You still can’t believe it, but a year ago last Sunday Mrs Del Monte bowed to the inevitable and got married all over me. It was a brief but touching ceremony following her family tradition of punching all eligible women of our mutual acquaintance in the face. I thought that holding a roll of pennies was a little much, but it was her special day, so what are you going to do? Being the die-hard romantic I am, I marked the day with profound jetlag and some Sainsbury’s chicken goujons which I thoughtfully allowed Mrs Del Monte to prepare. Ladies I reiterate again: you had your chance.
But I tend to go overboard on special occasions, so later that week I took Mrs Del Monte to Lola & Simón (http://www.lolaandsimon.co.uk/) a New Zealand/Argentinian restaurant. For the purposes of the blog I’m designating this place New Zealand as (a) London is awash with Argentinian restaurants (they at least have one successful invasion of British territory to their name!) and (2) New Zealand restaurants seem thin on the ground over here. Disagree? Send me £10 to demonstrate your ire! (Address: Lexdrum House, King Charles Business Park, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6UT c/o Mrs N. Farage).
I’m not going to lie to you: You’ve put on weight. Also, most of the menu items seemed more Argentinian than Kiwi. Though Empanada is Maori for “I keep thinking it’s Thursday.” But there are NZ green lipped mussels, NZ lamb and some exciting looking NZ wines. They’re missing a massive trick by ignoring New Zealand’s rich heritage. Who wouldn’t devour a Hobbit burger? I had the lamb special, which was tender, cooked to perfection and arrived in short order, accompanied by a tall, cool glass of Kim Crawford pinot noir. Mrs Del Monte was feeling a bit peaky so had some water and adoringly watched me eat. 8 more like her and I’d have a fellowship that could best anything Sauron can throw at me.
£26 for me. But the main courses are so reasonably priced I shall be going back to explore the menu more thoroughly. In addition, it has one of the most enticing ambiences I’ve come across for a while. Max points for decor, music and lighting.
NEW ZEALAND! AOTEAROA!
Lola & Simón
278 King Street
Tel: 0208 563 0300