Looking for a pre-teaching lunch we ambled through Fitzrovia seeking fresh pastures. Do I want to go to a restaurant called Dickie Fitz? No. No I don’t. A cabaret mebbe, but not somewhere for lunch. Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives on Goodge Street.
One of which is Barrica, an old favourite. They do tapas here that are as good as anything I’ve had in Spain. We got there early so they were still writing up the specials on the board, of which we took a squid ink rice. From the card we had octopus, chicken, tortilla, peppers and chorizo. A hefty lunch but excused by the prospect of football playing in the evening.
The tortilla arrived first. It was a straight tortilla, kinda like the
Ray Wilkins Scott Parker of tortilla – no superfluity, no surprises and completely unlikely to get sent off in a crucial world cup match for no good reason. Which is no bad thing as more interesting eats were to come. The octopus, for example, was a chunky heft off the legtacle (a bloctopus of octopus if you will) over a heap of sweet cauliflower.
And then your chorizo wasn’t of the sliced variety but rather of a girth and length that one might see hanging off an aroused Alsatian. With a couple of spuds for good measure. Visually striking you might say! Tasted good. The peppers were bang on and delivered good smokiness while the rice was crunchy and depth of the sea flavoured. What about the chicken you say? I don’t know what they did to the chicken but it tasted better than any chicken I’ve had this year. It made me want a whole chicken like that. House wine is a white Rioja that tastes better than anything you can buy for more money in most chains.
The room was empty when we arrived but pretty much full by the time we got coffee – with service that is charming and efficient you can see why the denizens of adland make this place a regular. I’d say I was gutted not to be able to go back to Barrica except that I spotted Salt Yard down the road and look forward to squeezing that in before the end of the year. I wonder how it’ll shape up in comparison.
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).