Barrafina (Advanced A-), 54 Frith Street, Soho www.barrafina.co.uk
On the Soho scene since 2007, Barrafina is very much trying to emulate the Barcelona institution Cal Pep by providing high end Spanish cuisine in a tapas bar setting. (please see my El Born post)
Like Cal Pep it’s not possible to make reservations but you can have drinks and nibbles in the queue while you’re waiting (about 40 mins in my case). Again like its counterpart, it’s not cheap, but the food is usually top notch. Since my visit in mid-2014 they’ve been awarded a Michelin star which goes some way to justifying their prices.
I started with Chorizo & Potato Chips which were a bit of a surprise as they looked more like spring rolls than ‘chips’. Don’t recall being particularly blown away by them (B). Gambas (just two) al Ajillo (A) and the Morcilla Iberica with Quails Eggs (A) were more to my taste and Chips with Brava sauce were okay (B+). To drink their cheapest wine, a Humilitat red, off a pricey list, was pretty decent (B+).
This place is great if you’re flush and happy to pay top dollar for good food. Personally I found it tough to justify the expenditure because I know I can get as good or better on my travels, and for less money. Don’t let me stop you going though, it’s definitely a good foodie experience.