Updated 24/1/18 with opening date
In a nutshell: Ex Barrafina chef Nieves Barragan opens her own restaurant.
Summing it all up: They've both been driving forces behind Barrafina's success and now Nieves Barragan and José Etura are opening Sabor, their own restaurant.
They've both been driving forces behind Barrafina's success and now Nieves Barragan and José Etura are opening their own restaurant.
Like most food-obsessed Londoners, we've been huge fans of Barrafina over the years and a big part of that has been Nieves Barragan's leading of the kitchens. So when news broke that she was moving on, we were all eager to see what was next. And now Sabor has been revealed as her own restaurant.
She's partnering up with José Etura, who also spent 10 years at Barrafina, becoming the general Manager there. The duo are creating Sabor as a Spanish restaurant, bar and asador on Heddon Street (just off Regent Street). We're told to expect the food to focus on recreating an experience like the tapas bars of Andalucía, the asadors of Castile and the seafood restaurants of Galicia. Dishes might be:
- Diver Caught Scallop & 5 jotas Ham Consome
- Chipirones ensutinta
- Wild Rabbit Empanadilla
- Jerusalem Artichoke and Jamon Tortilla with Sage Alioli.
Obviously the kitchen at Barrafina was central to the experience, so expect the same here. The ground floor is where the main dining counter is located, surrounding the open kitchen. So fans of counter dining, like us, will be in for a treat. They'll serve up Nieves take on regional dishes from across Spain, including Basque country and Catalonia. Can't remember what you've ordered? Well that'll be handily written on the limestone bar in chalk for you.
And there will be a separate bar too, with sherries, txakolis, vermouth on draft, beers, Spanish wines and a large selection of Spanish gins. We're always searching for a good bar in this area, so that's very good news. The bar will have its own menu too featuring dishes like Cured Presa Iberica, Black Trumpet Croquetas with Black Truffle Camarones Fritos with Fried Quail Egg and - our favourite - Crisp Fried Chicken Oyster Bocadillo.
And there's more upstairs, in the Asador where there's a focus on Galicia and Castile - with octopus and suckling pig a speciality. We're told that "Galician octopus will be cooked in traditional copper pans with olive oil and paprika while a Castilian roast suckling pig will be cooked in the asador (a traditional wood fired oven)." But don't worry about being too far away from the action, as the large sharing tables upstairs will overlook the open kitchen. There'll also be dishes like Empanada Gallega and Txistorra, Butifarra and cabbage on offer.
More about Sabor
Where is it? 35 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BR
When does it open? The restaurant and bar open at lunchtime on 1 February 2018. The asador will open later on 1 March. It'll open Tuesday - Sunday.
How do I book? Bookings will be available for the asador, while the downstairs bar and restaurant will be walk-ins only.