Tapas barinn - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Tapas barinn

Tapas barinn

Published April 13, 2007

Dining at a fine Tapas restaurant is always a flavourful fiesta for the mouth and the deservedly popular Tapas Barinn is no exception. Located in a roomy basement in the city centre, its warm and dark interior, extremely lively atmosphere and the inviting list of various reasonably priced Tapas dishes add a nice Spanish twist to the eating-out selection. Although the place has plenty of seating, its space fills up during weekends, attracting birthday-celebrators and easy-going groups of friends grabbing dinner before heading out to party.
Inspired by Spanish cuisine, the restaurant’s menu is a mixed bag of appetizing main dishes and small courses but it’s the list of Tapas dishes that make it such a hit. With the average price being around 700 ISK per piece, the menu counts more than 50 different dishes and the wine list offers a nice selection of classic Spanish wines.
This time around, my companion and I decided not to waste time in selecting our favourites but instead take the journey into the unknown and allowed the chef to choose. For only 3,730 ISK we were served an enjoyable mix of seven generous portions of meat and fish dishes as well as dessert, coffee and a glass of Port to finish the meal.
Our first two dishes were delicious. I was served Serrano ham with raisins and bacon-wrapped scallops while my friend got Parma ham with melon and horseradish sauce and a plate of large shrimps in spicy sauce. The third round was a disappointment though. The pan-fried salted cod served on top of sweet mashed potatoes was overcooked while the squid was almost raw and tasteless. Things improved when our waiter arrived with piping hot plates of perfectly cooked veal and lamb followed by chicken alioli and lamb satay. By now we were getting pretty full but the waiter continued putting more food on the table. For our two last dishes we were served traditional horizo with sweet onion and scallops with tomatoes followed by lobster tails and grilled mussels. Both excellent and hit the spot.
Diners going to Tapas Barinn usually know what to expect. Nice food, friendly service and a lively vibe that combine for a fun time. This evening was no different, and the next one will probably be the same.

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