Barrafina // Soho // London

below expectations

Tapas, are a great way to catch-up with friends after a busy day.  Barrafina has one of the best reputations in London for the Spanish snacks, so how does it stack-up?

Large, this restaurant is not and you’ll likely have to queue as they don’t take bookings.  As a result you end-up with a glass of crisp sherry in your hand, lining-up on the wall behind the dinners.   On a busy day, you will feel a bit like you’re crammed-in on the Central Line (with the extra obstacle of your glass) but at least the atmosphere is jovial, which helps while you wait.

If you’re in a larger group, you won’t get the chance to sit on one of the 23 stools to watch the chefs prepare your food.  Though, you might be lucky enough to get one of the few tables on the street.  Fortunately, the service is swift and the waiting staff are adorable.

The menu couldn’t be more classic, other than for a few modern twists like the tuna tartare with sesame seeds.  As it’s tapas, you can obviously order a broad selection of your favourites.  The quality of the ingredients makes the difference; particularly with the seafood which is very appealing.

The croquetas and octopus are freshly fried, though the tortillas are slightly under-cooked and the jamón slices are so fine that you can hardly appreciate the taste.  You won’t find many slices on the plate either, so if you didn’t get the taste the first time around, you might not get a second chance.  For the kind of price you’re paying, a little more might be expected.

Overall, the food is tasty, but you may leave a bit hungry.  You may also be forgiven for thinking that the crisis-hit Spanish wouldn’t be too happy paying as much for the same meal.

Square Meal
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54 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SL (View in a map)

Tel: +44(0)207 813 8016