LIVEN App Review - Barrafina Tapas Bar, Sydney

Monday, April 24, 2017

Serious question for you all here today: how would you like to GET PAID TO EAT OUT? 💸  If your answer is YES which I'm assuming without a doubt it is then oh my goodness, do I have the app for you! 

Recently I was contacted by Julie at Liven in order to review the Liven app which I am here to share with you guys all about. Liven is a newly launched one of a kind app in Australia that provides you with cashback for dining out at restaurants. What does this mean? It means you can get paid to do what you already love to do - eat out! 🍴✨

The process for downloading the app and registering for an account is very quick and easy. From there you can scroll through the fantastic range of restaurants that accept LivenPay and make your choice. Feel free to make a booking or just drop in as you would, enjoy your meal and then pay through the app to instantly receive 25% cash back! The cash back you earn can be spent towards paying for your next meal or shared with a charity at the time of transaction if you wish.

I think this is such a great app that I am so happy to share with everyone! Liven is the new must-have when dining out. There are no surcharges, no extra cautions, and paying through Liven is as simple as paying with your own card (with the extra bonus cash back or donation to charity you can make after). You don't even have to tell the restaurant you are a Liven member until payment time so that cancels out any nasty treatment you might usually expect to receive when you use things like vouchers and coupons.

For my review I chose to dine at Barrafina Tapas Bar in the Sydney CBD. Which lucky for me is also a win-win situation as I get to review a restaurant for you guys in the same sitting! 

Barrafina serves up Spanish and Mediterranean influenced tapas and cuisine. Something a little different from the usual foods I review. Its convenient location in the business district means the place can get quite busy during lunch hours so we book our seating for right after the rush hour at 2:15pm. Theres handfuls of people still sitting by the long bar and outdoor area but inside where the common tables are, it's very nice and serene.

The decor of Barrafina is very cosy and minimal for the most part. The wooden shelves on the left wall are decorated with a fun display of wine bottles and glasses and amusingly enough one of the walls has the words "una comics sin vino de llama desayuno" painted on it which we're told translates to "A meal without wine is called Breakfast" Cheers to that! 🍷 🍷

The service was friendly and attentive as we received our three menu's - drinks, a la carte, express lunch as well as some table water.

My dining partner decided to try out their express lunch deal which was 4 course tapas for $20 (Jamon serrano pintxo, fish finger, patatas bravas and hanger steak) while I got myself a drink and a few tapas to also share. I love the concept of Spanish tapas being that they're small and allow you to share and try more different items on the menu rather than the routine and individualistic entree/main/dessert trifecta that we are all used to. 

Rosa Sangria with rosé, peach liquor and seasonal fruit

Such a beautiful glass of sangria! The peach liquor was strong in this one and I really loved it. Very sweet and fruity.

Our tapas arrived not long after with the exception of the extra patatas bravas (didn't realise we ordered that twice) and the hanger steak.

So much to try! Such an exciting spread!

Patatas Bravas $10

I did not expect the patatas to look like this! Usually they come in cubes but these thin cut slices were so awesome as well. My tip is to eat them while they're still fresh and hot as the edges are crunchy and crispy while the centre is fluffy and potato-like. This is served with a generous amount of salsa brava and aioli which I enjoyed but in hindsight the mushy potato chips stuck at the bottom weren't so fun.

Fried Zucchini Flowers $13

Usually this is served with salted cod mayo, however I was informed by the waitress that today they were making the zucchini flowers with a blue cheese stuffing. I was really excited for these considering my first experience with stuffed zucchini flowers was very positive, however unfortunately these were quite disappointing. The batter encasing the zucchini flowers was thick, oily, doughy and reminded me of the bad type of fish and chips. The blue cheese stuffing didn't stand well on its own. This was served with the red sauce as seen above which tasted like a sweet jam. This masked the blue cheese flavour and overall, this is a pass for me. 

Lamb Belly Skewers with red wine and yogurt $14

So beautifully presented! Despite this the taste didn't measure up as while we did expect the lamb belly to be quite fatty, the meat part was quite dry, tough and stringy.

Right: Fish Finger with Polenta fries, white anchovies and romesco, 3 for $15

I thought this plate along with the the jamon serrano to the left was so colourful and pretty! Really glad I got to try the fish fingers because it was such a flavour explosion. The anchovy was very salty but paired really well with the sweet, spicy and zesty capsicum romesco sauce. The polenta fry acted as a neutral base that balanced out the strong, savoury flavours. Definitely worth a try!

Left: Jamon Serrano Pintxo

Thin slices of jamon serrano are served on a bed of finely minced tomato and a crusty bread. The jamon was really nice and not too salty. I didn't like the combination of it with tomatoes though. Might be kind of biased since I don't like tomatoes in general but I felt it just created such an unpleasant, tangy and mushy base.

Seared Grass fed Hanger Steak $26

In contrast to all of our above little finger foods, this steak which is a part of the "share plates" menu was really satisfying and filling on its own. It was seared to a lovely rare and served with some sauce and salt. We're not sure what the sauce was but it was a game changer being creamy and almost zesty! Good steak, loved it.

At the end of our meal when it was time to pay, the process went much smoother than we thought! You request the bill from your Liven app (make sure your location services are on) and the server will confirm this on their own device. The bill is automatically sent to your connected credit/debit card and you will be informed how much cashback you have received from your meal. There's also the option of donating your cashback to your choice of charity which is a great way to effortlessly pay it forward from a meal you would've paid for anyway!

I highly recommend everyone reading this grab their phones right now and download and register an account with Liven. From my experience with it, there's nothing not to love! ❤️

To my readers: for $10 OFF your first meal, feel free to use my promo code "U0P6G"

Thank you so much to Julie and the team at Liven for introducing me to this amazing app and giving me the opportunity to try it out! xx

Barrafina Tapas Bar

2 Bligh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

Open Monday - Friday

Monday: 7AM - 5PM
Tuesday- Friday: 7AM - 10PM

Barrafina Tapas Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kimmiebites was invited to review the Liven app and chose to use it at Barrafina Tapas Bar. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are a genuine and honest representation of my experience.

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