A tiny hideaway, Barrafina Tapas Bar is a hive of originality, creativity and celebration of food delicately balancing a mix of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine with subtle influences from the East.
The phrase 'Barrafina' is Spanish in origin and translates to ‘long bar’ in English. The name was derived from our concept of sitting at a long bar in Spain where customers can view their meals being made and to watch the ‘theatre’ of the kitchen at work, where shared dining and experiencing multiple flavours from shared plates occurs, common to the lively hubs of food creativity in Las Ramblas of Barcelona and in the North of Spain, most notably San Sebastian. In the Basque regions to the north, tapas are called pinxos. In these smoky bars of San Sebastian, small beautifully crafted bites are lined up on plates for customers to choose.
In Spain, drinking and eating in public is not just an event for the young, it’s a cultural phenomenon that encompasses almost the entire adult population.
The main meal of the day is usually eaten at home around 2 pm. People then go back to work around 4pm and finish by 8pm. After work they prefer a light meal – and this is prime tapeo time. It’s then that the streets come alive with well-dressed groups of people, all intent on enjoying themselves with a beer or a glass of wine and sharing plates of something small. These little plates may include a small pyramid of tiny pale-orange prawns, deep-fried, served cold and eaten whole. There may be some wafer-thin slices of Jamon Iberico or an earthenware plate with morsels of succulent lamb. These little plates are called tapas.
Originally a Madrid tradition of offering discs or ‘tops’ of bread to keep flies out of the wine glasses, the dishes became more elaborate and the tradition spread nationwide. Today, eating tapas is a global phenomenon – a grazing process of lots of little nibbles of really good plates of food. Not just for fuel to keep old and young alike out to all hours of the evening, tapas are also flavoursome little highlights that punctuate the night and create an area of focus around which everyone comes together.
The real delight in tapas is the approach to eating. It’s a walk in, stand or sit at the bar type of affair where drinks and a few plates are ordered and where meanwhile, everyone still keeps on talking without changing gear. Everyone shares the moment, the food and the drink. They blend in seamlessly with the conversation, the flirting, the political discourse and the business talk. Unlike restaurant food, tapas don’t intend to take a lead role: they are part of the supporting cast.
The dining scene here in Australia is dominated by the entrée/main/dessert trifecta. Across the nation, diners generally order a three-course meal – and they pretty much keep each one to themselves. In Spain, the reverse is true. The Spanish order many small dishes to share with each other so as to enjoy all the beautiful food.
At Barrafina Tapas Bar we’re celebrating this Spanish format of eating, which we believe is appropriate to the Australian psyche – accessible, flexible and stylish. The bar and cosy restaurant is really just a large communal table around which occurs the theatre of the kitchen, where staff and patrons are both performers and the audience. The atmosphere of a great tapas bar can be described in two words – serious fun.
Barrafina Tapas Bar has a small bar licence, meaning that if you like you can come in for a drink without having a meal.
So whether you are after a tasty treat or just a great glass ion wine, we are sure to have you covered
Due to the Liquor Licensing Laws of NSW, Barrafina Tapas Bar is not allowed to have minors on their premises between the hours of 12pm-10pm