Sunday, 4 August 2013


Contemporary tapas in Fizrovia

Fino is a Spanish restaurant in Fizrovia serving contemporary tapas and it has been trading for 10 years now. My first memory of Fino was from a TV programme called "Ramsay's Best Restaurant" back in 2010. Anyway, having eaten at Fino's sister venue Barrafina (a no booking tapas bar in Soho), I was really looking forward to my dinner at Fino as Barrafina was truly outstanding, so surely the more "upmarket" version can only be better?

Fino London
watermelon martini
ham croquetas

Well the answer is a big no, in fact it wasn't even as good as Barrafina. The same dishes were on the same level more or less but the rest I felt like I was on a roller-coaster ride. Seared bonito and roasted peppers was the best dish of the evening, lovely seasoning with the peppers, rich, fresh and clean. The seared bonito had a great balance of fat and richness, the oily notes hit home with the sweet peppers to produces a top notch Mediterranean dish. Other notable dishes were the ceviche and arroz negro.

Queen scallop & grey mullet ceviche
arroz negro
seared bonito

Galician clams were the low point of the day, 10 pieces of average clams for over £12, the clams weren't as fresh as I would expect and the garlic just overpowered the dish completely, shockingly bad. Iberian pork loin with cauliflower purée was also a below par dish, the meat was dry and bland, no flavours within the meat whatsoever. No matter how exceptional the cauliflower puree was, if the main act on the dish doesn't deliver, it is not going anywhere.
Galician clams
Iberian pork loin with cauliflower purée

In the end I was rather disappointed with the overall experience. While some dishes were of good standard, Fino was just far too inconsistent with its dishes. I also found the food a bit overpriced considering the size of the dishes in conjunction with the quality within. Service was average at best, nothing like the warm and friendly service I had in Barrafina. There are definitely better Spanish restaurants out there in London so I don't think I will return to Fino any time soon. 

Food 5
Service 3
Ambience 7
Value 4

£40 per head with 1 glass of wine

33 Charlotte St  London W1T 1RR

Fino on Urbanspoon

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