The “exquisite” tapas bar Barrafina Adelaide Street was crowned winner of the first Evening Standard Best New London Restaurant Award at the capital’s biggest food festival.
The Spanish restaurant near Trafalgar Square beat competition from some of London’s most talented young chefs, in a vintage year for exciting restaurant launches.
Restaurateur brothers Sam and Eddie Hart opened Barrafina Adelaide Street in July last year as a sister to their Michelin-star Soho venue, Barrafina Frith Street.
Head chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho, 39, came to London from her native Bilbao aged 20 and first worked with the Hart brothers in 2003 at the now-closed Fino in Fitzrovia.
After a vote by Evening Standard readers, her newest venture was named the people’s choice at the annual Taste of London Festival in Regent’s Park — a celebration of the capital’s food, restaurants and chefs.
Top panel: Evening Standard food critics Grace Dent and Fay Maschler (Picture: Nigel Howard) The judging panel of top food writers Fay Maschler, Grace Dent and Joe Warwick had earlier drawn up a shortlist of the best six restaurants to open in the 12 months from January last year. On the list with Barrafina were: Typing Room in Bethnal Green; Lyle’s in Shoreditch; The Camberwell Arms in Camberwell; Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair, and The Manor in Clapham.
Sam Hart said he and his brother, who also run Quo Vadis in Soho, were “thrilled” to win, adding: “There were so many brilliant restaurants that opened last year. Quite a few are friends of ours, so the moment the award was announced was rather tense.
“Competition in London is always stiff, so it is a thrill to win. It is most important to us that this was voted for by readers. It means a huge amount.” Eddie Hart said: “I think we won because Barrafina is relaxed and fun and that is what the London market wants at the moment.
“And also because we combine brilliant food by the fantastic Nieves with fantastic staff headed up by Jose [Etura, general manager] who has worked so hard to make his team so friendly and knowledgeable.” Evening Standard restaurant critic Maschler said: “It is fantastic that readers voted for the only female chef in the running. Barrafina is a very deserved winner. The food is simply exquisite and it is a truly fantastic restaurant.”