(旅程日期: 2013-08-27 至 2013-12-20 , 旅程性質: 遊學增值)
To go around Barcelona is cheap. If you are planning to go there for a few days and visit the main tourist attraction, you can buy the T10 pass for 1 zone at any metro station, costing less than 10 euros. With a T10, you can have 10 trips or more on any public transport. What do I mean by 10 trips or more? Well, basically everyone will be eligible for 10 trips on any public transport. But there is one very important fact about T10 that it can be used on more than one means of transport and all be counted as a single journey provided that your journey is less than 1 hour and 15 minutes. This means for example, you can make changes at metro stops (provided you don't leave the metro), then leave the metro and jump on a bus to finish your journey or vice versa as long as the total length of the journey is less than 1 hour and 15 minutes. NOTE you cannot re-enter the metro once you have left it - this would count as another journey. For more info, please see http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/barcelona-metro.html .
So are you ready to take off? LET'S GO!
By walking from Plaça de Catalunya to the coast along La Rambla, on your right you will first see Burger King, Amorino Gelato, La Poma, Carrefore and many other hotels and touristics venders and restuarants. Once you see Starbucks, for another 2 minutes walk, you should see a tiny restaurant called Wok to Walk. That will be the side entrance of La boqueria. Or you can walk 1 minute more to the direction of the coast and enter the market through the main entrance with Dunkin Donuts on the side.
Warning: it is veryvery touristy at the main entrance and BEWARE OF PICK-POCKETS as the market is rather crowed.
It is a fascinating experience to walk around La boqueria because it is so huge. As I have been going round and round the market for zillion times after I start staying in Barcelona, I have figured out some short cuts for visitor who are in a rush but wish to do the most in limited time to search for what they want.
IF YOU WANT THE CHEAPEST DELICIOUS FRESH JUICE, fruit venders located between the main entrance and the side entrance near "Wok to Walk" sell their juices for 1 euros only. As you go further in the market, they start selling for 1.5 euros or more.
They normally offer a wide variety of choices and no additional sugar is added. My favourite one is "Mango y Coco" (Mango and coconut).
IF YOU WANT GOOD SEAFOOD, I would recommand you try "Kiosko Universal" near the side entrance at the far left. For more details please see my review on "Kiosko Universal".
IF YOU WANT HOT SNACKS, most of the venders are located on the right of market if you are walking it from La Rambla (where the main entrance is). There they serve French Crepes (from 3.5 to 7.5 euros), Meditearean salads (from 2.5 to 3.5 euros), burritos (4.5 euros), Pizza (3.5 euros), Calzones (from 2 to 3.5 euros), Croquettes (normally less than 1 euro per unit), vegetarian omelet (2 euros), etc. There is also a few shops that serve cheap seafood. They are located at the right side but behind the central circle where or the fish stores are. Try the Bocalao Fritos (Cod fish ball). They are very fluffy and fishy, very different from fishballs in HK. Roast Chicken and portions of Paellas will be on sale near the back on the left side (please see the map for more details).
IF YOU WANT TO TRY SOME GOURMET CROQUETTES AND DUCK PRODUCTS, I recommand this place called Avinova Selecció. For details, please see my later posts.
Normally we would order the Mixed Seafood served here (25 euros) because it is at a good deal and you get to try all types of seafood in one dish (except fish). Each dish includes 2 huge razor clams, 2 massive red prawns, 3 pieces of squid, 2 langoustines, and tremendous of muscles and clams. They are simply seasoned with salt, garlic and grilled in olive oil, but they are just so so fresh that all the natural sweetness of the seafood really stands out in the mildly aromatic olive oil and the garlic.
The best thing is the Bread comes free, but you have to ask for it. "Tienes Pan?" you can ask, and they will give you. Everyone asks for it because you just need it so soak all the juice and olive oil at the buttom of the plate. The bread is served cool like any other cuisines in Spain. They are crusty and but a little tought for soaking. Though trust me you would never want to waste any of that essence if you are a fan of seafood.
The Mixed Mushroom is also very tasty, but it's quite pricy I must say because a plate of muchroom costed 10 euros! The mushrooms are earthy and delectable too. Nevertheless I would not recommand ordering.
評分: 味道5 服務5 環境4 衛生4 抵食4
But in this little shop hiding at the corner of Mercat de la Boqueria selling duck products, they actually have some really distinct and marvellous croquettes being served here.
