Barrafina Tapas Bar
2 Bligh St
Sydney CBD

Barrafina is a dash of Barcelona, with a twist, right in the heart of Sydney CBD, the real business heart downtown. In this case they're right on the corner of Bligh and Bent streets.

It's a place that has that certain feel to it - you relax instantly in the chic yet casual surroundings just knowing that you're in for a good night.

Barrafina isn't a big place in size, but it's big on style. The use of dark walls and irregular timber nooks creates a nice eclectic feel that really works well.

Clearly it's Spanish influenced, but this is just the base. There are elements of a lot of other tastes and styles melded into the food here by talented chef Ran Kimelfeld and dynamic owner (and chef in his own right) Peter Varvaressos.

Ceviche - raw seafood usually served with citrus - is one of those dishes that some people gravitate to while others are intrigued by but nervous about.

We love it - especially Sir. This ceviche of ocean trout came served with ruby grapefruit and piquillo pepper. It was so vibrantly colourful on black slate and had a freshness of flavour that was simply divine. What a great start to the dinner that lay ahead!

As some would know, our love affair with oysters continues to grow strongly. The variations also seem to constantly expand too. These Pacific oysters looked spectacular and were served with a delicious combination of vinegar, shallots, watermelon and vodka caviar. You kind of just knew they'd taste great as soon as you saw them - and they did. 

If sliders excite you like they do for us, then soft shell crab sliders should have you literally ecstatic. These lovely crisp and tangy treats also had avocado mousse and chipotle mayo. Mlady will almost always have croquettes when they're available. These jamon Serrano and manchego croquetas with tomato salsa kept her very happy and satisfied her croquette cravings nicely.

A dish called "fish fingers" evokes childhood memories. These were much more sophisticated and tasty. It was white anchovies on top of crispy polenta fries served with salsa romesco. The grilled artichoke, cauliflower, broken wheat, preserved lemon dressing, crunchy pomegranate and almonds was another fresh, colourful and extremely tasty dish, and a perfect side or veg main.

The pan-seared scallops with chorizo and sweet corn puree was such a pretty dish.

The colours of the white scallops and the reddish chorizo all nestled on top of a bed of bright yellow sweet corn really popped off the black slate.

They were beautifully cooked too - with a gentle hand to keep in the flavour and moisture.

Then it was time for dessert, and we were told to save room for it. Any dessert called "Pop Your Cherry" was going to be ordered!

Wow - it was chocolate cherry fondant with cherry foam, cherry gel and vanilla ice cream.

It was a delicious triple treat of cherry - and we do love that cherry ripe hit! 

The more delicate saffron and rose water flan was simply beautiful. It had pistachio baklava, citrus pearls, grapefruit and basil syrup and garnished with some basil too. It was an amazing mix of flavours and textures that worked so well together. 

Barrafina Tapas Bar is an experience that everyone must try. It's origins are there but with variations that take it to other places as well without losing its Spanish base.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Barrafina and its owner Peter Varvaressos. Special thanks to Ida and Sophie for looking after us so well during our visit and Ran for his great food. Big thanks also to Carly "Frankie" Franklin of The Press Site for arranging our visit.

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