June 5th, 2013

Last week I went out for tapas with Steve at Barrica in Fitzrovia. It poured with rain like a biblical flood and a white van blocked the entrance, so I went back this morning to get a decent picture of the facade. Don’t be fooled by the dark interior, Barrica is generally full, so it’s worth booking.



I had sherry (mine was a fino) and some salted Marcona Almonds while looking at the menu.

pimientos de padron

pimientos de padrón

We had some Pimientos de Padrón to start – these are small green peppers (originally brought back from Mexico), named after the town of Padrón in Galicia, which holds a festival in their honour every year. The peppers are salted and fried in olive oil until they blister. Most of them are mild, but one in every five or so peppers is hot.

tortilla de patata

tortilla de patata

The Tortilla de Patata was excellent – note the soft sticky caramelised onion in between the layers of potato.

chorizo extra bellota

chorizo extra bellota

The Chorizo Extra Bellota was of a high quality not seen much outside of Spain. You will probably get this in Brindisa, but not in English supermarkets, who sell the cheaper varieties.

croquetas de jamon

croquetas de jamon

I love croquetas and couldn’t resist the Croquetas de Jamon with their crunchy, fried breadcrumbs on the outside and delicious salty ham and béchamel on the inside.

jamon bellota

jamón bellota

The Jamón Bellota came finely shaved, from the hind leg of a pig that was fed acorns for (at least) the last three to four months of it’s life. Bellota literally means acorn fed and the fat in these pigs contains a high percentage of oleic acid (from their diet), the same as in olive oil. No wonder the Spanish don’t think of ham as meat!



For a change from meat, we ordered a plate of Idiazabal – a creamy, unpasteurised, smoked Basque ewe’s cheese. Seen here with a few more almonds.

maldonado lomo extra bellota

maldonado lomo extra bellota

In spite of the cheese, something drew us back to the outstanding charcuterie and a plate of Maldonado Lomo Extra Bellota. Lomo is cured pork loin and once again this one was the best quality acorn fed pig.

choc ice

choc ice

Having been almost stuffed with the finest pork, I pushed the boat out and ordered a choc ice (Sal de Mar Caramelo Chocolate con Helado de Aceite de Oliva). However, it was no ordinary choc ice, having been made with sea salt and olive oil! It seemed creamier than milk ice cream and I got little bursts of salt from the crystals in the chocolate.

The quality of food here was excellent – especially the ham. Our Andalusian waitress was friendly, attentive and good-humouredly put up with my rusty Spanish. She laughed and scolded me for being vulgar when I said the food was, “De puta madre”, (which it was).

Barrica isn’t cheap, but it’s definitely worth a visit. We drank a bottle of the house Temperanillo, which washed the jamón down nicely.

Barrica is at: 67 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4NE

Square Meal

About Mad Dog
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38 Responses to Barrica

  1. andreamynard says:

    Looks amazing, I’m very partial to a fino sherry with tapas and these look really excellent. I once tried growing padron peppers as I always love them in Spain, but have to admit my whole harvest was only one decent tapas portion. Very interested to hear about the acorn-fed pigs – we collected acorns and gave them as treats to our pigs and just enjoying our own salty air-dried ham from them. When I enjoy a slither of our ham with fino, I’ll claim it’s purely for the health benefits now! That choc ice sounds amazing too.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Andrea! Obviously fat is still fat, but fat containing oleic acid (also found in duck and goose fat) is considered to be a healthier variety. Apparently it contains good cholesterol too. Even regular lard contains less cholesterol than butter 😉

  2. They look like the best tapas I’ve seen outside Spain, or my own kitchen! The charcuterie looks amazing and, nice though the cheese must have been, I think I would have gone back to the acorn-fed pork too!

  3. Haha, the waitress has clearly been living away from home turf for some time 😉 That salty-chocolate-olive-oil ice-cream sounds a) interesting and b) delicious – doubt I’d find one like that here.

    • Mad Dog says:

      It is funny, I’ve been scolded several times here by Spanish people for sayng, “De puta madre”, but never in Spain. Nevertheless, it always makes them laugh!

  4. ¡Jajaja! Qué tío… O sea que de P#%$& madre?
    Todo tiene una pinta buenísma MD, hay que ver lo bien que te cuidas 😉

    • Mad Dog says:

      Gracias Giovanna! Barrica es excelente. Curiosamente, un montón de buenos bares y restuaurtants españoles se han abierto en el centro de Londres durante los últimos cinco años – la comida española es “chic” aquí 😉

  5. Looks amazing mate, you don’t half eat at some lovely places, just my kind of food.

  6. The charcuterie looks amazing, in fact it all does, thanks for the recommendation, would like to eat there when I am next in London, including for the Pimientos ‘roulette’ 🙂

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks! There’s a lot more to the menu, but the excellent cured meat had us wanting more. I really like pimientos roulette and they are not very high up on the Scoville Scale 😉

  7. Eha says:

    Methinks I’ll go pour myself a fino sherry even if it is just lunch time and then come to scroll and rescroll: what fabulous food! At the moment ‘virtual’ definitely is insufficient 😦 !

  8. Tessa says:

    Looks absolutely delicious! I love a great tapas restaurant!

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    You eat at some of the best places, MD. The meals you share with us always leave me hungry. It’s 1:30 AM. I do not need to be hungry. 🙂

  10. Everything looks wonderful. I wish we had a Barrica here in Stuttgart.

  11. Aha, sp Spanish food is now “chic” exciting! And as Fiona says, the waitress has been away from home too long 😉 Looks like a wonderful place, will have to send this one to my parents so that they can visit it when they’re in town. Loved the look of that choc ice too….and am not normally a dessert person.

  12. Karen says:

    I would love every single thing that you ordered…the tortilla is probably the best looking one I have seen with all the caramelized onions.

  13. Amy Tong says:

    I love small dishes like this so you can try many different thing in the same visit. Everything you ordered look wonderful. I’m drooling over all the pork and the choc ice. 😛

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Amy. I love small dishes too. I went to the Soho Food Feast on Saturday – lots of little plates from some of the best chefs in London. It was amazing 🙂

  14. Pingback: june in my kitchen | shabby chick

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