Actually I was first attracted to try the Duck Ham because it is so rare to have duck ham on sale. I came and ordered a portion of Pa amb Tomaquet Pernil Anec (3.50 euros) and a glass of red (3.70 euros) just to chill for a while. The Pa amb Tomaquet Pernil Anec (Duck Ham on Tomato Bread) was absolutely very tasty. It was my first ever experience to taste duck ham. Thy smoked duck flavour is so strong that you will immediately know it is duck even with a blindfold on. The duck fat was flavourful and honestly it just dissolve in your taste buds immediately. The only thing is that with the fiber of the duck meat being so different from pork, the duck breast meat can be a little chewy. The tomato bread is served cool but the baguette slices are extremely fresh that it is crunchy on the crust but really fluffy and airy inside. It definitely worths a try.
For the croquettes, they have so many amazing flavours including gourmet series priced at 0.90 euros each such as Foie and Mushrooms, Rabbit and Mushrooms, Gorgonzala and Walnuts, Faisan and Truffle, Spinach and Goat Cheese, Blood Sausage and Maho Cheese, together with homemade series priced at 0.70/unit such as Roast Meat, Spanish Iberico Ham, and Cod and Mushrooms. They just have so many!!!! They have a deal where you can pay 2.95 euros and enjoy two gourmet and two homemade croquettes. I was so attracted to try the gourmet ones and I was only going to order 3 gourmet croquettes. Though the lady taking my order was so friendly to me that she let me choose one of the homemade croquette and she would let me do the 2.95 euros deal too. How lovely!
(btw I was so shocked to find out that they charge around 2.5 euros (HKD 25) for one iberico Ham Croquette in Catalunya Hong Kong. I guess I must try it out one day to see how wow it is.)
So at the end I ended up with Foie and Mushroom, Rabbit and Mushrooms, Faisan and Truffle and Spanish Iberico Ham.
For the Foie and Mushroom one, the mushroom kind of dominate the flavour but you can taste a hint of the foie. Faisan and Truffle has an outstanding truffle aroma and you can see tiny bits of black pots inside the croquette. I was so nervous to try the Rabbit and Mushroom one but it actually turned out pretty good. The rabbit meat has a roasty flavour and it is a little like a combination of chicken and lamb to me. I left the safest Iberico Ham one as my last one just in case I didnt like the rabbit croquette. I was not expecting much surprise but in fact they ham was so flavoursome, mouth watering and meaty. The distinct flavour of Iberico Ham stands out so much that you know it must be Iberico and not any other cured ham. Also I must say the texture of all the croquettes are perfect. The crust is so crispy, light and fragile, where potato inside is really fluffy and soft. They were seriously finger-licking good. It has to be the best croquettes I have tried to far!
The Curry Seasoned Almonds came free and it was very nice to have it with my wine.
Don't miss this place out!!
評分: 味道5 服務5 環境4 衛生4 抵食4
The yoghurt is just tart enough to my likings. It is not icy at all and it does not melt easily. It works best for a pre-meal snack for definite.
評分: 味道5 服務4 環境4 衛生4 抵食5
In Barcelona, Gelaterias are all over the place, especially along La Rambla. They even sell them in Boqueria! You can get them for as cheap as 1.90 euros per scoop at a store on La Rambla, still yummy, or some fancy flower-shaped cone in everyone's favourite Amorino.
However I would like to recommand Dine Gelato. The texture of the Gelato that Dino is just perfect. Very very sticky, creamy, with no air or ice cube pieces in the gelato, it is so far the best gelato texture I have tried in Spain. I had my favourite pistachio and hazelnut flavours. Having the same "Extra Pistachio", the pistachio flavour is very rich, with a lot of chopped pistachio pieces inside. The Hazelnut one was also nice and nutty. Though may find the hazelnut flavour slightly too sweet. The cone is crunchy as normal. One thing to note is that usually the waffle cones served here are usually thicker, more crunchy and starchy than the ones served in Haagendazs or Tezukuri No Mise in HK.
The smallest size you can buy is 2 scoops, costing 2.90 euro. The scoops are always of generous size, and the staff usually tries to push the first scoop down to the interior of the cone. So if you get bored of Amorino's flowery gelato one day, why not give it a try to Mr. Dino?
