Last week was a whirlwind of culinary experiences for me and one of those experiences was with tapas. I've had tapas before as a kid and didn't necessarily take a liking to them, but Barrafina made me want to go back and time and slap the kid version of me for not appreciating just how delicious tapas can be.
Barrafina has three joints around London on Drury Lane, Adelaide Street, and Dean Street. We went to the one on Drury Lane and turned up promptly at 5pm as we were told it was going to be hard to get a spot otherwise. When we first lined up there didn't seem to be much hype but by 6pm the line stretched all the way from one end of the restaurant to the other - people were pretty much lining up outside the door to get a taste.
As the Drury Lane place is pretty small, you're allowed a maximum party size of 4. Luckily, for us we just hit the mark. We spent 2 hours there and between the four of us we spent a total of £183 on about 13 dishes and 5 glasses of cava - not bad at all!
We tried almost everything on the menu and even dove into the specials as they were just too good not to taste. We also each got our own dessert because let's be real, how can you resist! I don't quite remember what each dish was called but I'll do my best to describe and explain them the best I can.
Even though tapas are technically already appetisers, we had a bruschetta type thing to start. Followed by a tortilla omelette. I can't really even begin to describe the flavours other than both dishes were so light despite the fact they were meant to be packed with carbs.
The next thing we had is best described as a charcuterie board of spanish salamis. Safe to say it was delicious. Next on the menu was scallop ceviche! As someone who hates scallops and didn't even want to try this I was so surprised when it ended up being amazing. The scallops were tender and flavourful instead of rubbery and well.. rubbery. Following on from the first great ceviche experience, we ordered a fish one off the specials menu, which was recommended to us in order to prepare us for the meat to follow.
Next up was pork belly. It was perfectly fatty and crispy and tender, a picture of decadence in a tiny tapas size portion. Between the four of us it was great to get a taste but had I eaten that alone I think I would have had to have stopped there. To be fair I was going to stop there if it wasn't for the next thing.
Squid ink risotto... is probably one of the best ways to describe it. And it was to die for. It was creamy and light and there were bite sizes pieces of squid tossed in for texture and flavour. 10/10 would literally go to London right now to eat it again.
Next up we had egg and fried bread basically, this was my least favourite of all the dishes as the flavours just didn't quite sit right with me. The dish following however got me back on the tapas hype train and was the most tender oxtail in the world. Paired with mash potatoes and the richest jus ever, it was spectacular.
Last and certainly not least we had Cuajadas and Torrijas for dessert. The fact that I can remember their names is a true testament to how delicious they were. We each got our own dessert but luckily for me George let me have a bite of his. The cuajada is best described like a spanish panna cotta and was topped with hazelnuts. The torrija is best described as a fried eclair and was served with vanilla ice cream.
Overall, Barrafina had the perfect portion sizes for tapas and between the four of us we managed to try damn near everything on the menu. Their starters and desserts were light enough to start and finish the meal, while their mains were so full of flavour every time we finished a dish we couldn't wait for the next one.
Their convenient location is also perfect if you need a bite to eat before a show but make sure you line up otherwise you'll be waiting to be seated for hours! I would highly recommend Barrafina for a treat-yo-self meal, a celebratory date, or like us, a mini reunion of foodies.
Until next time friends,
Love Soph x