It’s rare that I immediately look forward to returning to a restaurant in London with so many exciting new openings and old favourites to choose from in our Capital but last week that’s exactly what happened and I now feel compelled to share this exciting new Spanish tapas restaurant with you. Hopefully it won’t become so popular I can never get a table but I suspect it may well happen.
Lobos resides in the shadows beneath a railway arch on Borough High Street with an unassuming entrance which peaks your curiosity and beckons you in. Once inside you are immediately greeted by a bustling restaurant and uplifting soundtrack that helps to quickly dispel any work-related thoughts.
When inside you do feel like you are in the wolf’s lair (lobo meaning wolf in Spanish) as the menu is seriously carnivorous as you would expect from the name. This menu is described by the owners as “focusing on the prime cuts of Iberico pig: Secreto Iberico (‘hidden’ cut between the shoulder and the loin), Presa Iberico (the top shoulder) and Solomillo Iberico (fillet), cooked simply and allowing the quality of the offering to shine through”.
Service here is attentive and fun. I am not sure I have ever described service as ‘fun’ before but the staff all seem to know each other really well and enjoy working together which makes for a very convivial atmosphere. Lobos operates on two floors with a small kitchen upstairs and a bar downstairs and small tables and booths utilising the limited spaces perfectly. The feature my guests admired the most were the neat plate holders hanging from the walls beside the tables, these allow for a small banquet to be served at your table without too much clutter.
Having lived in Spain for a while it is safe to say that the small things like Pan Con Tomate are a good barometer by which to judge a tapas restaurant and Lobos have the best I have tasted in London, a good start, and I couldn’t wait to try the rest of the menu. We also shared other classic small plates of Manchego & Quince (£7.50), Padrones Peppers (£5.50), Octopus in Vinegar (£5.50) and notably the Croquettas of Ham, Chorizo and Smoked Bacon (£7.00) that were as good as any I have tasted in Madrid.
The meat we were advised is rather conveniently sourced fresh and daily from the nearby Borough Market, we shared Chuleton Sirloin Steak (£30.00) and Iberico Pork Selection (£26.50) as you can see from images below these are beautifully cooked, perfectly rare in the middle with just the right balance of char from the grill. Our dear friend Mr Foie makes an appearance and who can resist a slice of entière as a wobbly lid to a Rib Eye. Not I! Especially cut so generously for such a respectable price (£14.95).
We did also try a Double Chocolate and Pistachio Cake (£5) from the menu however by this time the full bodied Uruguayan red wine we had been recommended (£30) had begun to erase my memory. I’m quite sure it was very good!
My advice is to book a table with a few close friends after work before the restaurant becomes too busy.
Cost of meal with 1 bottle of Wine and a glass of Cava:
£35 per person
8 out of 10 – hard to give Tapas a 10 rating but difficult to find better in London
10 out of 10 – best atmosphere GT has encountered in 2015
9 out of 10 – fun, friendly and fast
9 out of 10 – already looking forward to returning. Sod it, I’m going tonight!
Summary in seven:
GT’s new favourite Spanish restaurant in London
14 Borough High St, London, SE1 9QG
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12pm to 3:30pm and 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Tel: 020 7407 5361