With the indisputable popularity of Borough-based Spanish eatery Lobos Meat & Tapas – known for its dedication to serving up the finest (and lesser known) cuts of Iberico pig – expectations have been high for the newly opened sister restaurant Lobos Soho. Tucked into a townhouse on buzzing Frith Street, this new tapas joint brings not only their favourite cuts of Spanish meat, but also the best and freshest British meat and seafood together in tapas plates that accentuate their quality and flavour.
Of course, it’s more than the quality of ingredients that defines an eatery’s success; the people behind the restaurant are also key. And it seems here at Lobos Soho, the passion of each member of the team truly does make the restaurant’s food and dining experience what it is.
From the staff’s knowledge of Spanish fare comes a menu encompassing carefully selected ingredients from producers across Spain, such as the chorizo that’s sourced from the head chef’s hometown, and wine labels you don’t often see on the menus of London’s dining scene. Fresh British meat comes from lauded Borough Market supplier Ginger Pig, and succulent seafood is provided by the equally respected Wright Brothers.
Of the tapas and bigger plates on offer, the prawn croquettes are recommended first, and thankfully so, with tender shellfish in a rich béchamel sauce, encased in a light, crisp and golden outer shell. These croquettes are then followed by the one Uruguayan dish on the menu, the short rib; easily falling away from the bone, this tender meat takes on the heady flavour of the tomatoes and Andalusian sherry it’s braised in.
But the dish that stood out most was the larger, enough-for-two, Lobster and Chicken Pot. Sumptuously tender lobster meat lies alongside braised chicken and baby potatoes in a buttery, nutty and garlic-infused seafood sauce, in which the lobster meat that’s prised from the shell is best paired with the silky, soft and sea-salty meat found in each claw.
And I’m not the only one savouring each bite; when you overhear a woman on the neighbouring table saying, “This is my dish of the year,” you know the food is going down well. The wine list consists mostly of Spanish wines (with a few Uruguayan labels), cava, and a handful of classic cocktails.
The wait-staff, meanwhile, reflect the ethos of Lobos Soho: laidback, convivial and passionate about good food, with just a little swagger. The interior is snug, which accentuates its warmth and buzzy vibe. And in the upstairs space, wooden furnishings fill a rich red and warm grey interior, with metallic accents, wine racks and low hanging light fittings to add a little extra style. An open kitchen brings the sizzling of seafood and meat into the dining space, as the chefs prepare each plate and flames leap up from the grill, with townhouse windows affording a view over vibrant Frith Street.
Another reason to be excited about Lobos Soho is the brand new – ready to go, but yet to be opened at the time of the review – cocktail bar. By descending the stairs past the main counter, guests can step into an intimate, low-lit and stylishly wooden-clad bar serving a tightly curated list of cocktails. Offering exemplary Spanish tapas and full-bodied wine, followed by a punchy drink or two in the bar, Lobos Soho is certainly on track to meeting the high expectations of London’s foodies and any fans of their Borough-based eatery.
Words by Lauren Hill