Barrafina Adelaide Street

Silver Award
2 Reviews
££££
Spanish, Tapas

Barrafina Adelaide Street
Barrafina Adelaide Street
Barrafina Adelaide Street
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SquareMeal Review of Barrafina Adelaide Street

Silver Award

Mixing authenticity with confidence and urban gloss, Barrafina’s lively theatreland outlet shows its glamorous side with huge windows, glittering mirrors, chrome and steel. The action centres around a curved marble-topped bar – an intimate, chatty and exuberant space overseen by hard-working chefs and helpful staff “who really know their produce”.  

Readers confirm that “the quality of the food is always excellent”, especially if you’re hooked on familiar rustic classics such as Padrón peppers, tortillas, prawn croquetas, Ibéico ham or suckling pig roasted in a traditional tin tray. There’s luscious seafood with rice and cod catalan (lightly cooked fish with pine nuts, plum sauce and slivers of crisp skin), while pan con tomate arrives as a generous dollop of chopped tomatoes and green herbs instead of the usual scrape of tomato and garlic on a slice of bread.

For something more adventurous, try the crispy fried pig’s ears with chimichurri sauce and tabasco mayonnaise or roughly chopped tartare of lamb’s heart with quail’s egg and dill oil emulsion. Other top calls range from milk-fed lamb’s brains in a coating of panko crumbs with a rich dollop of tapenade and tomato sofrito to butifarra (rustic pork sausage) served with trinxat, a Catalan wintertime patty of cabbage, black pudding, rice and garlic.

Puddings include cujada (a lighter version of pannacotta topped with a crumble of honey and caramel), although we can’t resist the heavenly crema catalana – little bonbons of filo pastry filled with runny crème caramel and dusted with icing sugar. Fabulous Spanish regional wines, specialist sherries and cava complete a triumphant package.    

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Spanish, Tapas
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Breakfast
Special Features
Counter dining
People
Dates

Barrafina Adelaide Street Also Offers

Barrafina Adelaide Street
Private Group Dining

Location for Barrafina Adelaide Street

10 Adelaide Street, London, WC2N 4HZ

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5-11pm Sun 1-3.30pm 5.30-10pm

Reviews of Barrafina Adelaide Street

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Alex G

The trouble with tapas (yet again)
17 May 2019  

The Spaniards were well ahead of almost every other nation when it came to the concept of ‘sharing plates.’ The term tapas is indeed as ineluctably associated with the country as bull fighting or Sangria. Nowadays, bull fighting is, of course, considered distinctly cruel and unnecessary, and the same could arguably be said of the pairing of orange juice with red wine. Yet tapas lives on. And rightly so. Small dishes mean diners have the opportunity to sample a wide range of offerings and see the full extent of a chef’s talents. However, where are those talented chefs? Not in London. I have yet to sample tapas anywhere across the capital that comes close to what might be consistently available in even the most humble of Spanish establishments. Barrafina did little to change my impression. Sure, the décor of the venue (we dined at the Adelaide Street branch close to Covent Garden; there are three others) and its vibe were cool, but the quality of the food was notably inconsistent. Diners sit in full view of the chefs – this is performance cooking at its best – around a horseshoe-shaped counter in a glass-fronted and light space. If only the food, however, was as good as the performance. For every flash of culinary brilliance, there was also a disappointment. Pan con tomate (i.e. bread with crushed garlic, olive oil and tomato paste) is often a yardstick by which to judge Spanish venues and in this respect Barrafina did not disappoint. The bread was appropriately crunchy, the tomatoes juicy and intense with the flavour and blend of ingredients in balance. So far, so good. Plaudits also for the artichokes with aioli, which tasted as fresh as you could expect. Ditto for the anchovies. However, cuttlefish croquetas were instantly forgettable as were some greasily unpleasant butifarra (Catalonian sausages). Both more aptly belonged in the same era as Sangria. An inventive white wine blend from Galicia accompanied the tapas, but the red Tempranillo-Cabernet blend which was paired with our corn-fed chicken main failed as much as the food. Bland and unremarkable would be a succinct summary. There is so much that is good about Spanish cooking and the chefs clearly know what they are doing at Barrafina. Just a bit more consistency is necessary. If other cuisines can perform well across a spectrum of shared dishes (Japanese – both traditional and modern – being an exemplar), why does Spanish in London fail to do so? The challenge is there.

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Amy M

Go with a belly as big as your eyes
09 October 2015  
Having eaten a couple of times in the Frith Street Branch, I thought I would see if the formula travelled. And it does. Every dish was spectacular from start to finish. The real treat is to see what's on the daily specials and take advantage of those, but get in quick as they run out fast. Already at 1745 there was only one lobster left. We plumped for a fabulous grilled langoustine with the most delicious herb butter crust and the brocolli and cabbage from the specials. The veg were cooked to perfection and so tasty. A real highlight is the piping hot, deliciously gooey tortilla that wobbles onto one's plate and melts in the mouth. I could quite happily go just to eat these perfect things. Incredibly delicious quail, cooked the perfect pink and served with chunky fruit sauce was such a treat, although I could live without the pine nuts in that dish and of course, crispy squishy chiperones without a hint of being oily. In our avarice and need to try everything we over ordered with 7 dishes in total which defeated us in the end. I think that tapas can be a bit over rated, but the Barrafina boys have got this nailed. If you get there later than 1800 however, be prepared to queue!
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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