Expensive. Small plates. Good if you're loaded and you don't care if you have to spend £100 on four slices of ham and a glass of wine. If not, you'll be underwhelmed.
Bocca di Lupo
Bocca di Lupo
Michael Franke / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Aug 9 2012
The buzz is as important as the food at Jacob Kenedy and Victor Hugo’s enduringly popular Soho restaurant. Dine at the bar and you’re in for a fun night, or afternoon – especially if you’re by the window. It’s the perfect perch from which to watch favourite actresses swan into the clamorous and less atmospheric rear dining room. The menu is a slightly confusing mix of small and large plates to share and, amid the noise, it can be unclear what you think you’ve ordered and at what point it might arrive. Staff reassuringly affirm, ‘It’s sooo good,’ to virtually everything you suggest – and sometimes they’re right. We have fond memories of buttery brown shrimp on soft, silky white polenta (the Venetian preference), and a deep-fried mix of calamari, soft-shell crab and lemon. The radish, celeriac, pomegranate and pecorino salad with truffle dressing is a much-imitated Bocca di Lupo signature – far better, we found, than the spartan raw fennel salad. The brioche in our gelati dessert was also too dry to thrill, irrespective of the quality of the own-made ices. To drink, there’s an enticing selection of cocktails and an impressive all-Italian wine list, but it isn’t as fairly priced as the hype suggests.
Bocca di Lupo 12 Archer Street
- Venue phone:
020 7734 2223
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served 12.15-2.45pm Mon-Sat; 12.15-3.15pm Sun. Dinner served 5.15-11pm Mon-Sat; 5-9.30pm Sun
Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube
Main courses £7-£32
Bocca di Lupo
- 12 Archer Street
- 020 7734 2223
- 12 Archer Street
- Bocca di Lupo
Average User Rating
3.5 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
I love the fact that you can see them cooking in front of you, great Italian food, sort of like tapas!
Think we got the last table last Sunday but sitting at the "Chefs counter" was really an experience. Not only were we served fantastic food, one dish more voluptuous than the other. Oh, did I mention absolutely wicked cocktails to start with. We were also served something of a show from the kitchen. I don't think I have ever heard that many "Yes, chefs!" before, not even on Gordon Ramsey's programs. Service was excellent, we could have made a "this is the way you should treat your costumers" video that evening as EVERYBODY in the staff did a great job in making us feel pampered and well looked after. We did end the evening a cross the street at Gelupo where they were also very friendly but the Gelato was a bit too main stream. Never the less, we had a great evening and can really recommend an evening at Bocca di lupo. We did have a full evening dinner with cocktails and several courses plus a great bottle of wine and the bill was quite reasonable.
Sat at the bar on Saturday afternoon and it was fantastic. Staff friendly, attentive & helpful and the food was simply wonderful. The scallops in butter and thyme + Sheeps Ricotta Tortellini with walnut pesto were my favourites. Can't wait to go back Can't wait to go back.
I have to admit the food was spectacular. However, a very average level of service from staff and horrendously rude attitude from the maitre d... ruined an otherwise lovely evening. Not sure I'd bother going back, as plenty of other places in London where the service matches up to the quality of the food.
Great food terrible service. Sat for dinner was then told they needed their table back because we d been there more than two hours having ordered a hefty amount. Unpleasant management who appear more concerned with turning tables than service
Food lovely, imaginative, creative Italian Cuisine. However service was appalling, no warmth friendliness, proclaimed at the end of the night how exhausted he was. Had run out of several ingredients, no apologies. Coffee machine broken, no offer of an alternative - great food, ruined by dreadful service
This is the first time I write a restaurant review and feel compelled to say that my experience at Bocca di Lupo was very very poor. Having booked a table for 21:30, my wife and i duly arrived and were told that our table wasn't ready. While I understand that table handovers don't always run smoothly, we were told that we could not wait in the restaurant and had to go away and come back in 15 - 20 min... we were told there was "a bar across the road". After coming back, we were "allowed" to wait in the restaurant for another 20 - 25 min and conspicuously ignored by the space cadet of a maitre d'... Food nice, deplorable service. Don't recommend going through the hassle, there are plenty more good italian restaurants in town...
I've dropped in twice in the past two months (the last being yesterday) without reservations; the trick is to go very early or quite late. Staff are very courteous and attentive, but a waiter was so aggressive (in an oddly polite way) with pushing the drinks! Bocca, this makes you look desperate and into fleecing customers, please stop him. Food is fantastic, and the fresh menus make it fun to come back. Salads are fresh, flavourful and piled high; pastas are definitely home-made. They triumph at pillowy gnudi in ragout, their pumpkin tortelloni generously buttered and scattered w rustic breadcrumbs. This place makes Italian food really sparkle, and while The prices tend to the ritzier side, it's important that I as a customer felt that it was so worth it.
I can't believe the review by "Pau"l below - can only imagine it's a rival restaurant trying to destroy a reputation. Bocca di Lupo is bloody marvellous. Accusations of tinned or somehow not fresh food served are ludicrous. Everything I've ever eaten there has been spectacular. Go!
Totally agree with TO review. Great staff, fantastic food, buzzing atmosphere. The crab linguine was delicious, and the guy next to me was raving about his courgette flowers. We turned up at door and just had to wait 20 mins for a seat at the bar (the best place to sit). Loved watching the kitchen in action. Ignore all the moaners below – I'm with Frank! this is a great place to eat and I've recommended it to loads of people.