Please note, the Rambla has now closed. A new restaurant called Sola is expected to open on the same site. Time Out Food editors, OCTOBER 2019.
Opening a tapas restaurant on the same street as Barrafina is pretty much the food world equivalent of trying to sell crack on a kingpin dealer’s corner. It’s dangerously ballsy, but Rambla clearly has big cojones: it’s moved in, whacked on a fun Eurotrash playlist and started dishing out croquetas like there’s no tomorrow.
Painted a retro shade of baby blue outside, the space itself is laidback and lovely. There’s a natty tiled bar for counter dining and lots of Mediterranean staff moving about at a comfortably Mediterranean pace.
The food, though? Hit and miss. A dish of tender octopus had a warm charcoal depth, while spinach croquetas were both wonderfully golden on the outside and creamy within. But everything else disappointed. The ceviche was too salty, the ‘butifarra negra’ (Iberian black sausage) sliders almost inedibly so.
Also, on my visit, Rambla didn’t seem to have its extractor fan sorted – lunch started off atmospherically smoky, but by the time it was in full swing it was mildly suffocating. A shame, as Rambla’s Catalan-inspired tapas is the cheapest you’ll find on Dean Street, and its chutzpah and colour is endearing. Go, but stick to croquetas, octopus and booze.