Barrafina Adelaide Street | Sophomore Branch of Legendary Tapas Restaurant
There’s a time and a place for tapas.
5-11pm. Barrafina Adelaide Street…
Or, to be honest, at any hour, at any of the five Barrafina restaurants dotted around town (there’s also the original one on Dean Street, the other one in Covent Garden, Barrafina Drury Lane, as well as Barrafina Borough Yards and Barrafina King’s Cross). They are, without a shadow of a doubt, some of London’s best Spanish restaurants. An empire built by The Hart Brothers, Sam and Eddie, on the bulletproof foundations of Andalucia-level tapas served in slick open kitchen-style surrounds.
Barrafina Adelaide Street sports the trademark set-up; you sit perched excitably on red leather stools that snake around the marble-topped bar (29 all up) and face a frenetic (but also very assured) open-kitchen. There’s high ceilings for spacious effect and big windows that let in loads of natural light, while there’s a private dining room downstairs in case you had the thought to host what might possibly be your greatest group meal ever. It’s the tapas, though, that’s all anyone will talk about.
And for good reason; to do the menu right – as with all Barrafinas – you’ll want to get at least a dozen tapas. The more the merrier really, depending how far your wallet extends. Picking out the highlights is sort of like choosing between your favourite pets – if you had like 30. It’s slightly cruel. But… it would be sacrilege to pass up the onion and potato tortillas, wonderfully runny through the middle and a Barrafina staple; some of the seafood dishes (like the gambas rojas prawns, pan-fried in brandy and chilli oil, or the cured monkfish); and the milk-fed lamb kidneys that are chargrilled on little tabletop grills before you. Dessert is non-negotiable, obviously (crema catalana), and then there’s a daily special board featuring things like chorizo in red wine and cuttlefish croquettes, which you’ll want to give full attention to as well.
Wash those down with sherry, cava, Spanish wine… pick your poison, and the only negative anyone could ever dare to say about Barrafina was that you couldn’t book and the queues were always a tortuous test of your patience and sanity. We use the past tense here because those were scrapped awhile ago, and you can now gleefully reserve a stool at the counter.
Well worth the wait…
NOTE: Barrafina Adelaide Street is open daily, 12-3pm & 5-11pm Mon-Sat (Sunday hours are 1-5pm). Although they do mercifully keep some tables for walk-ins, you can also book on their website here.
Barrafina | 10 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4DH
Looking to expand your dining knowledge of the neighbourhood? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Covent Garden…