Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Barrafina Tapas Bar - the one that nearly got away


Barrafina London Soho tapas restaurant review
Barrafina - the smallish tapas bar though popular is as discreet as can be (photo by Kake Pugh)

Address: 54 Frith Street,
London W1D 4SL
Tel: 020 7813 8016
Nearest Tube station:
Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £40 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ****
Service: ***
Ambience: ***
This is guest post by TT. She was out and about central London on New Year's Eve in search for some baby squids.

It has been raining non-stop. All I want to help keep the blues at bay is the puntillitas from my local tapas hangout, Morito but it was shut over the new year. What was I going to do? Twitter suggests Barrafina at Soho. I have somehow never managed to check out Barrafina so this is the perfect chance to do so.

Barrafina is on Firth St which is now quite the foodie street with Koya and Cerviche as its neighbours. It is tiny with bar seats only. I was there for an early lunch and was lucky to score a seat. Otherwise one would have stand behind the seated customers and have your tapas standing while you wait.

I am a big fan of bar seats as it allows me to watch my food being prepared and to observe the seamless action that goes on in a bustling kitchen. In this case the bar seat was so close to the action that I could feel the heat from the hot plates in use.

Salt cod fritters came first followed swiftly by the grilled tiger prawn. For £7 quid I get four juicy cod fritters with a generous portion of tartare sauce on the side. The prawn was huge, fresh and well seasoned. The crispy cuttlefish took some time to arrive. Perhaps because of the texture of the cuttlefish it just does not have the crunch I was looking for. I stole a look at other diners' chipirones. Those tiny morsels of deep fried squid looked delicious. I would have ordered that as well if not for the fact that I was stuffed.

A wonderful meal but perhaps not a place to go for a lingering meal given that people are queuing right behind you for seats. The next time I would definitely go for the chipirones. Their tortilla and mussels were also popular with diners when I was there so yes those will certainly be on list for the next time!


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