fried squid, red prawns & lemon (£9.00). Nothing too surprising here, but the seafood was fresh and I felt the deep fried lemon was an interesting touch. It was like a really sour potato chip, if you’re wondering.

We also really wanted to order the signature Roast Suckling Pig with Grapes and the Seam Bream Baked In Rock Salt but didn’t as those dishes were only available in the large format and that would mean that we wouldn’t be able to try more items on the menu. Nevertheless, it was an amazing meal and an interesting experience as I got to try the lesser known dishes from the different regions of Italy that I would have never known about. So I totally get the hype.

Price: $$$
Location: 12 Archer Street, London, W1D 7BB

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