Emyr Thomas visits Garufin, a new Argentine restaurant in London’s Holborn neighbourhood.
In an almost hidden location on Lamb’s Conduit Passage (not to be confused with Lamb’s Conduit Street or the incorrect placement on Google Maps), Garufin is a take on Argentina’s relaxed neighbourhood restaurants and bars.
Garufin is the latest restaurant from the owners of established Islington restaurant Garufa.
Split over two levels, the ground features a café-bar that does not take reservations, with a design of exposed brickwork and black and white tiled floor, with a menu of small plates of regional Argentine specialities.
A bottle-lined staircase leads to the main restaurant, which although more formal, is still rather casual in design and feel, with a nice touch of rediscovered vaults that have been converted into wine cellars.
We started with several portions of Mandioca (crispy fried yam with spicy ketchup), which was an excellent snack to start the evening. From the rest of the menu, highlights on our visit included Humita (grated creamed sweet corn and basil oil), Codorniz Adobada (slow cooked potted quail and potatoes) and the Lomo from the grill (prime Argentine fillet steak).
The wine list is, as you might expect, exclusively Argentinian, with wines listed by region, from Mendoza to Patagonia, Salta, San Juan and La Rioja, with plenty of varieties of Malbec to satisfy my cravings.
On our visit, the restaurant was barely half full, and it lacked the warmth and energy that a restaurant like Garufin needs – hopefully this review will make you want to visit and fill the restaurant with the energy and life that it deserves. For a taste of Argentina in Central London, you’ll feel right at home at Garufin.
Address: 8b Lambs Conduit Passage, Holborn, WC1R 4RH
Phone: 020 7430 9073