Barrafina – Review (Drury Lane London)

The owners of the fabulous trio of Barrafina’s – Eton-educated Sam and Eddie Hart are behind what many will argue the best tapas restaurants in the Capital – serving à la carte plates, led by executive chef Nieves Barragàn Mohacho.  Being raised in the Basque Country and having widely travelled the under-belly of Galacia, San Sebastian & Mallorca means her food is heavily influenced by those unique cultures. Earlier this year the Frith Street original, which I hold dearly to my heart won a Michelin Star, a very special accolade indeed. Just a couple of weeks ago the duo opened the part tres in the heart of the theatre land on Drury Lane, which is geared towards the theatre goers. Trust me on this, it is the hottest new launch since the the opening of Soho original 2008. Just like the others it operates on a no booking policy, delivering beautifully sourced seasonal products served with a real depth of flavour. Eat at any Barrafina and you will spread the gospel on how good it really is, and after eating at Drury Lane I can comfortably claim that it was the best meal I have had in 2015. Let the pictures do the talking!

My most recent visit can be seen here.

Strictly no bookings first come first serve ethos?  No problem, we’ll just perch ourselves on the bar behind the seating area and order some snacks and wine whilst we wait.IMG_0355IMG_0356

Karma De Drac £30 per bottle or £6 per a glass was a smart move, as the super fruity, light plonk accompanied the food really well.IMG_0353

Pimientos De Pardrón £5; this is a usual suspect for most, and an obvious choice for me – just like the other Barrafina’s they were cooked perfectly, plump, oily and salty. The perfect little dish to get the taste buds going.IMG_0352

Bomba Ibericá £5.8; I love the name and loved the taste too. These crispy shelled snacks, filled with potato and Iberico pork ragu were astounding. The potato provided the perfect foil for the rich ragu and the sweet tang of the romesco sauce teased the palate to want more. My only slight grumble is that the aioli was unnecessary and it was a little pricey for a couple of mouthfuls. IMG_0361


I could happily spend a few days here trying everything in rotation – we had to forcibly prise ourselves off those stools though from being so greedy!IMG_0365

The days specials we’re presented eloquently by our lovely waitress. Based on previous positive experiences at Frith St, we opted for Caribinero prawns £8.50 each , Razor Clams £9.80 and Beetroot Salad with White Peach £7.50. Also how could we resist all that seafood nestled on ice for all the see? It’s a sales pitch in itself. IMG_0372

First up from the specials were the Caribinero’s. They didn’t disappoint with their delicious sweet flesh and lobster-bisque-esque flavour from the head. This is the only time you will see me sucking head! The one’s at Frith St were more succulent though as they were cooked on the plancha vs under the grill at Drury Lane.IMG_0390

Pan Con Tomate £2.8 (each) – the tomato’s are presented in more of a fleshier form than that of Firth St or Adelaide St, which is a refreshing change. Still awesome regardless, as those sweet tomatoes dressed with salt, olive oil on top of that crisp sour dough really nails it. IMG_0393

Prawn Tempura £4.6 (each) – this was a fun little dish. The sweet prawn is fried, then served in a shot glass with flavour enhancing chilli jam.IMG_0397


Cuttle Fish Empanada £7.5. I loved this dish. The cuttle fish is perfectly seasoned, has tonnes of umami and is encased in rich flakey pastry. It came with sweet little pea shoots that were dressed really well.


Crab Bun £8.80 (each). This little bun stole the show and my heart. It momentarily stopped me in my tracks as I was overwhelmed at how good it was. The crab filling was super rich/creamy and the poppy seed bun was the perfect foil to soak it all up. I could have rammed another one down easily. If you don’t order this, you WILL miss out.IMG_0405


Choriza Tortilla £7.5. They are works of art in my opinion – prepared in their own dinky little frying pans, browned on the outside and oozing in the middle. (It’s a must have delicious staple). The aioli with little chunks of chorizo on top looks great, but it was rich enough without it.IMG_0410

Razor Clams £9.8 for 2. These are big boys and packed full of sweet flavour. Perfectly caramelised on the plancha, dressed with garlic, olive oil and parsley. So simple yet so effective.IMG_0411

Pork Belly Mojo Verde £12.60. It makes me so happy knowing that this divine swine features as a regular on the menu. The taste was unreal. There’s a delicate interplay of moist flesh, fat and crispy skin, which is conducive of perfectly timed cooking. The herby mojo verde helped provide a fresh balance to the rich sauce too.  IMG_0415



Pheasant Egg and Morchilla De Burgos on Toast £7.50. Crisp bread topped with Spanish blood pudding, broad beans and the perfectly cooked pheasant eggs are topped with paprika. This is one of dishes that you must order – a case in point as to why Barrafina Drury Lane is so brilliant.IMG_0418

Braised Ox Tongue £6.80. A melange of vegetables slow cooked to a rich sauce covering the tender tongue lightly coated in batter – what more do you need to know? Just order it! IMG_0424

Beetroot Salad with White Peach £6.50. This arrived at the end, but it made perfect sense in doing so, the beets were super sweet, slightly earthy and seasoned really well. White peach flesh is less acidic than it’s yellow siblings and I couldn’t praise enough on how delicate and sweet they were.IMG_0421

Tomato Fennel & Avocado Salad £7.5. This also arrived at the end but timed perfectly, as not only was the it delicious, it cleansed the palate too!IMG_0437

The verdict;

The damage: Expect to pay £65-£80 per head with wine.
The good: Service is friendly, well informed, produce is smartly sourced and cooked beautifully. It’s a real stand out restaurant let alone tapas bar. It has set the bar really high again.
The bad: Some minor gripes were the running out of pimientos just after our waitress sat us down, aioli was over-kill on the Bomba Ibericá’s and Tortilla’s. Oh and some may loathe the non-booking policy!
Rating: 5/5
43 Drury Lane, WC2B 5AJ

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