評分: 味道5 服務4 環境4 衛生4 抵食4
And for me, of course I am only coming for the icecream. Their icecream is comparatively the cheapest in town where they only charge 1.50 euros for one scoop. And for that one scoop, you can select 2 flavours and they will combine them into a single scoop for you.
As a big fan of cinnamon, I always wanted to try the flavour Milk, Lemon and Cinnamon. It turned to be more icy than I expected and it is not creamy at all. Though the lemon and the cinnamon went very well together but the milk flavour was not too apparent. You can taste the milk for sure, but surely you can not compare to ones you get in Cha Cha Sweet House and Milk Top in Hong Kong. Nevertheless I reckon they are serving the best cone in town. Their cones are very light and crispy, like a slightly thicker version of those french crepe dentelle you get in supermarkets, which compared to the thick and chunky cones you get in most gelateria in Barcelona, this is so different. They have a mild eggy and caramel flavour.
I wouldn't think their icecream is really worth trying but you are obsess with icecream cones lol this is the place you want to visit.
評分: 味道3 服務3 環境3 衛生3 抵食5
Spanish hot chocolate and churros are traditional food that Spanish people eat for breakfast where everyone dips their churros into the chocolate to taste. By using the word "dip" I guess you gauge the idea of how thick the Spanish hot chocolate is.
In Granja la Pallaresa, they served mainly chocolate, catalan desserts and churros. We first ordered the Swiss Hot Chocolate (3.10 euros) which is Spanish thick hot chocolate with a gigantic slob of fresh whipped cream on top. It just looked so evil-like, attractively fatty and tempting! There is so much cream that we can even share a huge amount of cream with another cup of Spanish Hot Chocolate (We ordered Large, 2.70 euros. There is also a smaller size available priced at 2.10 euros). The chocolate was so smooth and dark on its own, way better that then ones served in Caelum. The fresh cream was light and fluffy, and the coolness and milky, creamy flavour just went so well with the dark, thick hot chocolate. It was ingulging and scrumptious.
The Churros (1.5euros) were not bad neither. It was surprising not greasy at all. They were slightly crunchy on the edges and they are served cool. Although Granja is also famous for its churros, I prefer the ones with tremendous amount of cinnamon sugar on top (I guess they are the not so orginal ones served in Camden Town in London. I just love my cinnamon.) But this one is not bad at all. Definitely worth a try!
But note that the place is usually packed especially at around 16:00, even on week days. If you want to avoid the crowd/queue, better go there at 12pm ish in the afternoon.
評分: 味道5 服務4 環境4 衛生4 抵食4
I chose to talk about Caelum for 2 main reasons:
- most importantly the cakes you see from the window look absolutely delicious
- I overheard a tourguide talking about the interesting history about this little petite tea room
and then I thought hmmmm... contributing to this amazing art presentation... what a good excuse for me to pay a visit and have a try at their goodies!
Caelum is a tea room located in the Gothic Area of Barcelona. The word "Caelum" means HEAVEN in Latin. And indeed, this tea room is a very religious place. All the pastries are made by nuns, and they still provide cakes and pastries for the monastries today!
There are two floors in this tea room. The ground floor consist of a cozy tea room and a shop at the entrance, selling goodies from the monastries like chocolate, fresh jam, Catalan biscuits etc.
The underground cellar has an interesting story. It was once a medieval Jewish bathhouse for women. Nowsdays Caelum regularly organise mini jazz and folk music concerts down there, which only cost around 3 euros per person for entry, and the latest info will be posted on their facebook page. So if you interested in folk music of Catalunya, it definitely worths a visit.
Anyway back to the food! Almost in every cafes they serve alcohols. That is no surprise at all. In here, they serve some super strong traditional spanish shots. Of course I did not give it a try as I could have died I guess. They also serve the "famous" Spanish Cafe con Leche (which is just coffee and milk, normally steamed milk), cappuccino and Spanish Hot Chocolate. Just like Granja La Rellaresa, you can choose between a small and a big size, but they don't have the option here to choose the evil version - Swiss Chocolate they call it in Granja, with the huge slob of fatty, gorgeously whipped cream on top.
