New restaurant, Barra Baja, does just what it says on the tin. At the back of the space there is a long, low bar which looks into the kitchen and gives a bird’s eye view of what’s going on. Launched by two talented chefs, who previously opened the restaurant at the exclusive 5 star Grand Luxe hotel, the Mercer in the Arenal, the space is open and light with banquettes and smaller tables as well as the eponymous low bar.
I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest by the city’s top tapas guide and sherry educator, Shawn at Azahar Sevilla and we quickly got into our stride. The menu is set out like a market stall; green-grocer’s, fish shop, butcher’s and very easy to navigate. Our starter of white prawns served on half a lime and ingested like a vodka shot with lots of slurping, woke up our taste buds and was an indicator of what was to come. Baby gem lettuces lightly grilled on a wood burning stove, drizzled with a payoyo cheese sauce (who knew this could be so good?) was followed by scampi carpaccio. Simplicity at it’s best. Then things went up a level with the presa Iberica, marinated in manteca (lard). It was creamy and tender and melted like butter in your mouth. As it would have been rude to shun a dessert we opted for the torrija, a brioche-like cake doused in wine, accompanied by the tangiest blood-orange sorbet. A perfect palette cleanser and at least one of your five-a-day, surely?
The food and service were exceptional and the prices were acceptable for this level of quality. My only gripes were the gravely textured plates which sent shock waves through you each time you scraped your knife or fork across them (nails down a blackboard anyone?) and the view from the main window. It’s a pretty sad street outside this wonderful place. Oh, and the wine. I’m no expert but I wasn’t blown away.
Calle Javier Lasso de la Vega, 14, 41002 Sevilla
Tel: 955 055 660, can reserve online