Barrafina, Frith Street.
Queuing for a table in a restaurant is not something I have ever been keen on, in fact, first glance of a queue and I’m back out the door to somewhere else. I’m more of a get in, sit down and eat, pay up and leave kind of girl, but over these last few weeks I have had my eyes opened to a new way of eating out in restaurants. And when I say restaurants, I mean ‘small bars with seats’ and when I say eating out, I mean ‘gorging like a little piglet until I have food coming out my ears’.
Barrafina wasn’t my first experience of this queuing culture, I had previously been to Spuntino …a 70 minute wait in near darkness followed by expensive and average at best food, wasn’t much fun at all. And before that, I had accidentally ended up at the front of the queue at Burger and Lobster – but I could see everyone else queuing behind and I almost definitely would have queued for the lobster and two butters for dipping.
Back to Barrafina and standing alongside a wooden ledge for 90 minutes to wait for tapas whilst people only arm’s length away glisten with butter soaked chins and chorizo stained fingers is tough going for anyone, least of all a person whose three dietary staples are butter, salt and garlic. Thankfully, I was able to speed up 3 minutes of that time with chorizo strips wrapped in crispy fried potato.
Two glasses of delicious chilled peachy white wine later we were seated and served by a waiter and two chefs. I was just about able to tear myself away from the delicate carving of the jamón señorio de montanera to listen to the specials of the day. I’ve heard of people describing meat as ‘melt in the mouth’ but never have I really experienced it until I ate the lamb cheek. It was absolutely sublime. And garlicky. Suffice to say, the rich flavoursome lamb whet my appetite and so came the salt cod fritters, warm chorizo, potato and watercress salad and for nibbling, more potato and garlic – chips with Brava sauce. Had I have given anything that wasn’t on my plate in front of me a thought, I would have some more aptly filtered pictures of my feastings. Alas, I found myself using chips as a scooping mechanism to ensure every last piece of fried garlic was eaten. They also made use as a chorizo oil sponge.
Leaving Frith Street everyone within a 1-mile radius of me was comatose with my garlicky breath and sleeping whilst emanating such a potent aroma was impossible. Completely worth the insomnia and so worth the queuing time.
Barriga llena corazon contento.