I went for the small chocolate, as I would like to save my space for desserts and savoury food as well. The Spanish Hot Chocolate is thick as it usually is and it is very rich as well. Unlike Angelina in Paris, where they melt chocolate into semi-skimmed milk to make it all rich, creamy, awfully and sickly, in Spain they melt chocolate with hot water instead. Therefore the flavour is still very indulging and dark, but anyone would be able to finish their own cup easily as it doesn't feel as heavy as ones from Angelina. However I can't deny that the one in Granja is way better because the texture the chocolate they serve there is so much smoother. I found the hot chocolate served in Caelum a little lumpy for me.
For sweet tooth, the cute looking strawberry tart has caught my eyes, AND IT WAS SUCH A BAD CHOICE! The strawberries on top were all fresh and lucious, which we see the problem!! Because it made the tart all watery and soggy. BAD CHOICE. Don't go for that.
(actually I am pretty sure I overheard the tourguide saying that the chocolate cake is the best. And my friend told me that the cheese cakes are pretty good. OH GOD kill me please... I need to come back again then)
As the tart was sooo disappointing, I decided to give it another chance on the savory item. (And at the same time trying to cheer myself up a little bit. We all know food is the best medicine on earth.) So I ordered this Garlic Toast with Melted Cheese from the monastries and tomato jam on top. What really made me chose this one is mainly due to the noun "JAM". Tomate jam! The toast turned out beautifully done because there is a tremendous amount of cheese melted on the toasted bread. The bread was still soft and airy inside and the jam went really well with the generous amount of cheese! The tomato jam tasted very sweet but with the flavour of tomato. It was an interesting experience.
Although the tart really really disappointed me so much, I think this tea room is definitely worth visiting. It is very contrasting yet heart-warming to see this cozy tea room in the Gothic Area of Barcelona. I would recommand you to visit during the afternoons on weekdays because the UG cellar will only be opened in that period. Also one important thing to keep in mind is, as this is such a romantic, religious, cozy cafe, they have pretty candles everywhere and making the place all warm and sweet, for everyone but especially for ladies, BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN YOUR HAIR! I managed to have a few of my hair burnt ( I was like ... oh what's that smell and the suckling sound... lol) but gracias a dios it wasn't obvious.
The restaurant and buffet area ia actually quite small, a little similar to the style in the UK. However you can not compare it with the size of the ones in HK of course. Nevertheless the variety of food is great! Ranging from sushi, tempura, chinese soup, dim sum, wide variety of salads, gummies, nuts, cheese, cured ham, to 9 flavours of Walls Icecream, Icecream cake, Slices of cakes, Fresh and canned fruits, chinese sweet soup, they have basically everything here! And the highlight of the buffet is that there is an area with fresh seafood, all sorts of veggie, mushrooms, steaks, where you can grab whatever you want and the chef will teppanyaki everything in front of you! And the most exciting fact is... you only need to pay 9.50 euros for all you can eat from 13:00 to 16:30! (the price for dinner is 14.50euros but I am guessing the variety of food will be fairly similar).
The Salad bar is the biggest. They have all salad vegetables, seafood salads, russian salad, boiled eggs, olives etc. At the corner of the salad bar they have different types of gummies and nuts, which I think it like a mini "Pick n' Mix". The Salad is of fair and normal quality. They also have some sushis and some japanese tamagoyaki.
The cured ham and cheese were of fair quality with regards that it costed less than 10 euros per person. The Chistorras were hot and juicy, flavourful with a smokey, spicy flavour.
For the tempura, surely you can not expect to have the same quality you get in Hong Kong. Though the deep fried food is not bad as the batter costing is not too thick. Just try to forget that they are named "tempura" and you will be happy with regards to the price you paid.
The highlight of the buffer, which is the a la cart seafood bar, has quite a range of seafood offerings. The most I like are the razor clams because they are as huge as the ones served in Universal in Mercat de la Boqueria! They are double the size of the ones we normally get in chinese restaurants in Hong Kong! They have massive red prawns, Salmon skewers, etc. and they also have plenty of asparagus, aubergens, shiitake mushrooms which I love my veggies as always. They are all cooked in teppenyaki with tariyaki sauce. I must say the slight sweetness of tariyaki sauce somehow overwhelmed the natural flavour of the seafood a little bit. The garlicy grilled style adopted by Universal worked much better with the seafood but these are not bad too. And think about it. You are paying less than 10 euros and you can eat as much as seafood as you want in 3.5 hours! It all worths it doesn't it?
