At Lupins, a seasonal British small plates restaurant just outside SE1’s Flat Iron Square, each dish that comes is just as stunning at the last. Of the three ‘snacks’, five main dishes and two desserts I tried, every single one was outstanding. Not a single weak link. All Lennon, zero Ringo.
Roast hake with ’nduja risotto was packed with a subtle but invigorating heat. Lamb rump with smoked aubergine was deeply comforting, the meat edged with a soft seam of fat and a crisp rind. The earthy smoke of chipotle roast pigeon breast worked beautifully with blackened baby gem and chilli yoghurt. A chocolate mousse was a total misnomer – lacking any sort of airy lightness, it was more like a thick ganache, but all the better for it. Dark, rich and sprinkled with black sesame honeycomb, it’s the sort of dish that’d make Gregg Wallace salivate like a famished basset hound; a decadent conclusion to a flawless meal.
The quality of the cooking at Lupins is even more astonishing once you’ve seen the space in which it’s prepared; that a kitchen no bigger than you’d find in the average Londoner’s flat should be turning out such fantastic flavours is little short of sorcery. I paused for a full minute on my way out to check dishes weren’t being posted through a secret hatch from some sort of gleaming super-kitchen around the corner, right under the noses of the diners at the bar. When I inevitably return, I’ll pull up a stool, just to double check.