London: Barrafina (~)

18 Jul

I wanted to hit at least one Spanish tapas place in London, and decided on Barrafina. They have an egalitarian, no reservations policy so we went early for dinner on a Sunday. Since there was still a queue, we waited at the standing area with our our drinks – Spanish Cava (£4.20/glass) for me, of course. All of Barrafina’s 23 seats are at the counter, which is fine with me as I love bar counter-style dining. Our friendly and charming waiter offered us menu recommendations but my friend and I were probably busy staring into his dreamy deep blue eyes *ahem*.

We started with Pan Con Tomate (£3.80), it’s a must order for me at any tapas place as I use this really basic dish to judge the quality of their produce used. The one here is good – crispy toast and really sweet tomatoes.

Another must order, the Gambas al ajillo (£7.90) here didn’t disappoint either. Shrimps were fresh and I loved the garlicky seasoning.

This was the Octopus with Capers (£8.90) which was really cooked to perfection in terms of texture. The octopus was so tender and nothing like the really tough and rubbery ones that I’ve had elsewhere. The salty and sour capers went really well with it too.

This warm Chickpeas, Spinach and Bacon (£6.70) salad was very comforting and tasty, and I had to try not to drink up the sauce. It’s listed under its meat section of the menu, by the way.

This is probably not a tradition thing to order at a tapas place, but my friend and I were craving for some wings, so we ordered the Chicken Wings with Garlic, Lemon and Chilli (£??). It turned out to be one of the highlights, as the wings were deep-fried and crispy before being tossed and infused in the tangy and addictive flavours.

We ended off with some Clams with White Wine and Olive Oil (Market Price), a really simple but satisfying dish. Though the clams were small, they were really fresh and sweet.

Barrafina served the best tapas that I’ve had in a while, and even better than most of what I had in Barcelona (granted, I may have not eaten at Barcelona extensively). I liked how they used fresh and quality ingredients, treated them with minimum amount of fuss and theatrics and still yielded excellent results. Will definitely be back.

Price: $$-$$$
Location: 54 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SL

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