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Restaurant Review – Bocca di Luppo in Soho

You know you are probably getting past it when one of your work colleagues proudly presents you with a set of brownies with “you r old” written in candles across them. Well I am and to ensure that the day after my 30th was suitably painful I put considerable effort in at Bistroteque getting drunk that night.  The relevance of this to my meal at Bocca di Lupo is that it rendered a meal I had been looking forward to into a dangerzone of nausea, depression, sweats and headaches. I am an idiot.

We made our way to our table and were given what was one of the most interesting menus I have read for a while.  For a Saturday lunch you could either get a bigger one plate dish or pick from the normal menu and get a series of smaller dishes.  We talked through the menu with the friendly and knowledgeable waitress and were educated on some Italian dishes we hadn’t had before.

Given the state of my hungover nausea at this time I elected to choose multiple small dishes.  We were then given a selection of excellent Italian bread and a pungent extra virgin olive oil to dip them in.  Even on a stomach deeply resistant to food at this stage it was irresistible. 

Then came my salad, a radish, pecorino and celeriac salad with a truffle oil coating.  Fantastic.  Great texture, interesting combination.  Though the truffle oil necessitated me going to wander around the block twice before I came back. Next my favourite Italian dish – pasta.  Even since some early visits to Italy as a child I have been in awe of fresh Italian pasta.  Bocca di Lupo are London masters of this and present you with mini Italian works of art sauced just so.
Up until this point I had just about managed but the richness of the food meant I had to leave. If I had stayed and worked my way through some of the soups, grilled meats and fish and elevated myself to heaven with the deserts I am sure it would have been one of my meals of the year. However, I am an idiot so I ruined it for myself. My parents later called to tell me that the rest was fantastic and I really missed out. Especially the deserts.
I will be back.  I think sitting at the bar on a late night for a desert with a nice glass of wine could also be particularly enjoyable.
  • Price – £ a can of coke and two ibuprofen
  • 12 Archer Street London W1D 7BB


  1. Mr Noodles

    Happy 30th ! What was the wine list like ? Only kidding – at least you've got an excuse to return.

  2. Lizzie

    Whoops! Poor you. After a particularly sweaty, shaky and painful dinner on New Year's Day i vowed never to agree to meet my parents for a meal if there was any chance I'd be getting drunk the night before.

    Sounds like you celebrated turning 30 in a suitable fashion!

  3. London Chow

    Happy 30th Tom! It's difficult to go wrong with a pasta, isn't it? That's even though I rarely venture beyond seafood mariana and cabonara. The brownies look great though, did you manage to finish them at one go?!

  4. Tom

    Mr Noodles – unfortunately all I managed was a can of coca cola. Not generally recommended as the best accompaniment to a serious Italian meal *the shame*. But yes, I will be back.

    Lizzie – was fun. I suppose I had to hit all the stereotypes of being 30. A massive freak out. Getting far too drunk.

    London Chow – a proper Italian pasta is a thing of true beauty. The brownies were specially done from Taylor Street Baristas by Liverpool Street and were the densest things I have ever eaten. I nearly died after the first one… My other colleagues polished them off though.

  5. The London Foodie

    Happy birthday! Pleased you enjoyed your meal there, I didn't rate it too highly when I visited last year although the salad was one of the best dishes, it was actually very good. I hope you enjoy Cucina Cinzia in March!

  6. The Grubworm

    Happy Birthday – i remember that one well (which is surely wrong). Sorry to hear about the hangover – although it's testament to Bocca di Lupo's food that you were able to appreciate what you did eat even with a hellish hangover in full swing. Sounds like a fine place to eat though and I'll be interested to read about it when you do go back. And I'm totally with you on the whole Italian-pasta-as-a-thing-of-beauty thing.

  7. LondonRob

    Tom – I love reading your posts and I really felt for you, battling through the hangover and determined to enjoy the wonderful Bocca di Luppo. Happy birthday man.

  8. Tom

    Luiz – thanks very much. Interested to hear you didn't enjoy a full meal there. On the evidence of what I had I was more than impressed. Really interested to try Cucina Cinzia in March and hoping they will also do some amazing pasta.

    Grubworm – unfortunately there are some photos floating around so I am being forced to confront some of my memories. I will definitely be going back.

    LondonRob – thanks and I can't wait to go back. I think a couple of bottles of Italian red could elevate it to "the" unbeatable Italian restaurant in London for me (L'Anima being my present favourite)

  9. Fernandez & Leluu

    Tom – Happy Birthday – so slack of us not to call you on the actual day! You are brilliant! Love your writing as always and look forward to every post.
    Hope you will eat your way through all that is good and brilliant.

    Uyen & Simon xxx
    PS You still booked in for your birthday do – In April when you're 30 and 2 months?

  10. Tom

    Uyen – haha. i was trying to keep it secret. I am not the biggest fan of birthdays and of course my proper party is at yours on the 10th April. Jen and I are both good for that.

    PS she is even more secretive than me and it was hers the week before : )

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