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|Address:||12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB|
|Tel:||020 7734 2223|
|Price: £50.00||Wine: £21.75||Champagne: £57.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12.15-3pm (Sun -3.30pm) 5.30pm-11pm (Sun -9.30pm)|
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I got a table for 8pm on a Saturday night for 4 at Bocca di Lupo from a friend who had double-booked herself so my visit came with few expectations and no reservation hassle. Her loss was definitely my gain. We were seated (ahead of time!) at a table sandwiched between a birthday party and a deal-closing dinner and whilst the noise levels stayed just the right side of hyper the harsh acoustics could easily turn buzzy into shouty so it's not the place for a quiet dinner a deux. The menu is unusual, engaging, adventurous. Whilst a few dishes miss, when they do hit the spot, they absolutely nail it. We started by sharing (urgh yes, sharing again, you can't escape that bandwagon anywhere these days so give in gracefully) some gorgeous deep-fried mozzarella balls and minced pork balls, fried artichoke, some salames which were unpleasantly more fat than meat and some delicately fried squid (heaven help our arteries). Then my main dish came and blew everything else out of the water: an amazingly juicy big fat hunk of roast suckling pig with crispy crunchy skin. It was so good I wanted others to taste it so I didn't complain when I had to swap halfway through for my fiance's teal which was exactly as our waiter described: intensely flavoursome game but just a few mouthfuls on it. We also had sides of turnip tops which I'd never tried before (delicious but with a bitter edge), as well as more mainstream roast potatoes and roast pumpkin. Our friends' pastas seemed a bit dull in comparison. Service was straightforward and professional from the receptionist to the sommelier and the army of waiters. At £60 a head it was reasonable value for such conversation-worthy food (plus a carafe of white and soft drinks) in a fun but grown-up venue. We didn't stay for desserts (babysitting issues rather than overstaying our welcome!) which is a shame but I'm not sure I'd come back: I don't want to run the risk of it disappointing next time!