What? Barrafina is a magical place where the best of Barcelona and the best of London come together. This tapas bar was inspired by the legendary Cal Pep restaurant in Barcelona. One thing they definitely have in common is the queue to get a stool at the counter. Although queuing with a glass of rosé cava and some perfectly seasoned pimientos is hardly an ordeal. Barrafina is the highly successful concept of brothers Sam and Eddie Hart. They managed to establish three Barrafina locations, and one Michelin star. But don’t let the star scare you: the food is amazing (maybe even better then Cal Pep’s), prices are definitely fair and the ambiance is typically Spanish: casual, busy and intimate. An absolute winner.
Looks? First reaction when I get in for lunch on a weekday: Barrafina has more waiters than it has chairs. Or stools to be precise. The marble counter is the only place to catch a seat (there is also a small counter facing the street, but that is hardly as nice). The compositions made of fresh ingredients and the busy waiters make you feel as if you are in Barcelona straight away. But then you notice the trendy customers and the neatly designed menu and you can relax again: ‘Phew, I am in London.’
What else? There is a possibility that the menu features some really bad food, but to this day I haven’t managed to find it yet. My personal favourites: the North-Spanish Txakoli wine, the chorizo with potatoes and watercress, the razor clams, the croquetas but most and for all: do not leave without tasting the octopus with capers. I could eat that every single day. In case waiting times get too dramatic, there’s another hotspot further down this street: Burger & Lobster.
Info? Mon to Sat from noon to 3pm and from 5pm to 11pm, Sun from 1pm to 3.30pm and from 5.30pm to 10pm