There are two types of Spanish restaurants in London. The first type are the ones that once saw a paella, interpreted it as a rice thing with loads of seafood and / or chicken and thought they could take a stab at it themselves.
The second, much rarer breed, are the restaurants that transport you out of London, plopping you on a sun-drenched terrace in Spain without so much of a whisper of fuss… then proceed to blow your tastebuds’ veritable minds with dish after stellar dish.
In case you were wondering, Barrafina’s Soho outpost is that second kind of restaurant.
Barrafina Soho – The Full Review
Octopus with Capers
Firm, perfectly cooked – the subtle taste of the octopus livened by little pings of flavour from the capers and chives piled liberally atop. I once got ideas above my station and cooked an octopus at home once, the Barrafina chefs firmly put me in my place with this dish.
You wouldn’t think there was much to say about a tomato salad… and there wasn’t. Nice punchiness from the salted anchovies.
Ultimate umami hit. This was the real highlight of the meal for me. Think of Fideuà as a paella but with noodles. There was squid, cooked to the point of confit that actually melted in your mouth. Little flecks of crab distributed throughout the dish… and then those vermicelli noodles – unashamedly unpretty but my god. So good.
Pluma Iberica with Confit Potatoes
A simple classic – a juicy cut of Iberica pork sat atop a bed of confit potatoes and finished with a roasted red pepper. Pork so tender it’s like cutting butter, potatoes that dissolve the moment they touch your tongue, peppered with slow-cooked onions and the red pepper – a dish so indulgent it felt like dessert.
We sat at one of the outside tables – perfect for a balmy summer’s evening. Inside, the giant counter surrounding the open kitchen is the star of the show. It’s bright and buzzy – not the place for your quiet romantic date night but perfect for pretty much everything else.
Near flawless, slower at closing.
The first in the Barrafina empire opened its doors in 2007 – well over a decade later, it’s still serving up the kind of meals that stop and make you pause in appreciation.
Barrafina Dean Street – Practical Information and Map
Address: 26-27 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3LL
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Barrafina Soho Review
The first in the Barrafina empire opened its doors in 2007 – well over a decade later, it’s still serving up the kind of meals that stop and make you pause in appreciation. Here’s why.