Walk into Lobos Meat & Tapas and you’ll get a proper Spanish welcome. The maître d’ flung his arms out and literally shouted for joy as he ushered me to a table – and not because he needed the custom. The place was packed. With dark-red walls, low lighting and small plates whizzing out of a frenetic, semi-open kitchen, this new Soho branch of the Borough market original has got atmosphere.
The food is just as seductive. Unsurprisingly, the speciality here is meat (lobos literally translates as ‘wolves’) and the focus is Iberico pig. First up was the zorza: a wonderfully oily, smoky mess of tender pork shoulder and crispy potatoes, topped with a fried egg and served in a small, brown earthenware dish. Even better were the creamy croquetas that followed, made with ham, chorizo and smoked bacon – a grand porky parcel.
The pig-free plates are just as good. Juicy prawns came in an inch of bubbling chilli and garlic oil, perfect for dipping your patatas bravas in. A tip: order the green salad to balance out all those rich, fatty flavours. It might feel a tad boring but you’ll need it after all that oil.
The only low point was some very pushy service, especially after all the love at the door. When asked for a recommendation, my waiter tried to strong-arm me into getting the most expensive plate on the menu – a sirloin for £32. When the rest of the food’s this good, though, you’ll forgive almost anything. Let’s put it down to the wolfish, Mediterranean hustle.