Tapas and sherry at Barrafina
There’s nothing better then a tasty snack while having a drink with friends. Wandering around Soho after a wine tasting the other day we stopped in at Barrafina for a couple of tapas and a glass or two of sherry. Barrafina is a typical tapas bar, no tables just a long L-shaped bar lined with barstools and a thin counter that runs along the one wall of the bar where you stand and nosh/drink. One more thing, it’s as bright as any tapas bar in Spain, lit up like the middle of the day in summertime Spain.
We ordered a bottle of La Gitana manzanilla (£20) while standing at the counter. If you don’t know sherry, start with a manzanilla. Dry and nutty, with a salty tinge to it, I love manzanilla, you’re not going to find fruit in a manzanilla but it’s a great with olives and almonds, among other things. We had a plate of pimientos de padron as well. All the food is the best quality they can find and you can taste it.
Pan con tomate followed, a juicy, very light tomato puree covering the bread and utterly delicious. We followed that with little chorizo sausages wrapped in thin potato slices, divine, if a little bit greasy, so beware when eating.
If you sit at the bar, you have to order something a bit more substantial and there are plenty of specials, including a raw seafood bar. The night we were there we had the special of fresh pollack in a tomato salsa, the pollack was delicate and fresh, the chunky tomato sauce full of garlic slivers. The wine list is not very long but there are plenty of good choices and John, our bartender/waiter let us try a couple of different red wines before we settled on Grand Recosind Crianza 2005 (£28). A blend of garnacha, cabernet and carinena from the Costa Brava, savoury but still having red fruit on the finish, supple tannins rolling over my tongue. We liked it but on reflection, we probably would have been happier with another bottle of the manzanilla.
I love blood pudding and Morcilla Iberica topped with fried quail’s eggs is a fantastic combination, the runny egg yolk blending with the salty morcilla. I don’t usually like fried eggs other then on toast but this works so well.
We could have stayed for another bottle but it was Thursday night so we settled up and headed off.
Do you have a favourite sherry bar in London? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out!
54 Frith St
London W1D 4SL
020 7813 8016
Nearest Tube – Tottenham Court Rd – Central Line