Wednesday, 27 January 2010


33 Charlotte Street
London W1T 1RR

0207 813 8010

The food was outstandingly good. Fresh, beautifully cooked, and (it often isn't) the hot food was hot. We just ate tapas. The chorizo was fresh, succulent not dry. The razor clams cooked in garlic and butter were just right and looked beautiful too. The octopus was tender. The Jerusalem artichokes were perfect, firm, not overcooked, roast in the oven. The olive oil mash was creamy ( cream and olive oil? but it was wonderful). The crisp pork belly was crisp on the outside, the meat soft and in beautiful gravy. The bread was crunchy, hot, lovely and with really good quality olive oil. Wow!

Was anything wrong with this experience? The wine was only offered in 125ml glasses; no carafes, no half bottles. I think this is a mistake in what is primarily a tapas place. The restaurant is in a basement. Its modern, smart but a bit antiseptic with quite harsh acoustics. Its expensive. The cold meats come in 100gm sizes. The chorizo iberico is £8.20. That's a lot for such a small portion! The cooking is so good it makes more sense to have those things which really demonstrate the culinary prowess of the place: the razor clams, the artichokes, the pork belly and mash.

Fino is part of the same group as the (also excellent) Barrafina, Quo Vadis etc. Unlike Barrafina which is very difficult to get into unless you are there at opening time, here you can book.

We were having lunch on the FTs lunch for £5. This halves the food bill for one. The bill was still £41.23 for two with just two 125ml glasses of white wine. In London for this quality that's a bargain but the full price of £63.40 is not cheap.

Fino on Urbanspoon


  1. I haven't been to Fino since it re-opened not too long ago, but I really liked the food the two times I went before then. I sat at the bar both times and thought everything was pretty excellent - sitting at the bar is probably the best place in the slightly awkward basement space (if you have a small number of people, of course).

  2. it sounds really good, i'm reviewing a spanish restaurant in manchester next week. i'm going with a spanish friend too, so it'll be interesting! probably not as good as fino though...