Editor's note: Fino will close for good on 11th June 2015.
The only tricky thing about Fino is finding it. Its address is 33 Charlotte Street, but in fact the entrance is in Rathbone Street, so head to Roka and walk down Rathbone Street and it is on your right. Basement spaces can be tricky, but the ceiling is quite high, with a bar area and restaurant at different levels, so the room feels quite airy. There is a short but well chosen wine list with some lovely wines such as the Rioja Alta 904 (listed at £60 for a wine that costs about £25 retail) and Alion.
The menu is fairly classical tapas. Crab croquetas (£7) had a crisp exterior and cheese mixed with crab inside, and surprisingly the crab taste still came through well without being overwhelmed by the cheese (14/20). Pata negra was very good and hand cut. Girolles with prawns and piquillo peppers (£9.75) was a nice combination, the sweetness of the peppers balanced by the earthy taste of the mushrooms, the prawns tender (14/20). The only let down in the meal was a dish of queen scallops (£8.90), which were diced into little cubes and served on shells; the scallops were cut too small and would have been better warm (11/20).
Much better was a large portion of crisp pork belly (£11.50) as it should be, with crisp skin and rich, tasty meat (15/20). A chorizo alioli tortilla (£5.50) was a well made Spanish omelette (14/20) and stuffed courgette flowers also worked well. Quail (£7.80) was carefully cooked (14/20) and retained its moistness. The service was a bit scrappy, though friendly enough. All in all a very pleasant experience.