For the dessert, I have only tried the icecream which is forever my favourite sweet treat on Earth. For sure there will be no haagendazs and movenpick but icecream from Walls are very delicious too! And there have 9 flavours which you can help yourself to as much as you want. It's HEAVEN!
In short, Wok Yutaka's food is of great quality and great taste. The whole 10 euros you will definitely be justified as you won't even be able to cook these food by yourself with 10 euros.
In Tapa Tapa, all the dishes are fairly reasonably priced. The prices range from 2 euros to 10 euros, while they also serve regular (R) size other than just Tapas (T) size for certain popular dishes. As we all know, Spanish People have their dinner comparably late in the Evening. Some restaurants open at 20:30 in the evening to serve dinner, but most of the time tapas bars open all day, especially the ones in central Barcelona. For Hong-Kongers like us, we went to Tapas bar at 6ish in the evening which finding seats was easypeacy.
As both of us were not really alcoholic, we ordered a regular glass of Sangria to share which costed us 5 euros. This glass is so huge, and to my surprise, it is very YUM! It tasted more like a mocktail and you may not even notice how amount of alcohol in it. You can go seriourly tipsy on that. Anyway it was of great value and we both enjoyed it very much.
Like the practices in many other European countries, they don't serve free water in the restuarants. If you want to order water, you normally have two choices: Agua con gas (frizzy water) or Agua sin gas/Agua Mineral (mineral bottled water without CO2). They serve Vichy Catalan frizzy water here which is about 1.25 euro for 250ml. Vichy Catalan Water is a renowned brand in Barcelona but I must say French Perrier or Italian S. Pellegrino is so much nicer because Vichy Catalan Water has a slight salty taste which after a while you will be feeling like drinking sea water that makes you even crave more beverage to drink.
Each of these Canapés cost 2 euros each to order, but for a combo like this one, it only costed us a little more that 8 euros. On the plate, they have with Spanish Tortilla (the famous Spanish Potato Omelette), Brie and Truffle, Jamon Iberico (Spanish Iberico Ham), Russian Salad with Prawn, and Crab Salad.
My favourite one is the Brie and Truffle. Not only that I am obsessed with cheese, the brie was of great quality. It's rich but never too salty, with its smooth and indulging texture that melt on the tongue. The truffle essence was slightly vague but it was not disappointing at all.
The canap with the Iberico Ham was not bad neither. The meatly flavour was stronger Italian parma ham and it was very thinly sliced.
The Russian Salad tasted just like the ones from Pizza Hut but the one served here has its potato pieces mashed into mayo which I prefer as it was easier to eat.
The one crab salad was out of expectation since only artificial crab meat. But of course, what's more can you ask for at this price?
We also shared those Fish Fritters which costed around 4 euro, but it was no surprise at all. The fritters are served cold which is disappointing enough. There is no seasoning what so ever but there is no taste to the fish neither. I must admit that the ones you find Tai O are so much better than this. Don't Try.
Calamaris (< 6 euros) were very delicious. At first I thought, how good can it be? I mean it's just battered squid rings, isn't it? Why is everyone all crazy about it? But It proved me wrong. The batter coating is very light and the squid was so much tenderer than I expected. It was slightly seasoned with salt but the flavour of the squid was outstanding.
The tapa size Paella was very cute. This was actually the first time I tasted proper Paella other than the ones with only chicken that you can get in Camden Town in London. Although the portion is very petite, they have several kinds of seafood in there including fish, prawns, squid and mussels, but no chorizos. The rice is slightly chewy than oriental long grain rice, and it is slightly crispy at the edge like the "Rice in Pots - BO CHAI FAN" we get in Hong Kong. For only around 5 euros, this is way above expectation.
Afterwards, I came here again in early september with other exchange students and we tried their croquettes. Croquetas de Jamon Iberico (Croquettes with Iberico Ham) and Croquetas de fromage (Croquettes with cheese) were both very tasty. Croquettes are like potatos balls with a creamy, mushy texture inside. The croquettes here are served pipping hot and it is a must try.
