Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonSohoW1

survey result

Summary

“Paradise for Italian food lovers” – Jacob Kenedy’s “easygoing” yet “well-run” and immensely popular operation, a short walk from Piccadilly CIrcus, is one of the most culinarily interesting destinations in town (especially of the “reasonably priced” variety). “It’s not just your standard Italian trat fayre, yet neither is it merely über-trendy small plates”. Instead, an “unrivalled selection of vigorous and distinctive dishes are labelled by region and available in two sizes” (tapas-style or ‘main’). “Dishes are from all over Italy, change regularly” and “are often unusual (for example fried calf’s foot)”. There’s also “a terrific Italian wine list (available by the carafe), with knowledgeable advice available at all price levels”. “Go early if possible, as it can get too buzzy” and “vibrant” and “is quite packed-in” (although most reporters feel that “the food justifies any lack of comfort”). “Sit at the counter for a bird’s-eye-view of the chefs” (although these perches in particular can feel “high, cramped and noisy”). “I think I have eaten over 75 times at Bocca and the food and team there remain at the top of their game – the food is always different and amazingly authentic to its origins”. Top Menu Tip: “great puddings including the signature sanguinaccio (blood, pistachio, chocolate)”.

£62
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Unexpected, distinctive regional dishes” and staff who are “knowledgeable” and “brilliantly friendly” continue to win a major thumbs up for Jacob Kenedy’s “energetic” Italian, near Piccadilly Circus. “Noise is a big issue here – it can be hard to hold a conversation”. And the “stimulating” setting can feel too “crowded”, both in the rear section and at the front counter (which is “hated” by a few, but for most reporters “a favourite place, where you can watch the chefs and see what other people are eating”). “There are two very wise policies – all options come in half/main portions, and many of the interesting wines are available by the glass or in 500cc pichets”.

£62
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Discover what REAL Italian food is all about” at Jacob Kennedy and Victor Hugo’s “buzzing and exciting” venue, a short walk from Piccadilly Circus: its “inventive” tapas-style plates – an ever-changing selection “from the remotest corners of Italy” – are “unbelievably good” and backed up by a “gorgeous” wine list “full of regional gems”. Sitting it at the bar, “watching the skill and intensity of the chefs” is a favourite perch.

£59
   ££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Phenomenal” Italian tapas – “really unusual” dishes from all over the country, including lots of game and offal – help inspire mass adulation for Jacob Kenedy and Victor Hugo’s “wildly popular” venture, near Piccadilly Circus. It has a “wonderful”, “casual” atmosphere too – if an “incredibly noisy” one – with many reports tipping the bar-side perches as the best seats in the house. Desserts are “particularly original” too (or “skip pud, and go to Gelupo, their ‘sister’ ice cream shop opposite”). See also Vico.

£58
   ££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

For 28 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Bocca di Lupo?

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions, Entertainments
32
60

Bocca di Lupo Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Bocca di Lupo Restaurant in W1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Bocca di Lupo restaurant.
finian k
Post theatre dinner. Great food if not quit...
Reviewed 2 months, 16 days ago

"Post theatre dinner. Great food if not quite as delicious as it was in the early days. "

Report this comment
Have you eaten at Bocca di Lupo?
Post your own review of Bocca di Lupo and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review

Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£8.00 £16.50 £7.00 £8.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £24.00
Filter Coffee £3.50
Extras  
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Bocca di Lupo W1

Near Piccadilly Circus, a versatile and attractive Italian restaurant that's one of the best openings of the year to-date; its ex-Moro team serves up unusual and accomplished Italian dishes, and the wine list is notable too.


Some restaurants - like Buddha Bar, or Bob Bob Ricard - burst onto the London stage after months of warm-up PR. It's always a struggle for the reality to match the build-up. Other restaurants - like Bocca di Lupo - sort of creep out when you're not looking. Unanticipated, their arrival seems all the more interesting.


Interesting, the location of this Soho newcomer is not. Despite being only a stone's throw from Piccadilly Circus, it's in a street so boring it looks like an alleyway that's grown too big for its boots. In such an unpromising setting, its smart exterior seems all the more chic.


The interior is also promising. A long, Carrara marble bar flanks the room providing separation from a shiny and bustling open kitchen. At the back, there's a more formal dining section, dominated by a huge, vaguely retro, circular light fitting. It's where we sat, but it's probably the part of the room which 'works' least well.


At lunch, they do an appealing short menu of 'one-dish meals' for £7-£11. Grandly, though, we went for the à la carte, which features dishes from across Italy labelled by region. Sampling is made easy by the fact that all plates come in a choice of small and large sizes. There is also a long, well-priced and intelligently constructed wine list.


Whoosh! The fireworks started to go off when our initial, quite brilliant dishes arrived. The first was a bone marrow, barolo and radiccio risotto. Boy was it good: meaty yet light; rich but fresh-tasting. The second was a pork and foie gras saugage with a buckwheat accompaniment. The sausage had a magnificently rustic, farmyardy quality, quite out of place in a trendy Soho gaff.


Best of the rest was the Fritto Romano, combining deftly fried artichoke and excellent veal sweetbreads. Least good, oddly, was the pasta - tortelli of ricota with burnt (by design!) walnut pesto - where the individual components of the dish resolutely refused to add anything to one another.


How could you refuse a pudding of pig's blood and chocolate paté? It may sound vile, but the reality was just an offbeat chocolate pot that was - all things considered - hard to separate from every other gooey chocolatey pudding you've ever had before. It was, though, served with more of their bread, which we've neglected to mention is terrific. Coffee to follow was a bit dull, but enlivened by little chocolate beans from a famous Roman café.


The team in the Kitchen - Jacob Kenedy and David Cook - were until recently at that perennial favourite, Moro. Their pedigree really shines through in this new venture which is one of the more significant debuts of the year-to-date.


See the Review
12 Archer St, London, W1D 7BB
Make A Booking
Number of Diners:
Required Time:
Powered by OpenTable
Opening hours
Monday12 pm-3 pm, 5 pm-11 pm
Tuesday12 pm-3 pm, 5 pm-11 pm
Wednesday12 pm-3 pm, 5 pm-11 pm
Thursday12 pm-3 pm, 5 pm-11 pm
Friday12 pm-3 pm, 5 pm-11 pm
Saturday12 pm-3 pm, 5 pm-11 pm
Sunday12 pm-3:30 pm, 5 pm-9:30 pm

Best Italian restaurants nearby

Mele e Pere
Italian restaurant in Soho
£50
   ££
3
Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
San Carlo Cicchetti
Italian restaurant in Piccadilly
£50
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
Princi
Italian restaurant in Soho
£35
    £
3
Good
2
Average
2
Average

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Randall & Aubin
Fish & seafood restaurant in Soho
£58
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
Rainforest Café
Burgers, etc restaurant in Soho
£58
   ££
1
Poor
3
Good
3
Good
The Duck & Rice
Chinese restaurant in Soho
£58
   ££
3
Good
2
Average
4
Very Good