A former Barrafina Head Chef is opening Abel in Mercato Metropolitano

abel london

A Hot Dinners exclusive


What: Abel

In a nutshell: Barrafina head chef heads to Elephant & Castle

Summing it all up: Barcelona-born chef Javier Duarte Campos has left Barrafina Drury Lane to go it alone, opening his own tapas spot in Mercato Metropolitano.


The low-down

We're always interested when any alumnus of Barrafina heads off to start their own place - witness the recent feverish excitement about Nieves Barragán Mohacho and José Etura's Sabor. So when we heard that the Head Chef of Barrafina on Drury Lane was now heading up his own tapas spot down in Elephant and Castle, it's fair to say we wanted to find out more.

Javier Duarte Campos' new spot, Abel, is in Mercato Metropolitano - the Italian 'street food' market in Elephant and Castle. He's in the first room of the main eating in section, with the kind of set up you'd find in any market in Spain or Italy where all the activity happens in a teeny kitchen with counter dining all round it.

Duarte says his food is Mediterrean - "inspired by an amazing clash between coastal cuisine dominated by fish seafood or inland cuisine with fresh meat, hams, vegetables, fruits, freshwater fish."

Key to anyone who's a little bored with small plates, they'll be serving tapas as well as full-sized versions "for those of us who understandably don’t like sharing food."

Dishes include:

  • Tortilla with confit onions (£3)
  • Patatas bravas with allioli, brava sauce and infused chilli oil (£3)
  • Hake Pil-Pil with capers and lime (£5.50)
  • Pork ribs glazed with Oporto wine and pistachios (£4.50)

A short wine list covers Spain, France and Italy with wines including a Tkakolina at £9 a glass or Cloud Chaser rose from Provence at £7.50 a glass.


More about Abel

Where is it? Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR

When does it open? 4 April 2018

How to book: Walk-ins only

Find out more: Follow them on Instagram @abelrestaurant/


Subscribe to be the first to get the news from Hot Dinners