I loved the first Lobos Meat and Tapas, housed in a cramped railway arch in Borough Market. As far as vibes go, that place certainly has them aplenty. I’m not so sure their second restaurant on Frith Street in Soho is quite as buzzy (the second floor dining room does have an open kitchen but the space is quite plain) but the food is outstanding.
We start with padron peppers (Â£5.50), pan con tomate (Â£3.50) and a board of silky soft Iberico Bellota ham (Â£16.95). These three simple dishes are the benchmark for any tapas restaurant – here, all are generously seasoned with salt and olive oil and the quality is top notch.
Croquetas (Â£7) are all crisp and gooey and filled with ham, chorizo and smoked bacon. If you’ve got a thing for croquetas, you’ll love these. Plump and juicy prawns (Â£10.50) come in a bubbling butter sauce with thick slices of crisp garlic and chilli. We burn our fingers de-shelling the buggers but it’s worth it.
The Iberico pork selection (Â£28.50) is a board of mighty fine pig. Slices of bright pink pork fillet and presa are (don’t you hate this term?) melt in the mouth. Strips of ‘secreto’ are firmer with bits of fat that bring loads of flavour. Crushed roasted potatoes topped with a garlic pesto are divine.
Uruguayan picanha (Â£12.90), that’s beef, comes with a huge bone filled with breadcrumbed bone marrow. It’s rich, it’s fatty and it’s rather special.
The food at Lobos was nothing short of outstanding. The chaps who own it, Roberto, Joel, CortÃ©s and Ruben, first met working at tapas stalwart Brindisa and it seems to have stood them in good stead. Let’s hope this is just the beginning…
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant