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62 Goodge Street
020 7436 9448
Barrica is the real deal. It looks and feels like a genuine Spanish hangout (classic chequerboard floor, marble-topped bar, hams hanging from the ceiling), it refuses to peddle touristy clichés
and it also eschews the flashy gastronomic strokes of the Iberian new wave. Instead, the emphasis is on no-nonsense traditional tapas designed for the everyday Spanish palate. Nibble on
zanahorias (Seville spiced carrots), white asparagus and pickled aubergines before taking on the likes of char-grilled squid, braised veal cheeks with Pedro Ximénez, or pork and oxtail
albondigas (meatballs). There’s also an enormous selection of artisan cured meats (lomo, cecina, morcilla bellota) and regional cheeses (villarejo, bleu-veined cabrales, semi-soft garrotxa), with
basic sherry-pairing suggestions to match. Reports of service are mixed, although the deliberately laid-back attitude often adds to the charm.
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If you want to know how to mix education and practical information in minimal word count, then this list is well worth a look. It takes the uninitiated through everything from sherry styles to grape varieties such as Albariño and Godello in no more than a couple of sentences. Concise, helpful and stuffed full of reasons to try unfamiliar bits of Spain, it’s a wonderfully helpful, compact example of what the modern wine list should be about.
62 Goodge Street
020 7436 9448
Goodge Street Tube Station 354m
Oxford Circus Tube Station 417m
Courtauld (U.C.L.) 169m
Contemporary Applied Arts 278m
Mon-Fri 12N-4pm 5.30-11.30pm Sat 12N-11.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 1
I had eaten twice before in Barrica a few years ago and always left underwhelmed and oddly, without a complete order. My friend suggested we go for a light lunch and so I agreed, as maybe I was previously unlucky.
We ordered tortilla, a staple. Well. It was flat (literally), no thicker than my index finger, dry and had clearly been microwaved. Not to mention that for £4.50 it was the stingiest piece I had ever seen. Considering that three doors down the Salt Yard is serving a beautifully gooey and fresh sharing "whole" tortilla for the same price, I would have been mortified to serve it, if it was me. I pointed this out to the waitress and asked her when it was made and she confirmed that it was that morning and so it had been reheated. That was actually the high point.
We ordered red lentils with beetroot, which was entirely flavourless, I don't think it had even seen salt and pepper and at best tepid, again indicating a microwave was involved. The chargrilled leek with goats cheese was inedible. The leek was tough and the cheese sauce was as bad as the Coleman's packet. Even the padron peppers were flacid! The best part of the meal was the rosemary nuts. The bill came to £66 with a cheap end bottle of wine and no tortilla, for the 4 vegetarian dishes, and as someone who quite happily spends that a head without thinking about it, I think for what we got, that's a lot.
There are so many good (and average) tapas restaurants in London and even within a stone's throw of Barrica, if this is the standard, I can't see how they will survive.
Food + drink: 3
The Tapas choices available and wine selection on offer is sufficient and what you would expect from a Tapas restaurant. All the meat dishes we chose were cooked to perfection, most notably the melt in the mouth steak slices and a wonderfully moist and tasty chicken, lemon and garlic dish. We also had an interesting chickpea and manchego cheese dish which turned up a rich beetroot red colour stained which made the chickpeas look a lot more palatable than their natural colour! We had a very relaxed lunch, catching up and doing a bit of business. So relaxed in fact that we were shocked when we looked at the time and discovered it was past 3.30! The service was nice and leisurely not intrusive, the air conditioning worked a treat which was fab in the mini three days of tropical Summer temperatures we experienced this week. So, if you like Tapas and enjoy trying new places give this a go. There is scaffolding outside so don't walk past it at first like we did.
I've decided that all my restaurant reviews will contain warnings not only whether one can hear what your fellow dinner companions are saying (always a plus on such social occasions I feel) but also able to actually see the menu to read it. You'll be pleased to know that you can hear each other speak in this latest and amiable Spanish tapas restaurant. A party of six, we all had to use our smartphones to read the menu and even when the food came it was dark enough that I didn't know what one of the dishes was even when eating it. The food was OK but not outstanding, the staff were friendly, the atmosphere enjoyable. Was it memorable? Probably not. Nothing compares to The Opera Tavern which is sublime in terms of its Spanish cuisine but I don't think this restaurant is in competition with that in any event. We paid £46/head with drinks. Oh, yes the gin menu is great! That made me happy.
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