54 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SL (map)
Two of the most popular restaurants in Soho, Barrafina (Spanish) and Koya (Japanese) have collaborated to bring Londoners and interesting fusion of Spanish-Japanese cuisine. This is a post about a the tasty but eerie “moving” dish, “Tortilla & Octopus”
Barrafina’s Nieves Barragán (Barrafina) and Koya‘s Junya Yamasaki are having a ‘chef exchange’. On Wed 19th and Thu 20th of June, Junya joins Nieves at Barrafina to prepare and serve a Japanese inspired twist on Spanish Tapas dishes for lunch & dinner. Last week, Nieves joined Junya at Koya to present a Spanish take on Japanese cuisine.
Tortilla & Octopus
A play on the Spanish tortilla and Okonomiyaki (Okonomiyaki meaning “what you like” or “what you want”), but instead of using potatoes, we are using udon as the starch.
White onions are caramelized then octopus, egg, ginger and udon are added to the pan and fried. Japanese Brown Sauce is placed on top of the tortilla. To make the brown sauce combine octopus juice. shaved bonito, soya sauce and mirin. To finish, bonito flakes are placed on top to resemble an “octopus bowl”.
Source: Barrafina Menu
This is a surreal dish as the bonito flakes do really writhe around like a bowl of octopus tentacles. I’m not sure why they move around but I suspect it’s the moisture from the dish causing the flakes to curl and the heat pushing the razor thin flakes around. Regardless, it’s very very clever, if a little unnerving to the diner next to me who asked “Is it still alive?” The effect lasts for a surprisingly long time, long enough for me to take out my very sluggish iPhone and film a vine of the action…
The dish itself is fantastic too, it is surprising to find udon noodles in your tortilla but it works well and the generous slices of octopus tentacles are cooked to perfection.
NOTE: This collaboration is only running for TWO DAYS. So get yourself down to Barrafina tonight or tomorrow if you want to see this for yourself.