The New Barrafina in Covent Garden: What to Eat & Drink
The Gist: The highly anticipated second branch of Sam and Eddie Hart's popular Soho tapas bar opens in Covent Garden.
The Vibe: High ceilings, big wraparound windows, a buzzing atmosphere and 29 bar stools perched at a marble counter facing inwards to the open-plan kitchen make you feel like you are at an authentic tapas bar in Barcelona. Like the Soho branch, they don't take reservations at the counter, but you can reserve tables for eight in the downstairs space, which is also available for private parties of 60 and comes with its own private kitchen and plancha (Spanish grill).
Eat This: Old favourites like jamón Iberico and stuffed courgette flowers, as well as new dishes including carpaccio of Mediterranean prawns with bonito and chargrilled lambs' kidneys.
Drink This: Manzanilla Pasada en Rama, available by the glass or bottle.
Skip This: The Saturday-night rush — unless you have a reservation.
The Damage: Approximately £45 per person.
The Verdict: It's well worth the wait for a space at the counter.