Tapas

Location: 

Barrafina Covent Garden
10 Adelaide Street WC2N 4HZ
London
United Kingdom

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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.

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

El Rey de la Gamba
Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 53 08003
Barcelona
Spain

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It was a Sunday morning in Barcelona and a group of us wanted to get some lunch before our group sauna/ spa appointment, and we decided to go to the seaside to get some fish tapas, in a restaurant called El Rey de la Gamba (the king of prawns in english). The restaurant is located in the Barceloneta area of Barcelona, close to the beach, on one of the big streets which is quite a touristy area. On this street there were a few restaurants located next to each other with the same name, a few El Rey de la Gambas and even a El Rey de la Gamba 2.
 

Maija rated: 

2.50

Location: 

Bodega 1900
C/ Tamarit nº 91 08015
Barcelona
Spain

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Bodega 1900 is one of the best Spanish tapas restaurant that I have ever been to. But then again I sort of semi expected it, as it is owned by Ferran and Albert Adria, two very  influential chefs of this generation, who ran El Bulli, the worlds best restaurant at the time, for many years.

 

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

Ember Yard
60 Berwick St, Soho W1F 8SU
London
United Kingdom

I wanted to have lunch with my friend Neil but the problem was that it was December, close to Christmas and the first 10 restaurants that I called in Mayfair a week before our lunch were full. So I was desperate and could not find a restaurant in December that could host me. These sort of problems with getting a table make me feel like the recession is totally over. The place that I did book in the end was Ember Yard, as it had just opened, and I guess people did not know about it just yet, hence I could get a table. Having said that the restaurant was full when I went there, so word travels fast about new openings.
 

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Tramontana Brindisa
152 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AT
London
United Kingdom

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Brindisa brand is a Spanish tapas expert in London with 4 restaurants across London in Soho, London Bridge, South Kensington and also now in Shoreditch, their latest restaurant which opened in autumn 2012. I went to the Shoreditch branch called “Tramontana Brindisa” on a Saturday evening with my boyfriend and another wonderful couple Santa and Ian. Tramontana Brindisa is named after a northern wind, Tramontana is the name of a wind that affects parts of Spain’s coastline.  Brindisa Tapas Kitchens serve freshly prepared Tapas along with cured meat, cheese and fish plates from Spain’s best producers. Monika Linton started the Brindisa mini empire by doing wholesaling and retailing in 1988, and 16 years later (in 2004) she opened the first restaurant with the help of the famous chef and restaurateur Mark Hix in Borough Market, a restaurant where I have been and which I have passed many times and always found it full and buzzing.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Black Pig and White Pearls
61 Stoke Newington High Street N16 8EL
London
United Kingdom

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I really liked this Spanish tapas place in Dalston when I went there. I wanted to catch up with my friend Harry, and he lives north of Dalston, so he suggested we go to “Black pig and white pearls” as he had walked past this place and he thought it looked interesting. As I am always keen to try out new places, even in remote parts of London, like Dalston, I was very keen to go there. Dalston is super trendy and edgy (if you don’t know where it is, and as this is a fairly new place a lot of people don’t, it is north of Shoreditch) and “Black pig and white pearls” fits right in, as from the outside the building is black and there is no sign on the house, and the only thing that lets you know you have come to the right place is a blackboard located on the street with the name of the place. I went inside and I instantly liked the atmosphere and the decor.

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Queens Head & Artichoke
30-32 Albany St, NW1 4EA
London
United Kingdom

Queens Head & Artichoke is a pub, just off Great Portland Street and serves modern English food and Spanish type of tapas. Now why I rank this place so high and the reason why I enjoyed it as much as I did was the price!! I have not seen tapas that cost from £3 to £6 in a long time in London, and I was so excited about this, as 4 dishes to be shared by 2 people cost me £19 and I was full from that. I have not had such a cheap and good meal in London in a while. 

 

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Salt Yard
54 Goodge Street, W1T 4NA
London
United Kingdom

My friend Joris once mentioned to me that he really liked a Spanish/ Italian tapas place located near Googe Street called Salt Yard and made me feel very bad for not knowing it, suggesting I was not worthy to do my restaurant reviews if I had not tried this place, so this place has always been very high on the list of places that I have wanted to try. The Salt Yard group owns 3 restaurants - Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern, and all do tapas style dishes. I have been to the 2 years ago opened up Opera Tavern twice and thought the food was quite enjoyable, so I had high expectations for the original restaurant - Salt Yard. 

 

Maija rated: 

2.50

Location: 

10 Greek Street
10 Greek Street W1D 4DH
London
United Kingdom

I have read quite a few reviews about the new Soho restaurant "10 Greek Street", so I was very excited when my boyfriend suggested we should go there. The idea of this place is quite similar to quite a few other places in Soho, like Ducksoup, Polpo etc, when the menu is composed of small and also a few bigger plates that are meant to be shared. When I first saw the menu I thought it was less inspiring than the previously mentioned places tapas places in London, as not only the menu is smaller, it has only got 12 starters/ main courses on the menu and 8 smaller plates, it also is more traditional food (the menu feels quite English/ European even though the main chef is Australian). We decided to have a small plate of "crumbed braisedlamb, gremolata mayonnaise", which turned out to be lamp balls cooked with breadcrubs, which were very nice.

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Barrafina
54 Frith Street W1D 4SL
London
United Kingdom

Tags: 

The hardens guide ranks this as the best spanish tapas place in London. I do agree and I love this place. The only problem with this place is that it can only seat around 20 people in a small room in Soho, so unless you come at 5.30pm for dinner or some other obscure time when people don't usually eat, you will wait for a table for at least 1.5 hours as you cant book. But still you can order some dishes whilst you wait and stand against the wall. Food is excellent and is worth the wait, when I last went there I had - pan con tomate, my favourite pimientos de padron, jamon, little chorizo and potatoe chips (see in the 1st pic), cuttlefish, octopus, baby gem salad and more chorizo and potatoes (see in the 2nd pic). This is also my favourite tapas place in London, and the charm of the small room in Soho, just adds to the whole cool vibe of the place. 

Maija rated: 

4.50

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