RestaurantsLondonBoroughSE1

survey result

Summary

£70
  £££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It’s a great show to watch the chefs at work”, perched on a stool at the counter of the Hart Bros’ “incredibly busy and buzzy” bars – their hyper-successful homage to Barcelona’s Cal Pep. “The tapas is always first rate” with “succulent grilled seafood all prepared in front of your very eyes” a highlight. “Staff are friendly and efficient and take such pride in the dishes and their presentation”. (In April 2023, executive chef Angel Zapata Martin left the group after six years, leaving Antonio Gonzales Milla minding the central Barrafina locations, and Francisco Jose Torrico in charge of Coal Drops Yard and Borough).

Summary

£70
  £££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Sights and smells of Spain sitting at the counter” provide “heaven on a stool” at the Hart Bros’ faithful recreations of Barcelona’s Cal Pep: still, after 15 years, one of the most-mentioned groups in our survey. The “extraordinary tapas is full of fresh ideas” – there’s “always something new to try on the menu” (created by their chef/director Angel Zapata Martin) – and it “still deserves top marks, particularly the seafood” (which is the only option nowadays at the WC2 ‘Mariscos’ outlet). A meal is “not cheap” mind you (in fact, even fans can find prices “crazy”) but the overall verdict? “Worth the queue, and the bill!” (In July 2022, they added a new, fifth branch to the group, in SE1’s Borough Yards developments).

Summary

£65
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“As brilliant as ever… and being able to book is a big bonus!!” – the Hart Bros’ recreations of Barcelona’s Cal Pep are “still going strong”; and with the Drury Lane branch – Barrafina Mariscos – now dedicated to seafood. “Sitting at the bar is just so intimate”: “it’s fun to watch all the prep” and “watching the chefs at work simply makes you want to order more of the superb tapas”. “This is the food that made lockdown so hard. The food you can’t cook yourself… the courgette flower a crispy, yet unctuously delicious, dirty cheesy and honey- dripping delight, and the oh so, so, so oozingly fabulous tortilla with prawns and peppers”. And “the people watching is fabulous” too. One warning flag though. The ratings slipped a fraction this year, alongside the odd comment that “while it’s very good on a good day, consistency can be an issue”; or that “what once seemed almost impossibly daring now feels more familiar and comfy”. Still, for most folks, it’s plain “terrific”. Top Tip – at all branches, not just Mariscos, “the fish is fantastic”.

Summary

£59
   ££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The tapas is perfection and the equal of Cal Pep in Barcelona” at the Hart Bros’ “vibrant” chain of small (typically 30 covers) no-bookings bars, which its vast fanclub acclaim as “the best tapas in London or in the UK or perhaps even in Europe north of the Pyrenees!”, with “delicious, ultra-fresh seafood” a particular highlight. The preparation at the counter is “still a great piece of theatre” and – buoyed by its “exceptional, friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff” – helps create a feelgood experience. The queue used to be part of the ritual, although the ability to book is one silver lining of Covid-19. The Pandemic has also led to the reformatting of the Drury Lane branch as ‘Barrafina Mariscos’ with a seafood menu and waiter service.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Barrafina?

Barrafina Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Barrafina Restaurant in SE1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Barrafina restaurant.
Geoffrey P
And now you can reserve tables ...! ...
Reviewed 2 months, 17 days ago

"And now you can reserve tables ...! "

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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11 pm
Thursday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11 pm
Friday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11 pm
Saturday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11 pm
Sunday12 pm‑5 pm

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