Monday 19 December 2011

Barrica, Goodge Street, central London

A buzzing and cheery tapas bar, Barrica brings a whiff of Barcelona to Goodge Street. The decor, with yellow walls, a tiled floor and a grand wooden drinks cabinet, is traditional Spain, while the service by the young, edgy Spanish-speaking staff is friendly, but a little haphazard.  Across the all-day menu and the specials menus, there is a broad selection of hot and cold tapas, plus cheese and meat platters. But some of the dishes listed aren't always available. And make sure you get to Barrica by 9.30pm, as the kitchen can close surprisingly early. The boquerones (three for £2.95) are very fresh, while the cockles, tomatoes and cod, swimming in brine, is a great combination and you can really taste the sea. The baby spinach with garlic and melted cheese is also very good, while the duo of ham croquettes is salty, succulent and delicious. The tuna salad is very fresh, but a bit small for a fiver. The pile of patatas bravas is crispy and oily, but still mouthwatering. Other highlights include the salami with caperberries and the saddle of lamb, which is cooked to be pink in the middle and is well seasoned. Although you may find many of the dishes too salty, there is free tap water and good bread.  On the lengthy Spanish wine list, the Martin Berdugo Tinto Fino (175ml glass for about £6) is smooth, yet rich. Barrica, which levies a service charge of 12.5%, has a good vibe and is good value. 8/10