Barrafina: BIG on flavor.

Sometimes all we need is a little sincerity translated onto a plate in order to best savor these deep concentrated bursts of flavors. Here at Barrafina, this was exactly what I experienced. Small dishes, shared with much vexation (can't help it cause they were so good), each and every one of them telling a story. Simple ingredients, clean presentation, yet undoubtedly BIG on flavor.

With two options at hand, we stuck to the old school route, taking on the menu traditional. A platter of hand picked bio dynamic Spanish olive marinated in orange, thyme and chili comes out first; we follow suit, mastering healthy appetites following a few bouts of beers. Perfect for the peckish, these funky nobs of salty goodness were the perfect companion to our freshly drafted Estrella beer.

Barrafina pulls out all the stops with their jamon and manchego cheese croquetas served with salsa tomate.  A crusty exterior tears easily to reveal piping hot innards of smoky cured meat and creamy semi-melted manchego cheese in a fun loving mix of silky potato.  You fight off the urge to steal your companions balls and shift your attention instead to the next plate. Pa Amb Tomaquet - crisp baguette, shaved zucchini, vine tomato, manchego cheese, extra virgin olive oil. Do a little shut-eye from quiet contention. The toasted baguette an excellent vehicle to deliver the thin ribbons of zucchini, sweet tomatoes and shaved manchengo cheese into ones mouth.

They also do a Calamari dish. oh.. be still my heart. Calamares - crisp fried hawkesbury calamari served with saffron aioli. Fresh tentacles dressed in a light coating and fried to a perfect crisp, the seductive draping of amber colored aioli, the piece de resistance that elevated the dish.

But the King prawns ala plancha is the crowning glory for us. Here, yamba prawns marinated in white garlic are heavily blushed and lying seductively on a grey slate. You take a bite of the slightly charred body, swoop in on the sweet juicy brains and refresh yourself with a tangle of herbs. It's kind of wrong. It's all kinds of right.

The last savoury course comes in the form of Albondigas - venison, ricotta and pistachio meatballs, sprinkled with a magic dusting of Andalusian spices and sitting in a shallow pool of salsa tomate. It's pretty impossible not to love the hot and meaty mix, spiced up with the addition of earthy flavors injected in by the pistachios and that tangy tomato salsa. Yes, the mixture was loose and crumbled with much ease allowing for an easy dissection of the individual flavors.

Throughout the night, flow of dishes was executed with the unspoken expertise of an old timer.The Churros hit us on a high note. Spanish doughtnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with dark chocolate sauce. Cast aside refinement and dig into this with gusto. Sexy food for sure. The yeasty doughnuts with a slight chew in the center drenched in the rich woody scent of cinnamon, a perfect accompaniment to the cocoa powder based chocolate sauce. Simple, no frills and classic Spanish.

Barrafina Tapas Bar
Level G, 2 Bligh Street
Sydney CBD
NSW (2000)

Barrafina Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon


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Meet Sihan

Snap Eat Love is Lee Sihan. 27 going on 28, she is a dessert enthusiast, food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney. Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen

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