Can Culleretes is one of my favourite restaurant in Barcelona. It is the oldest restaurant here where Gaudi used to come here every year to dine with his friends. That will be his only time dining out in an entire year!
To dine in this place, you must make reservations beforehand to secure a table. The best thing about restaurants in Barcelona is even a tiny bakery cafe in your village could have its own website that you can make reservations easily.
In general, booking for dinner with a small group (2-4) should be done at least one week in advance, while booking for more people should be done at least 2 weeks in advance! In general it is easier to book for lunch, but the chance booking for dinner the day will depend on your luck.
Catalan Suckling Pig is definitely a must try. It is freshly roasted, so it usually takes a bit longer than other dishes to arrive at your table. It is served with a sweet sauce made with a variety of dry fruits which leverage meat flavour of the suckling pig. The skin was so delicate and crisp that it cracked straight away when you lightly poke your knife into to it. Underneath the skin, there was the meat with thin layers of pork fat in between. The meat is usually very tender while the fat simply dissolve in the mouth that it is total heaven! However you never know which part of the pig you will be given. Some parts are meatier and less tender than others so you would have to bet on your luck.
Goose with Apple was another excellent meat dish. The goose meat was so tender and flavourful. It simple fell off the bones. The apple was cooked perfectly. Soft, but not mushy was its texture, and its sweetness went marvelously with the goose meat. It is a must try along with the suckling pig!
Canelones (Cannelonis) is also a common Catalan cuisine. There are Canelones with mince and liver, and Canelones with cod and Spinach. The traditional one with mince and liver was served with a creamy, cheesy white sauce. The amount of cheesiness was just right and overwhelming as an antipasto. There was tremendous amount of filling inside, meaty and flavourful. The cod and spinach one was also nicely done. The sauce was creamy, with plentiful spinach. The fishy flavour of the cod was not too apparent. In general both canelones were simple and delicious.
Fish soup has a really outstanding fishy flavour, but I would say it is not a soup for everyone. Perhaps for Chinese, we are so used to having the ginger there in fish soup to eliminate the unwanted, sharp fishy taste. The soup was watery, thin and mild tasted which made it not the best for breads to soak if one doesnt fancy soggy, tasteless bread. Surprisingly the 3 pieces of bread slices on top was still crunchy after being soaked. This is seriously the biggest highlight of the soup. Nevertheless as I have not had any other Catalan fish soup elsewhere, I guess I am the most appropriate person to judge how good this soup is.
Paella was pricy and out of expectation. For 17 euros, the size is smaller than the normal size you usually find in most restaurants. There was no doubt that a lot of seafood was put into it, and the rice has absorbed some of the goodness from the seafood. However instead of paella rice from Valencia, long grain rice was used instead which was very soggy, almost in Japanese congee style. The seafood was overcooked that the texture of the shrimps was rather mushy. There were really so many squid pieces in the rice, and luckily they were nice and tender. But since I am not a big fan of squid, i would appreciate more rice than squid pieces. There was also this huge chunk of chicken breast on top which silly us thought it was a piece of fish instead. It was dry and tough and tasteless. What disappointing paella.
Grilled rabbit and Fries was served with alioli. And I would say the rabbit was rather bare on its own, which I understand why they put the alioli there. With this dish, I found out that perhaps I am really not a huge fan of rabbit meat when the meat is not marinated. Surprisingly the (rare) muscles of the rabbit had a chewy texture. The fries were crunchy enough to my liking.
The Ratatouille was rich in the veggie flavour, quite sweet, which was lovely on its own. However the chicken drumstick was dry and there was not much taste to it. Another item to avoid.
For dessert, whisky tart was one of the best we have tried. It is like icecream cake like Viennette but with a light whisky flavour.
Apple sorbet was smooth. It tasted just like one of those apple flavoured sweets. It was rather artificial for someone who doesn’t eat sweets like me.
Irish coffee was quite a disaster, no offense. There is not much coffee to it but the liquor was seriously too overwhelming. We were guessing the proportions of coffee and whisky were not right as the drink was so strong that it really burnt our throats when we were only having sips of it.
Can Cullerestes is definitely worth A visit in your trip to Barcelona. There are also set menus during lunch and dinner. There is one thing to note that this restaurant can have sneaky charges. For example, the bread on the table will cost 1 euro each. If you leave them there on the table and not touching any, they would exclude them on your bills. However sometimes they will take the bread away as you are not eating them, but will still charge you for it. The reasoning they make it "you should have told them you are not eating the bread". If you do not order any drinks, they will charge you 1 euro each for service, which usually it turn out to be wiser and cheaper and wiser to get drinks.
Address: Carrer d'en Quintana, 5, 08002 Barcelona, España