Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“The wait can sometimes be twice the time spent at the counter”, but no-one seems to mind at the Hart Bros kick-ass small group of Barcelona-inspired tapas haunts in Soho (now relocated to the ground floor of Quo Vadis) and Covent Garden. “The buzz is amazing” and, having nabbed a perch (fewer than 30 in each branch), everyone “loves the open kitchen and watching the keen staff at work”, while the dishes themselves are genius – “fresh seafood is amongst the highlights” but “even something as simple as tomato bruschetta is transformed here”. (So far, the February 2017 departure of founding group exec head chef, Nieves Barragán Mohacho, to found Sabor, has had zero effect on ratings – the new incumbent is Angel Zapata Martin.)
“It’s a theatrical experience to watch your food being prepared with such artistic delicacy and loving care” at the Hart Bros’ “rightly celebrated” bars, whose “utterly brilliant” tapas is “better even than in Barcelona”. Despite “a queue visible from the space station” (at W1 especially), the food is “totally worth the wait every time” and the “terrific and very kind” staff add to the “wonderfully dynamic” atmosphere. “Exceptionally, the spin-offs are as good as the original” (each is “subtly different”), but in autumn 2016, change is afoot, as the original Frith Street branch moves site into the redeveloped ground floor of nearby Quo Vadis (see also). Top Menu Tip – “everything is bloomin’ marvellous and fresh, but anything out of the sea most especially so”.
“I’m never happier than perched on a stool here, watching the incredible food being prepared!” – The Hart Bros have fully captured the zeitgeist with their “thrilling” small foodie meccas in Soho and Covent Garden – “truly exciting, vibrant London experiences” founded in “some of the best tapas outside Barcelona” (and in particular “peerlessly fresh fish”), “fabulous” wines and sherries, and “empathetic” service. “You wait over an hour for a seat, but it really is THAT good!” Incredibly, the second branch is rated just as highly as the Frith Street original, and to sound in-the-know, remark on how the Josper Oven makes the fish taste even better at Adelaide Street. Can they pull it off again with Branch No. 3?
“Our hands-down favourite, even with the nightmare queue!”; the Hart brothers’ tiny Soho bar dazzles fans with its “unfailingly exciting” dishes (“especially the seafood and the tortilla”); the new Covent Garden sibling is likewise a wow, serving “the freshest food, with passion”.
Barrafina Drury Lane Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Food lovely, whether new and interesting or accurately trad. Standards - and prices - still high, but service is spot-on, even though it's always busy and there are baleful queuers hoping you won't have another drink.... The tragic mystery of why Chinese students spend £50 each on food, photograph it and don't eat it while elbowing you remains unsolved."
"Got lucky Monday early evening. Four spaces became free. Tasty food excellent oysters, monkfish, prawns etc. Friendly service and great atmosphere. Fairly expensive but overall worth it."
"Best oyster I have tasted. Excellent battered Monkfish. Outstanding prawns. Wonderful atmosphere with very good and friendly service. Love this place."
"These (no reservation)spanish places are superb. There was a queue at noon and by 12.30 it was full. The menu changes slowly so repeat visits cannot be too frequent although they add 12 specials on a board. Service is delightful and all is explained - you can see what others have ordered and what is cooking. Everything is made to order - our Red mullet fell off the bone, super fresh. Also stuffed courgette, squid and so one all just perfect. Deserts vary - ask the waiter as he will guide you - in our case away from the apple pie to a fried wonder. Wines are good and by the glass- don't forget the Cava. Quick eat place as the stools are not for long meals - outside chairs are much better but it is in the shade..brrr. Prices are OK - about £65 for 2 eating modestly - sharing desert..."