During the summer, one may be more inclined to eat lunch outside. Arbina has the facilities for this, with its outdoor seating in snug little tables.
The paella was a little phoned in. It really didn’t taste that different from the oven-bake ones you get from Tesco. It could definitely have done with having more seafood.
Below are the croquettes and potatoes:
If you compare these to the way the food was enticingly presented in Barrafina, there’s absolutely no comparison. The preparation and presentation of Arbina’s meals were utterly perfunctory.
Portion sizes are a bit on the meagre side, too. Given the croquettes cost £5 for a plate, one would hope for a bit more than what was given. Four paltry meatballs is also a bit of a cheap excuse for a dish, in my opinion.
Arbina is a prime example of one of those restaurants which coast by one its central London location. I daresay those who don’t have much dining experience may be reasonably satisfied dining here. But as someone who has experience the highs of Barrafina, which actually does authentic Spanish tapas dishes, as opposed to dumbed-down dishes that I daresay have been cynically designed to swindled as much money from British punters as possible, Arbina really doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
Overall, for good Spanish tapas, I’d recommend Iberica or Barrafina. They make authentic Spanish dishes. The food here was edible, certainly, but lacked invention and thus, wasn’t very inspiring.