Owned by the Harts Group, Barrafina is from the same stable as London’s iconic Quo Vadis as well as counting El Pastor and The Drop amongst its sibling sites. It’s no wonder then that the concept has been a popular one, with a team at the helm who are well used to creating successful hospitality ventures.
Sam, James and Eddie Hart oversee operations at Barrafina – a family trio with significant foodie credentials. The brothers turned business partners were born into the hospitality industry. Their father – Tim Hart – owned and operated Hambleton Hall, a Michelin starred restaurant in Rutland.
The concept at Barrafina is a fairly simple one, with the team dealing in modern tapas plates. Stripping things back and building up dishes of big flavours from a few key ingredients is the modus operandi. Executive head chef Angel Zapata-Martin joined the group in 2017 and has become as much a part of the brand as the Hart brothers. It’s his celebration of humble ingredients that has helped propel the group into many a list of the best restaurants in London. Angel’s experience spans time at three Michelin-starred Catalan restaurant, Can Fabes as well as a stint spent as a private chef in Ibiza.
While there are now four Barrafina restaurants, the Drury Lane site remains a favourite for many with its cosy ambiance and menu of cult classics. The tortilla comes oozing and soft in the centre, while the patatas bravas are crisp and golden with well-balanced spice through the sauce. Familiar favourites like pan con tomate and arroz negro sit alongside some more inventive small plates that range from charred leeks with romesco through to quail escabeche.
The Drury Lane site is compact, with counter dining allowing guests full view of the busy kitchen. Because of the seating setup we think Barrafina is best suited to dates, and we’d recommend booking where possible to guarantee a table.