One of my mates at work came up to me the other day and wanted to know if I’d been to Lupino (it’s just a short walk down from the office). He said he ‘fluked’ booking a good restaurant when he recently took his parents out to dinner and they all had an exceptionally good meal; pizza, pasta… not to mention the desserts.
I went with my drinking parter L, and because we rocked up without a booking we were seated up at the bar, where we could watch the chefs work their magic with some pasta.
I don’t know about you, but it feels like a long time since there has been somewhere (relatively) new that hasn’t been Asian-fusion, or tapas (well, now it’s all about Mexican). But what about if you’re on a date, for instance, and the criteria for dinner is somewhat different? Somewhere where you can talk, the food is delicious, you don’t have to share (I mean, that is, if you don’t want to!) and you’re able to please all culinary preferences. Lupino fits the bill entirely and it even has the most sensuous desserts. (Even the bread is delicious, hot and thick!)
We ordered the caprese salad and grilled peaches to start. I couldn’t help but notice the plump peaches being prepared as we sidled up to the bar, so I had to go for that dish – warm grilled peaches with prosciutto and goat’s cheese, drizzled with balsamic. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
For mains, we couldn’t resist ordering pizza (a good Italian pizza is worth its weight in gold, or in this case, crust), so I went for the prosciutto ($20) and couldn’t have been happier. The picture is awful, it really doesn’t capture the thin-cut slices of prosciutto with the perfect home-made stone-oven-tasting melt-in-your-mouth crust.
L opted for the healthy option and went with the fish of the day. My taste of it was buttery, soft, with a crispy and slightly salty skin, atop a tomato salad.
We were stuffed full (we managed to polish off a bottle of wine without hesitation, on top of our ealier drinks) and even while we were basking in the glory of our meal, we decided there was still some room for dessert. Enter the most glorious dish (which I personally felt, at the time, had been created just for me) – Pannacotta with averna jelly and honeycomb bits. I don’t know why I insisted on sharing, I could’ve done with this one all to myself! It was so soft and creamy, with the tang of the averna (one of my favourite drinks) and the crunch from the honeycomb.
In all, an absolute pleasure to dine in. We were looked after very well by the maitre’d and ended up getting a spot at a table after the entrees were served (apologies for the darker photos, the table we sat at was rather dark.) – it was busy, but thinning out when we left at around 10pm.
Value for money: 7/10
Score (food is weighted double): 86%
Edit: Okay, so I tried to book a table for my parents a couple of week after I came here and wasn’t able to get a booking for that night. Usually this wouldn’t bother me, but I thought it worth mentioning that the fellow on the phone (who referred to it as ‘MY restaurant’) was extremely rude about it and had the nerve to laugh in my face that I would even try to book on a Friday morning for that evening. Well, sorry! I’ll take my custom elsewhere next time – there’s nothing more off putting than being treated like an idiot before I even walk in the door.