Lupins, named after the flower, is a new restaurant within the arches of Flat Iron Square in Southwark. It’s the first venture from Lucy Pedder and Natasha Cooke, the pair having met and worked alongside each other while cooking at Medlar in Chelsea.
If you’re unfamiliar with Flat Iron Square, it’s home to a load of street food vendors, small restaurants, bars, a music venue and a Sunday vintage market which really is worth checking out.
Lupins a small space set over two floors. Downstairs there are just a few stools overlooking the kitchen whereas upstairs it’s a tables and chairs set up. On our visit it’s a hot day out but the large open windows create a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.
The menu comprises of “seasonal British small plates with a splash of sunshine”. We start with courgette and ricotta croquettes (£5) which are insanely good. The crunch of the courgettes against the creaminess of the ricotta is a combo most pleasant.
Cornmeal crispy spring onions (£6.50) take saltiness to the top of the scale but they’re totally addictive. The chipotle mayo is a fiery addition. A watermelon and feta salad (£7.50) is a far more refreshing thing – feta and watermelon being another solid combination.
And that’s the beauty of all the dishes we try – the flavours go together in the most pleasing way. Burrata with English asparagus, lardo and mint gremolata (£9) is served warm which gives the cheese an even gooier texture. The ribbons of lardo (pig fat) make it one indulgent plate of food.
Speaking of indulgence: crab thermidor (£9) comes with toast drenched in garlic butter and the pot of both dark and white crab meat is rich and unctuous. Lamb rump with smoked aubergine and broccoli (£12) is a bit more ‘normal’ but no less enjoyable.
A long wait then ensues before getting the roast hake and nduja risotto (£9) but it’s the best dish of the night so we don’t care. It comes topped with shavings of Coolea cheese which disproves my belief of no cheese with fish – it’s bloody lovely.
Desserts are just as exciting. A lemon posset (£6) is topped with curd and shortbread – it’s the sort of pudding you fight over. A dark chocolate mousse (£6), light as anything, has a side of salted caramel and chewy sesame seed bits. It’s a must order.
Having been closed after the awful and tragic events that happened in nearby Borough Market, Lupins reopens today at lunch. The importance of supporting local businesses at times like this has never felt greater. So don’t let anything put you off a visit here, it really is rather brilliant.
Would we go back? Yes.