Address: Ground Floor, 2 Bligh Street Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9231 2551
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Barrafina tapas invited me and three guests to review the restaurant and try out their new menu.
I had been to Barrafina previously and while the food was tasty, service was quite disjointed and the portion sizes were not fantastic given the price.
This time around I was pleasantly surprised as our experience was much much better and we were impressed by how much things had changed.
The atmosphere on this particular Wednesday was pretty good.
When we arrived around 6pm it was pretty quiet inside (outside was roaring with the sound of happy post-work diners). By the end of the evening however, the inside was packed out too and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The decor is quite cute, and hadn’t changed much since I last visited.
There is a lot of yellow, grey and white furniture, which gives the place a very modern and funky atmosphere. The cute illustrations on the wall add some character and remind you that you are in a Spanish restaurant as it features wines, seafood and guitars. My Mum and I really liked the quaint little plants on the windowsill, which added a little colour and life to the place. Overall it is a very nice restaurant with lovely modern decor and a busy atmosphere.
Service was great despite the fact that they were pretty busy, it being a Thursday night.
Our lovely waitresses Camilla and Paloma gave us each a menu and brought out some drinks.
Paloma suggested about 8 plates for 4 people, but we ended up ordering a bit more than that as there were so many new dishes to try. For drinks I had just a diet coke, as they did not have lemon lime bitters.
Mum and Nos, who dined with MC and I, wanted fresh juices but they only had bottled ones, so they settled for bottled apple and orange juices. MC ordered Estrella Dam, a Spanish lager which was recommended by Camilla. Estrella Dam, $8.50
Food at Barrafina had improved a lot since I last visited with MDS.
Last time, MDS and I thought the food was tasty but not very well presented.
This time around, presentation was excellent. Every dish was plated up with flair and attention to detail.
The food was cooked well and was colourful and appealing to the eye.
We were served portions of four items per dish as there were four of us dining that evening. However, Paloma informed me that most dishes usually have about three items each- something to remember if you decide to dine there- 3 or 6 people would be ideal.
We started off with a light and refreshing dish, the Yellow Fin Tuna. This was a seared piece of tuna, which was glossy and beautiful in the middle and just cooked on the outside. The outside had a coating of spices which made it crunchy and salty. There was also a delicious white peach dressing and chilli vinaigrette, and an olive tapenade on top. We all loved this dish and it was a lovely light way to start off the meal.
Yellow Fin Tuna, $16.00
Next we enjoyed the Crisp Zucchini Flowers with Salted Cod Mayo.
Definitely the BEST zucchini flowers I have ever tasted, they were large, golden, crunchy and beautifully presented. The mayo was slightly fishy, but tasted a bit like aioli.
The zucchini stem was small and firm, yet cooked through, and the flowers were delicate and tasty.
Zucchini flowers, $11.00
We asked for the Yamba King Prawns with lemon, confit garlic, chilli and micro herbs ($22.00), which sounded delicious. Unfortunately, they were out of prawns so we had to order something else.
Paloma brought out the Octopus, but after seeing the large tentacles, none of us were keen to try it. It was nothing to do with the dish, but I just couldn’t fathom putting those little suckers anywhere near my face! Octopus
We decided to swap it for the Queensland Scallops with Chorizo and Sweetcorn Puree. This was a much better option, which we all enjoyed.
The scallops were slightly tough, just slightly, but the crispy chorizo and sweet, chunky corn puree were great with it.
Nos, who doesn’t eat pork, simply ate the scallops with the corn puree, and commented that she loved the texture and taste of the puree. Queensland Scallops, $24.00
Next up were the Crispy Moroccan Cigars with, sheep’s feta, and charred eggplant puree.
The cigars were very crunchy and had a creamy taste from the sheep feta and a smoky taste from the eggplant puree, which tasted like baba ghanouj.
This is a delicious and tasty dish that I think everyone would enjoy. Crispy Moroccan Cigars, $9.00
We then enjoyed the soft shell crab sliders. MDS and I had tried this previously but I liked them much much more this time.
The bread was sourdough and was soft and fresh. The crab wasn’t as crunchy as it could have been but was still delicious and salty, and I liked the addition of avocado. The harissa mayonnaise was tangy and sweet and the presentation was very cute. Soft Shell Crab Slider, $9.00
We enjoyed the Jamon Serrano and Manchego Cheese Croquetas with Tomato Salsa. Jamon Serrano is a Spanish cured and salted ham, similar to prosciutto, but made from a different breed of pig.
The croquettes were crispy and golden, almost perfectly round, and very nicely presented.
We enjoyed the creamy taste of the manchego and the little pork bits inside the croquettes. Croquettas, $10
On the recommendation of Paloma we tried the Beetroot Salad, a salad of gold beetroots, Spanish goats cheese, hazelnuts, sherry vinaigrette and baby beetroot puree.
The salad was vibrant and rich in flavour. The golden beetroot was a sweet and pumpkin-like vegetable which was lovely with the light and fluffy puree and tangy vinaigrette. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sheep’s cheese but there wasn’t too much of it in the dish. Beetroot Salad, $13.00
We moved on to the Wagyu Hanger Steak, a 5+ marble score piece of juicy meat, served with seasoned salt and herbs.
The steak was cooked medium-well (my preference) and came out perfectly cooked, juicy and succulent. The meat was already salted and didn’t need any of the salt on the plate. Wagyu steak, $22.00
After this feast, we shared two desserts between the four of us.
First up was the White Chocolate Parfait with Pistachio and Berries.
The ice cream element of the parfait was delicious and creamy but didn’t taste strongly of white chocolate. The crunchy tuile on top was lovely and added a beautiful texture.
We enjoyed the (very fresh and in season) blueberries and the lovely berry sauce. White Chocolate Parfait, $9.00
Next up was the Lime and Mango Crema Catalana with Summer Fruit.
The dish was well presented and my Mum loved the little glass jars.
The lime and mango curd at the bottom was delicious and tangy, almost like passionfruit. The crema catalana, is basically creme brulee. It was creamy and rich, super decadent and perfect with fresh fruits. A lovely way to end the meal. Crema Catalan, $9.00
I would rate my experience (out of 10):
- Service- 7
- Food- 8.75
- Ambience- 8
- Value –6.5
TCFB and guests dined as guests of Barrafina tapas, complimentary.