In spite of eating so many dishes, there wasn’t a single bum plate. That’s only something that happens in the best of restaurants.
It’s been seven years since Barrafina opened up on Frith Street in Soho and sadly I have to admit that I’ve still never eaten there. I’ve considered it many times, only to be put off by a massive queue outside.
So what great news when I heard Barrafina was opening a second branch on Adelaide Street. This time we were prepared and arrived just as doors opened, bang-on 5pm. If you don’t want to wait, don’t arrive any later than 5.30pm as it turns out that this place fills up just as quickly as the original.
We could’ve eaten pretty much everything on the menu. If you want classic tapas, you can have your pick of safe and familiar options. But you can go for tapas ‘on acid’. That’s right, if you want fried suckling pig’s ears or lamb brain, you can have them. Sadly, we didn’t have room this time but we ate very well regardless.
Crab croquetas got us off to a good start. Full of white and tangy brown meat and fried to perfection. The daily specials board is not to be ignored here and we duly ordered three items off it. Tempura prawn was crisp and light, matched with black garlic aioli. Langoustine came covered in breadcrumbs with sweet fennel seeds and tarragon. And don’t forget to suck the head.
Arroz negro is pretty scary if you’ve never had it before but one taste and you forget all about wearing the black tongue look. The tortilla was oozing goodness but could’ve done with a little more morcilla in my opinion.
Suckling pig was in a class of its own. The skin was impossibly crisp, the meat soft. The gravy had incredible flavour and if the dish had been accompanied by a mountain of buttery mash, we’d have been in roast heaven.
Chicken wings are cooked in a Josper grill, which gave them a fantastically crispy skin despite being smothered in a sharp and spicy tomato sauce. Definitely worth getting messy for.
Despite feeling rather full up, we gritted our teeth and forced down a couple of desserts to top off our feast. Their flan is probably the best we’ve found in London. Santiago tart was of a similar standard, like a Spanish Bakewell tart so no complaints there either.
Seeing as Barrafina Frith Street has just been awarded a Michelin star, I imagine the queue outside will be even longer but hopefully Adelaide street will help to offset this. It really is a great alternative to its big brother. We were never left waiting for food, nor were we rushed. Everything just magically appeared at the right time. Service I’m glad to say was warm and friendly, contrary to much of what we’ve experienced in parts of Spain. Most surprising of all, in spite of eating so many dishes, there wasn’t a single bum plate. That’s only something that happens in the best of restaurants.
Meal for two, food and service: £76.50
Meal for two, inc drinks: £109.13
Address: 10 Adelaide St, WC2N 4HZ
Tel: 020 7440 1450