評分: 味道5 服務3 環境4 衛生4 抵食4
With almost exactly the same menu, Tapa Tapa at Arenas offers an exclusive lunch menu at the bar that the one at Passeig de Gracia does not. By only paying 8.50 euros (IVA inclusive), you can enjoy a canape, 3 tapas, a drink and a coffee. Although you can not choose from everything on the A La Cart menu, with less than 9 euros you can basically have 4 tapas in total PLUS a drink PLUS a coffee. How brilliant is that? If you go with somebody else, you can taste many more dishes too!
I went with two girls after researching for our history project on Montjuïc. We were seriously served to death!!!!! (well at least I was) And after arriving Tapa Tapa, it was like heaven to me! Each of us ordered a lunch menu at the bar. For the canape, you can choose from Tortilla or Crab Salad Canapes. I went for the Tortilla because I just love Spanish Tortilla and as mentioned in earlier post, crab salad in Tapa Tapa is made of crab stick which I don't really fancy. The Tortilla Canape served here was as good as the one served in the other Tapa Tapa on Passeig de Gracia. The potato is soft and it absorbed all the delicious eggy flavour.
Then three of us ordered some tapas to share including Goat Cheese and Lettuce Salad in Vinaigrette Dressing, Triple Cheese Risotto, Triple Cheese Croquettes (Don't we just love cheese hahaha), Crispy Shrimps and Trio Mini Burgers.
Goat Cheese and Lettuce Salad in Vinaigrette Dressing is in fact not too heavy and greasy afterall. The strong goat cheese went amazingly well with the slightly sweet Vinigrette Dressing and the raisins, while the lettuce really reduce the guilt. At a salad, it was far from watery as well. I would prefer more lettuce though it is a nice salad indeed.
Three Cheese Risotto is so delicious if you love cheese as much as I do! In the risotto, they have gorgonzala, emmental and brie. It's more of a French style I would say, but brie and emmental are definitely few of my all-time favourite cheese. The Risotto is just sososo cheesy, and they have some gooey brie bits mixed inside the risotto which made it even more evil-like. The texture of the risotto was also fantastically chewy but NOT RAW! The portion is pretty huge as a tapa size too.
Three Cheese Croquettes is also nice and mushy. The cheese flavour is quite outstanding as well, but I can not really distinguish what types of cheese are there. Anyway there were served pipping hot and it was yum.
Crispy Shrimps is the only tapa I have doubt with. The Batter Coating was light and crunchy, but the shrimps were absolutely tasteless. Minimal seasonings, not to mention the natural sweetness of fresh seafood. I would not be surprise that tapas bars use frozen seafood, but I guess with a little more seasoning it would help lifting the flavour. I just needed the Tartare sauce so much.
Trio Mini Burger were juicy and flavourful. The taste was beefy and it went very well with all the toppings on top. My favourite one is the mustard. Well mustard and beef are always best friends, aren't they?
Once we are done with tapas, we were already so stuffed. For the coffee, I was solely expecting espresso or our Spanish "famous" Café con Leche (which is just Coffee with milk). However we actually got to choose from quite a range and I got my capuccino! In Barcelona, when you order Capuccino, unless you are in Starbucks for the world's more watery-tasted Cap, usually they turned out to be espresso with layers of froth on top. If you are not comfortable with such strong coffee like me, make sure you give your cap a good stir, an INTENSE STIR. Because otherwise you will end up enjoying all the fluffy and sweet froth with the chocolate power on top, and then finding yourself ended up with a cup of "24 mai" (Chinese most bitter herbal soup) in front of you. I am so going for the safest Café con Leche next time!!!!
Anyway it was a lovely tapas lunch experience. Go there if you need cheap and quality tapas during the day!
評分: 味道5 服務5 環境4 衛生4 抵食5
Menu of the day is EUR 10,30 which includes bread, a drink and 3 courses. For the drink, you can choose between mineral water (still or frizzy - Agua sin/con gas), Soft drinks (refrescos), 250ml of red or white wine (vino tinto/blanco). Supposing 3 courses should mean a starter, a main and a dessert to wrap up. However my recommandation is not to touch the bread roll, as you will really be feeling regret and sinful!
One thing to note is that normally in Barcelona, you are normally charged for bread, unless otherwise stated like in the menu del dia here. However If you go to the seafood bar in Mercat de La Boqueria, bread usually comes free but you will need to ask for it. Also, don't get disappointed if the bread served are not warmed because this is normal in Barcelona. The bread restaurants served are usually quite fresh.
