Aug 26 2014

Barrafina Covent Garden


Barrafina Soho (MMMMM) is one of my favourite restaurants in London, which got this year its first Michelin star (which I think is too little too late… they should have got this years ago). One of the problems with Barrafina is that it is such a small restaurant and queues can be super long (they don’t take any bookings) and so you could wait a long time before getting a table. That is why I was quite excited to hear that Barrafina opened another restaurant a few months ago in Covent Garden, about 10 minutes’ walk from the original Soho branch.

The new Barrafina, just like old one, is a modern Spanish tapas bar owned and operated by restaurateurs Sam & Eddie Hart. The new Barrafina is slightly bigger and more spacious than the old one, so theoretically you should wait there less, but on my last visit I still managed to wait 1.5 h for a table. The key is to come here relatively early as then you won’t have to wait so long and will get a table instantly, like I did when I visited Barrafina Covent Garden with my friend Katrina. The wait is not so bad, as you can order drinks and Spanish charcuterie and some other nibbles, but you stand and you see other people enjoy their delicious food, which is quite annoying if you do it too long.

The bar is quite long in the new Barrafina (longer than in the old) and the kitchen feels more modern, and we were sat in the middle of the long bar and could watch chefs cook and all the other action in the kitchen. The menu is divided into a few sections “para picar”, “chargrill”, “cold meats”, “meat”, “frituras”, “vegetables”, “tortilla”, “seafood” and desserts. When I came here with my friend Katrina we ordered quite a few things from the “para picar” and “cold meats” section like the pimientos de padron, crab croquetas, pan con tomate and Jamon Iberico de Bellota (there is a huge pig’s leg in the middle of the kitchen where the jamon comes from). I loved the jamon, top class, liked the pan con tomate (typical Spanish bread with tomato), it was delicious and also liked the pimientos de padron although surprisingly I got quite a few spicy ones, much more than I would normally get in other restaurants. I was not a huge fan of the crab croquetas, not because of how they were made, but because I realize I don’t like crab in them, and prefer the more traditional ones, but that is personal, and using crab in them is actually quite interesting.

The waiter recommended the suckling pig as one of the dishes we had to have, so we ordered this, as well as a tomato, fennel and avocado salad and one of their daily specials – a plaice, grilled. Every day both Barrafinas have a wide selection of fresh fish and seafood on display and you can chose what you want to eat and they will cook it for you. Last time I was at this Barrafina I ordered a delicious grilled mackerel with a beetroot salad. This time the plaice was also very delicious. The suckling pig had a lot of flavour, it was very tender and lovely and the salad was refreshing and also very enjoyable.

I have been to Barrafina Covent Garden one other time now, where I had some other dishes and they were equally enjoyable, I especially liked the Iberian pork ribs. Barrafina is one of my favourite, if not my favourite Spanish restaurant in London. They serve such delicious food, and I love the whole atmosphere, sitting at the bar and watching the  chefs cook and communicate with them. It is a very enjoyable evening if you go there. I slightly prefer the old Barrafina, as I like the fact it is smaller and also like that old authentic feel it has, but the food is equally amazing at both Barrafinas.

Date: end of August
Location: Covent Garden
Price for 2 people with some alcohol: around £76.37

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Maija rated: 



Barrafina Covent Garden
10 Adelaide Street WC2N 4HZ
United Kingdom
Barrafina Covent Garden Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5