Location: 325 Brockley Road, Brockley, London SE4 2QZ
Our first restaurant to review for the blog was the original L’Oculto on Loampit Hill and we gave it top marks for everything. The new L’Oculto Cocina is bigger, beautifully designed, nicely lit, and located in the centre of Brockley. It feels like more of a professional restaurant when compared to the original, but unfortunately this means that it doesn’t have as much charm. The only issue was that it was quite hot inside, I feel like the air conditioning wasn’t working the night we visited.
As expected, the food was fantastic. The quality artisan ingredients were fresh and delicious, from the boquerones (anchovies) to the cured ham. We had some beautiful prawns the size of my fist and the cuttlefish fideuà (Spanish noodles) was unexpectedly delicious. They do a mean tortilla too which is too good to be missed!
As with the original restaurant, they source all of their natural, organic & biodynamic wine from small batch producers in northern Spain and the bottles of Rioja and Gallician White we had were very tasty. They also have a great selection of cocktails.
Despite the fact that the food was so good, I feel like L’Oculto has been a victim of its own success. As the restaurant has become more renowned, they have raised their prices accordingly and I don’t think it offers good value for money any more. We paid £75 a head for 4 people and while the food is delicious, I don’t feel it merits such a hefty price tag, especially in a location like Brockley where the rents are much lower than central London. (We paid about £55 a head on our previous visit several months ago for pretty much the same meal)
Saying all of that, it is a lovely restaurant and as long as you are prepared to pay the high price, it is definitely worth a visit.