I have in fact been meaning to try it for quite a while, except every time I visit I've been met with a queue all the way to the door (and beyond!) and have been told that the wait would be at least an hour. As has become the trend here in Soho, Barrafina is strictly 'no reservations'. Nevertheless, service is as slick and polished as its counter top and you can order wine and nibbles while you wait. I assure you that once you're seated and the food arrives, you will quickly forget the time you spent queueing (a bottle of wine helps of course!).
First to arrive were the razor clams off the daily specials menu. Razor clams are easily one of my favorite seafoods and I couldn't be happier to see them cropping up in menus much more often than before here in London. The clams were very fresh and, simply grilled and garnished, were unbelievably juicy and sweet.
Next came the tuna tartare off the main menu, one of Barrafina's signatures dishes (I've heard). Barrafina's tartare is quite distinctive, as the tuna is tossed in a strong sesame based sauce and served with guacamole. Quite different from the 'plain' tartare I'd expected and perhaps not as refreshing, but it goes very well with a glass of wine.
The tortilla was definitely the highlight of the meal for me. Very often, Spanish tortilla is overcooked and becomes very dry but as you can see, this was definitely not the case with the tortilla here, which still had a gooey eggy center. Truly scrumptious!
Moving onto the larger plates, we started with the grilled cod off the daily specials menu. The cod was also executed excellently, with a crispy top layer of skin and the juicy fillet cooked just right. The tomato sauce it sat on was also worth a mention! It worked perfectly with the fish.
Our last dish was the lamb rump, also from the main menu. The lamb was also phenomenal; pink, tender and full of flavour.
All in all, everything was cooked to absolute perfection and I would highly recommend Barrafina! Prices are reasonable, although as you can see the portions tend to be on the smaller side, and it's a great place to pop in for a quick and casual meal with a couple of friends!
Price: £ £ £ out of 5
You can find the Barrafina home page here.