It is not often that my friend and I are totally silenced by food but this happened not once but three times, followed by reverent murmured “oh my gods” as we each tried to get more of said dish onto our plates. It cements the new Barrafina Borough Market as one of the best meals I have had this year.
Already beloved by London foodies, Barrafina’s new site in trendy-beautiful Borough Market, formally known as Barrafina Borough Yards, is an absolute joy from start to finish. Head to adjoining Bar Daskal first with its cool colour-blocking and Mediterranean arches for cocktails or a sherry then through to the restaurant.
Starting with a crisp glass of Llopart Brut Cava, we enjoyed two of the best dishes of the star-studded night. The unbelievably light and crispy calamari restored my faith in fried squid after countless lazily prepared rubbery versions, and the torreznos, a pork belly bacon dish studded with onions and finely sliced green chillies had less of the fat and all of the flavour and took the humble pig to new levels of gastro delight.
It was the first conversational pause of the evening, and I am still thinking about it now. What followed was plate after plate of fresh, flavoursome, perfectly prepared Spanish fare.
The cheeky piquant banderilla bite; The succulent gambas rojas, peeled and eaten with gusto, and a glass of terrific Godello 2020; The roast aubergine tartar made creamy with goats’ cheese then elevated with deep, sweet honey.
Stuffed to the brim by the huge sizzling pan of Arròs Brut, rabbit, duck and pork melting into velvety rice, we were convinced to try the ‘special’, a glorious king scallop the size of my fist and the final moment of quiet wonderment of the evening.
The service was impeccable, the atmosphere outstanding and the food superb. It was one of those occasions where you wish you never got full, but sadly, we did. Next time I visit for dinner, I shall be skipping lunch…
Barrafina Borough Market take bookings on their website