Chef and restaurateur Victor Garvey, of award-winning Catalan restaurant Rambla, has just opened his first restaurant in the City of London, Barullo, this spring.
The 64-cover site at 19 Bevis Marks specialises in food from all over Spain, from classic tapas dishes to paella, as well as new dishes especially created by Victor.
Translating literally as ‘hubbub’ or ‘commotion’, colloquially barullo means the moment of a party when the host gives up trying to keep order and the fun really ‘kicks off’; it’s this energy which owner Victor Garvey aims to recreate in his new restaurant.
He says: “I want a visit to Barullo, however long or short, to feel like taking a trip to Spain; an escape from the daily grind – whether that means a leisurely dinner, or grabbing some really great lunch to take back to the office.”
Main contractors for the project to create the new restaurant are Balabia Joinery, who have been commended for their work on the scheme, with Lerose Design Studio carrying out the interior design.
Speaking of how the restaurant came about, Victor Garvey said: “I frequently visited the City and have always been astonished at how it is underserved with independent restaurants. For some time I searched for the right location and finally found the right site for Barullo, which is based on the principle of casual dining and people coming to enjoy good, simple food and wine.
“We have put a significant amount of effort into creating comfortable, visually appealing surroundings with standout features including mosaic tiles sourced from the south of Spain, beautiful wall mouldings and a colour palette inspired by the 1920s and 30s and reminiscent of the sort of place which might have been visited by the artist Dali.
“Barullo is about giving people who don’t have that many dining options a broader spectrum of fare, and if we can do this I would be happy.”
Max Evan, a director at Lerose Design said: “The venue was previously a very different concept, so we’ve had to completely redesign the interior.”
The interior incorporates a bar with high level window seating to the left of the entrance, with a second main bar/dining area located further into the space. The bar, which has a zellige tiled frontage, features an antique metal gantry and geometric striped floor tile to the bar apron.
Adjacent to this is a softly illuminated area of low level banquette seating upholstered in linen and surrounded by dark blue panelling to create a cosy ambience. Further seating includes six-seater booths lit with antique blown glass pendant lights from Retrovious and wall lights & Table lights from Pooky. There is also a brand new catering kitchen. The toilets have been re-designed and feature bespoke Gaudi-inspired wallpaper with a bird pattern.
Additional design highlights include authentic Spanish tiles shipped in from Seville.
Max said: “One of the main challenges of the scheme has been the very tight timescale for completion. We received the brief at the end of December, only started on site in February, with the project scheduled for completion in March. I am very pleased with Balabia Joinery who have done a superb job.
“We were determined to bring a strong, bold Spanish look to Barullo, se we looked at some classic 1920s bars and interiors in Barcelona and surrounding Catalunya. One thing that stood out was their fearless use of vivid colours, somethi ng we emulated with the rich blue and warm red. The brass work and use of antiques was essential for authenticity, so we created the wine cabinets from modified 19th Century carcasses and used a fantastic pair of antique doors for a centrepiece in the bar. The tiles are direct from Los Campos in Seville. Comfort is very much key to the project so we went for a lovely linen cactus flower pattern fabric from Christopher Farr Cloth to add richness to the textures. Everything has come together extremely well and we’re very pleased”
“The project has completely transformed the interior and the client is very happy. This is a very important project for us and has gone very well.”
As well as lunch and dinner to eat in, Barullo offers its full menu as takeaway, ideal for City workers, for collection and delivery, as well as being licensed to retail wines and beers. Dishes guests can look forward to at Barullo include: KFC ‘Kiko Fried Chicken’ – Sherry lees-brined chicken dusted in roasted corn nuts, fried with an alegria pepper chutney; Paella ‘La Masía’ – Saffron Calasparra rice, ‘Gambon’ giant prawns, confit pork belly & tail, with fire-roasted piquillo peppers; Roasted & Pressed Suckling pig – Salsa verde, kohlrabi and green apple slaw, and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream with sour cherry marmalade and Pedro Ximenez reduction. Barullo will take the number of restaurants operated by Victor Garvey to two, along with Rambla; Garvey closed his Covent Garden wine bar Sibarita at the end of 2018 to focus on opening Barullo and a forthcoming new restaurant in Soho, Bar – which has been delayed but is still planned to open in 2019.