Fino

Why go here:

One of London’s first contemporary Spanish restaurants serving both traditional and modern tapas and sister restaurant to Barrafina, London’s only Michelin starred tapas bar.

What it looks like:

Unlike most other tapas bars with tiny spaces and wooden stool seating, Fino is a large, modern dining space with a bar curtain-ing the semi-open kitchen. Additionally, Fino is good for when you don’t want to queue since the unlike its sister restaurants, it does allow bookings.

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The food:

The restaurant has a regularly changing menu. The tapas are actually all served in decent sized portions and usually two will be more than enough to fill you up, excluding the cheapest dishes maybe (that are cheaper than £5 or £6).

The crispy pig’s head with cherry apple chutney, mustard and pickled onions was one of my favourites. Don’t let the words pig’s head deter you because there is no actual trace of the head. The name simply refers to the use of the meat from the pig’s head which is then braised, deep fried and formed into intensely rich croquettes, whose flavour was enhanced further by the sweetness of the cherry apple chutney and caramelised pickled onions.

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The clams were juicy, fresh and plentiful. The grilled quail came with a garlic aioli which was so delicious, it almost dominated the dish over the quail.

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The fava beans with chorizo was a rustic and hearty meal on its own and the texture of the firm chorizo worked really well with the smooth, squishy white beans.

My only complain would be with the timings of the dishes, which arrived at very different points over the course of about half an hour even though they were all ordered at the same time.

Verdict:

Go here if you want to try high quality tapas in a modern setting and if your friends don’t mind waiting in case your dish arrives much earlier than theirs. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous because you won’t easily get to try tapas of the same sort anywhere else or even at Fino itself due to the daily changing menu!

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