With tapas taking London by storm, it makes sense for Sam and Eddie Hart to open their third Barrafina (they’ve a Michelin starred one in Soho and another one on Adelaide Street in Covent Garden) and for me, this one is easily their best.
Like the others, it’s a simple set up; a large counter with stalls overlooks the bustle of the kitchen, giving the place a surprisingly serene atmosphere. It’s not always everybody’s cup of tea, but watching chefs preparing the food before your very eyes has always rather excited me.
We started with the tapas staples; pan con tomate (£2.80 each) and croquetas (£4.80), the latter being packed full of piquillo peppers, which was heavenly.
A crab bun (£8.80) will no doubt become a signature dish. The soft bun, topped with poppy seeds, sandwiched the most glorious of crabby concoctions; wet and sloppy with flavour in abundance.
From the short list of daily specials, we went for the deep fried rabbit shoulder (£8.50) which was like posh KFC – and I really like KFC, FYI. ‘Milk fed lamb sweetbreads’ (£12.80) was more of a rustic affair. I could have done with a loaf of bread to mop up the rich, buttery sauce.
A slice of chunky chorizo (£8.50) came atop a crunchy romesco sauce which was a dreamy combination. My favourite dish however, was a simple plate of spuds (£5.80) topped with an intense lardo butter, which once melted, created the best potatoes you’re ever likely to eat.
We finished off with a torrijas (£6.80), a traditional Spanish pudding similar to eggy bread. The nutty, sweet caramel sauce was exquisite – worth the extra stone I no doubt gained.
So the food at Barrafina Drury Lane really was faultless. I blame it for my disappointing meal at Jason Atherton’s Social Wine and Tapas the very next day. Because when you taste tapas this good – it’s hard to better it.