Saturday, 13 December 2008



Pimientos de Padron

Jamon de Jabugo

Fried Baby Artichokes

Tuna Tartar
My favourite dish at Barrafina

Razor Clams

Barrafina is ever so expensive, the final bill included not a drop of booze. Say goodbye to your wallet.
But, filtered tap water (both still and sparkling) is free(ish)!



Early dinner with George. Would you believe it, it was packed at 6.30pm on a Tuesday evening.

Heritage tomato salad- gorgeous

Fat juicy scallops- best this year.

King prawns- super expensive but super yummy.

Pimientos de Padron- the majority were actually hot, lovely.

Iberian pork fillet, butternut squash puree and oyster mushroom- sensational.

Jamon and Spinach Tortilla- I'm never ever going to order tortilla again, anywhere! Bland as hell!

George insisted on the honours, best not argue. Thanks G.

Words desert me.
The love of London.

There are very few places that give me greater pleasure to patronise than Barrafina. My daughter and I frequent here at least once a month. This two years old Spanish Tapas Restaurant and Bar is already a full blown institution based in Soho. As a first come first served policy is operated, competition for the 23 stools can be intense, my suggestion to overcome any disappointment is to either turn first thing at 12pm when they open or much later at 2pm. Actually by and large, as the food here is so darn good, queuing is not really the end of the world and in any case the appetite would’ve been further enhanced with the booze consumed whilst queuing.

Two of the reasons why I come here include the freshness of the ingredients used and the uncomplicated nature surrounding the way the dishes are prepped and cooked. Yes of course there are folks out there who vehemently regard Spanish cuisine as unrefined or lacking in sophistication, but at least this sort of food can be eaten everyday without the fear of being overdosed on rich creamy sauces or everything that’s been fried in butter. Additionally any ambience that involves sitting at the bar can only evoke a wonderful sense of informality and feel good factor. Barrafina thrives on its consistency with the excellent Tapas served and of course, the friendly and efficient service.

The two things that instantly draw anyone’s attention when they begin to settle down is the iconic leg of Jamon de Jabugo and the wet fish counter encompassing the glorious catches of the day.

A starter of one of life's simple pleasures, Pimientos de Padron is absolutely mandatory. They are sweet, mild and a hot one hasn’t caught me out yet.

These are the finest Ham Croquetas we’ve sampled in London.

Wondrous Chorizo, Potato with Watercress.

This squid dish was outstanding, the freshness of the fish was beautifully respected by the simple cooking method. No rubbery affair here, just wholesome tenderness.

Costly Mozambique Prawns- and yes the insides of the head was out of this world!

The Chocolate Tart that can turn anyone into a selfish git- it was way too good to share.

Three glorious versions of Turrón- marzipan, praline and hard. All faultless and totally bad for your teeth.

Additional pics shown below from past visits.

This place is not cheap, you’ll
need to budget around £30 a head without wine. Let’s be honest most of the other Tapas eateries in London are pretty much the same when it comes to pricing; trust me, Barrafina and Tierra Brindisa (blog soon) are the only ones worth investigating.

NB Please don’t even mention Barcelona, the weak pound inhibits any aspirations of going there. Besides past reviews in major newspapers have suggested that Barrafina is as good if not better than the Tapas bars found in Spain.

54 Frith Street
London W1D 4SL


kerstin said...

Better than Dehesa?

bellaphon said...

My daughter, George and KC all reckon so. But it's more expensive and the fish dishes are one of the best in the capital. The service at Dehesa is hard to beat though.