Barrafina: Queueworthy

54 Frith St, W1D 4SL

Ticking a restaurant off your never-ending wish list of places to try can be incredibly satisfying. However we would have to quit our day jobs, win the lottery or succumb to being morbidly over-weight if we were to stay on top of all the new restaurants opening around the capital.

Another reason for the growing list is the fact a lot of restaurants operate a no-bookings policy (joy!) so you’d have to have the patience of a saint to wait almost two hours for your supper every evening…

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Saying that there are some restaurants which are definitely worth the wait, where even the longest waiting time will not deter you, queueworthy some would say – Barrafina is definitely one of these.

Leaving work on the dot and making a mad dash for the tube we arrived at Barrafina just after 6 expecting to be eating within half an hour – but how wrong we were.

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A long queue stretched ahead of us with a wait of over an hour and a half, they open for supper early (at about 5.30) and the place is clearly packed out all night long.

However the joy of Barrafina is that you can eat and drink whilst you wait… we kept ourselves occupied with plates of Monkfish Tempura and our old favourite Padron Peppers.

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In what didn’t seem like an age – we were shown to our seats at the bar!

It was time to eat…

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Okay, Okay – you busted us! We broke our dry January…two days before completing a totally dry month.

You know what we couldn’t care less! Cava was all we could think about whilst we were queuing….

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Oh and Pan con Tomate, naturally.

So simple yet so f-ing delicious!

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We were dining with the world’s biggest chorizo fan…so the Chorizo Iberico de Bellota was an obvious order.

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We’d heard stories of Barrafina’s Tuna Tartare – and it certainly didn’t disappoint – thick chunks of fresh tuna served with the lightest of avocado mousses, this was a dish we almost couldn’t bear to share!

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A perk of sitting at a bar is the interaction you get with the Chefs…also with dishes whizzing past you to fellow dinners you are always going to discover something new, we pointed to a dish which was being enjoyed a few stools along…

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And added the Pollock from the specials to our order!

A few years ago pollock was the most unfashionable of fish, with people actually returning them to the sea if they were found on the end of their line – today however its a common fish to see on menus.

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You knew they were coming right?

Ham Croquetas…our absolute favourite, and Barrafina’s were top notch.

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Crispy on the outside – and gooey as hell on the inside!

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With orders coming through thick and fast, and the hungry queue of customers never seeming to die down the kitchen kept their cool and continued to churn out well presented dishes.

The space behind the L-shaped bar isn’t the most spacious of kitchens but it was clear each chef had their station covered – there were no Gordon Ramsay moments – with the chefs moving in unison, avoiding any collisions as they bought their dishes to the pass.

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The Squid was uber fresh without a hint of chewiness…

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Barrafina’s Courgette Flower has become something of an urban legend.

Salted, Fried, filled with a soft goat cheese and drizzled with honey this dish takes things to the next level.

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Can you just promise us you’ll try it?

Barrafina has been on our Wishlist since its arrival back in 2007, so by now you’d have thought the queues would have died down however it has been quite the opposite with popularity continuing to soar brothers Sam and Eddie Hart have opened a further two Barrafina’s around Covent Garden.

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And what more the Frith Street restaurant was recently awarded their first Michelin Star – just a casual Friday meal out I hear you say? The prices are surprisingly attractive…

So there you have it – Barrafina – Done!

The Burp Blog’s Verdict: Five out of Five Forks

Price: £££ (approx. £55 each including drinks and service)

The Burp’s Top Tip: Go at lunchtime to avoid the mega queues, but at dinner time just face reality that your going to have to wait!

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