This tiny neighbourhood tapas bar captures the feel of its counterparts in Spain perfectly; informal with welcoming staff, and a simple menu to complement the wines by the glass. Hams hang from the ceiling, diners eat at the bar counter; drinkers mingle in.
The food preparation area wedged behind the bar makes a caravan's galley look spacious. We sat and watched as the busy chef reheated some of the dishes in the microwave, in between blowtorching some desserts and freshly preparing others.
From a brief blackboard menu of daily specials, we enjoyed the pig cheek cooked in PX sherry, and ham croquetas which were a cut above the norm. The Spanish cheese platter contained two types of Manchego (one with thyme on the outside, the other not) and Cabrales (a great version of the blue cheese), served with membrillo and bread that’s a lot better than you get in Spain. For a proper touch of authenticity, the cheese platter was served with those tiny little breadsticks you normally only get in Spain.
The wines were good too – modern, Spanish, and not expensive. Our only caveat is that Barsito is more of a place for a snack and drink than a leisurely dining destination, as the seating and elbow room are cramped. But it's a perfect pitstop opposite Clapham Picturehouse, even though that man in the kitchen must secretly have eight arms.