What else can be said about Barrafina except for this: make haste and go there – it serves probably the best tapas I have ever eaten, even better than in Spain itself. You can’t book, but don’t fear the queues – just order a sherry and some nibbles while you wait, and the charming Spanish staff will sit you down at the marble countertop bar for the feast of your life…
Please note – the below wasn’t consumed in one sitting… I would have had to have been winched out of the restaurant, carried out Tudor-style in some kind of sedan chair!
Pan con tomate: garlicky, fresh, crispy and soft, drizzled generously with grassy olive oil – sensational:
Pimientos de Padron: one in every 20 is said to be hotter than Hades, but these little fellows were lovely and mellow:
Cured meats: melt-in-the-mouth:
Sardines: I don’t normally like sardines in this country because they’re never fresh enough, but there was no problem here:
Chipirones (baby fried squid): crsipy and very moreish, a bit like squid popcorn:
Chorizo with potatoes: smoky intense and delicious sausage offset beautifully by the creamy flavour of the potatoes:
Coca with spinach, raisins and pine nuts: beautifully savoury with flavours of nutmeg and bechamel sauce underneath the spinach – much more impressive than you’d imagine:
Ham and cheese croquettes: phwoarrrrrr! Crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside – nutmeg and salty nuggets of bacon. Yum!
Clams (left) and fried potatoes with aioli and salsa brava: gorgeous garlicky plump clams, and the chips were a revalation because they’d been sprinkled with crushed garlic, fresh thyme and rock salt.
Santiago (almond) tart: flaky buttery pastry, gorgeous buttery almond top. Not really suitable for sharing.
Pedro Ximinez Hidalgo sherry: like drinking liquid Christmas pudding – intense!
54 Frith Street