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DUE TO CLOSE 11 JUNE 2015
Subterranean Fino has been at the forefront of the Spanish new wave since opening back in 2002, and it’s still a decent bet for tapas, ancient and modern – even if one expat thought it was “incredibly overpriced”. There’s a small cocktail bar by the entrance, but it’s better to head straight down to the restaurant – a cavernous space done out in muted shades that exudes Iberian chic. We’d agree that Fino’s small plates aren’t the cheapest in town, especially if the milk-fed lamb or Basque beef catch your eye, but it’s perfectly possible to eat well from humbler choices. The plancha grill is fired up for squid wrapped in pancetta and ox tongue is given racier treatment with horseradish aïoli, although the stuffed courgette flowers remain a perennial highlight. To drink, sherries and regional wines hit the spot.
With nothing (not even sparklers) from outside Spain, Fino’s list makes a bold statement of confidence in the country’s versatility, which takes in cava, a multitude of sherries, and a great selection of still wines.
And now, I’m going to do a version of the conveyor belt on the Generation Game. Remember that? You had to look at a whole list of items as they whooshed past you and then remember as many as you could so that you could take them home. My version is to try and remember as many of the dishes that I had at Fino this week, without resorting to looking at my photographs. What fun...
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Fino situated on Charlotte Street presents London with the same quality, freshness and delight you would expect from dining in Castile–La Mancha itself, but with a modern twist and closer to home. Both Fino and Barrafina (the Soho sister restaurant) are run by brothers Sam and Eddie Hart with the former opening its doors in 2003 as one of the first restaurants in London to offer contemporary Spanish food. The kitchen is commandeered by Executive Head Chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho with roots in the Basque country, and the menu is fluid with seasonality dictating the provincial dishes that are made available. The focus...
More from The Cutlery Chronicles »
Tonight it was Fino, the older sister of Barrafina, now in its tenth year of service. It’s a much maturer restaurant, with an older more suited clientele. Tucked in a classily decorated basment just off Charlotte Street, this is all about starched napkins and a thick wine list, rather than stuffing food into your mouth with your fingers and sloshing down bottles of beer. The food is what does the talking though, and the dishes, just like the service, have been perfected over time, making it a consistently solid experience. There’s none of the experimentation you might find at other Spanish restuarants across London,...
More from The Hungry Porker »
Fino Restaurant opened in 2003 and became one of the first restaurants in London to offer a contemporary brand of Spanish tapas. Others followed, but Fino has managed to carve out a niche as an oldie but a goodie on the London tapas scene. Fino comes from the hands of Sam and Eddie Hart, the well-known restaurateur brothers that also brought the critically acclaimed Barrafina to London. The original branch of Barrafina opened on Frith Street in Soho in 2007 and went on to won a Michelin star in 2014. A second branch of Barrafina also opened on Adelaide Street last year.Fino’s Executive Head Chef is Nieves Barragán...
More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »
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