Address: 57 Loampit Hill, London SE13 7SZ
L’Oculto is a small tapas bar in Brockley and they do what I consider to be the best tapas in London. I am a huge tapas fan and while you do get Spanish style tapas bars here, the ones I have been to have mostly been mediocre (with a couple of exceptions). Not so with L’Oculto, they get everything absolutely perfect.
I’ll start with the wine. The owner, a lovely Galician lady called Fran told us all about it. They travel around small wineries in Northern Spain and only buy wine produced in small batches. So no mass produced plonk here, even still, the wine is excellent value for the quality you are getting.
The quality of the produce used is second to none. From the fresh Boquerones (Anchovies) which taste like they jumped straight out of the ocean and into the larder, to the cured meats and cheeses sourced from quality producers, everything comes together beautifully. Even the freshly baked bread was bursting with flavour and it was so good that I bought a loaf to take home for breakfast! My favourite dish was the octopus which was cooked to perfection, which should be easy but so many restaurants seem to get wrong.
The building itself adds to the experience, the shop front still bares the signage from the chemist that was there before (hence the name L’Oculto: the hidden one) and the restaurant space itself is intimate and cozy. With approximately 40 covers, there are a number of smaller tables in the front and a larger table at the back for groups, or to be shared. The kitchen itself is tiny. And I mean tiny! How they produce so much quality food is truly remarkable.
The service was impeccable, the staff were very knowledgeable about the produce and also friendly and accommodating.
Price-wise it is not the cheapest restaurant in South East London, we have been a couple of times and both times the bill came to somewhere north of £50 a head including drinks. Taking into account the quality of everything in this restaurant though, I think it is very good value, just not necessarily cheap.
Whether it’s a romantic date night, or a dinner with family and friends L’Oculto is perfect for any celebration.