The dishes I tried for the first course includes Salmorejo con Sal de Jamon (which was the lightest I tried so far lol), Croquetas de Espinacas con Ensalada and MIXED PAELLA(!!!) can you believe it? That plate of paella you see is just the "starter". So now you understand why you shouldn't touch the bread even though it's tempting (I understand).
Salmorejo is a well known cold soup in Spain that is served in daily Spanish meal. Unlike Gazpacho with its wide variety of veggie ingredients, Salmorejo is made of only 4 key ingredients: Bread, Tomato, Cucumber and Garlic. The cold soup is quite thick but extremely refreshing. The cucumber flavour really cools you down. The best part of the soup is the crisp bites of Jamon sprinkled on top. The jamon has gaven the cold soup a slight kick that trully lifted the freshness of the vegetable. Highly recommanded!
Croquetas de Espinacas (Spinach Croquettes) are lightly breaded, crunchy but mushy in the interior. They were not greasy but quite filling as it is made of potato and Spinach. The croquettes were so far so good but I prefer the ones with cheese or jamon.
Mixed Paella is just so huge! In fact before I visited the restaurant, I knew that La Fonda is famous for its Paella and Arroz Negro (rice with sqid ink and calamari hoops, more like a squid risotto). I was really struggling to choose between Menu del Dia or Paella. In La Fonda, for all rice dishes, it is on a per person basis but the minimum amount you order must be at least a portion for two people. Though I quickly realised that they are serving Mixed Paella as "starter". Paella costs around 9 euros per person, depending you are ordering fish paella, mixed paella (fish and meat) or vegetarian paella. Yet with Menu del Dia I managed to try the mixed paella PLUS 2 other dishes, bread and wine for 10,30 euros. Madre Mia! Anyone I was expecting a tiny portion... you know, like one of those served in tasting menu, but here it comes. I mean, this can be served easily as a portion for 2 for girls like me. I get hungry easily, but I get full super fast too so I need frequent meals lol.
In this Mixed Paella, there is a lot of seafood like mussels, prawns, squid. There was no sign of chorizos, but fried pork was not bad at all. The pork pieces are like fritters which are crispy but very lucious and flavoursome inside. The seafood were not over cooked. The prawns (shrimps rather) were of all most disappointing though. They were sweet, but too twiggy that the texture is over tender. The rice was well cooked, chewy but far from raw, and it fully absorbed the delectable flavour of the sauce.
The main, well - "main", I tried 4 dishes. The braised veal I first tasted was absolutely gorgeous. The meat is so tender and flavourful and the sauce went well with it. It was like a country braised veal without wine or any other complicated ingredients. Simply chunk of veggie and veal meat. It was so so yum.
The Grilled Squid was also very tender and fresh. However after trying the ones from Universal and the baby squid served in Tapas 24, this one is slightly lacking the surprise.
The Porklet was also nicely seared with a texture similar to grilled pork meat around the neck. It is meaty and very tasty. Another highlight of the dish is the sliced pan fried potato on the side of the dish. The slices of were lightly spiced and cooked just right. I finished the entire dish even after having the plate of Paella... (Gosh what a piggy I am...)
For Dessert, they usually offer 3 choice. One of which would be cakes/floury pudding, another one would be something like pear stewed in red wine, and finally they will have an icecream (sundae, gelato, etc.) to choose from.
However so far I have never tried anything other than gelato because I was always far too full for anything solid lol But the gelato here is not bad at all! Especially the chocolate and the coconut flavour. The chocolate one is very rich, while the coconut was nice with the bits of coconut sheds inside.
In short, LA FONDA IS A MUST VISIT!!!!!!!
But one thing to note is that normally there is a queue outside and it takes around 20 mins to get in. If you wish to avoid it, I would suggest you to go between 15:15 to 16:30.
評分: 味道5 服務5 環境5 衛生4 抵食5
I was going to go with my boring Rosé but turned out that four of us ordered 1L of Sangria con Cava (Sangria with Champagne) to share to start with. I actually fancy Sangria with red better but it was an interesting experience. (Side-tracked) Though I seriously think that the longer you stay in Barcelona, the more you can drink because you can drink basically everywhere (cafes, restaurantes, etc. we are not allowed to drink on the street though.) and you crave for your alcohol from 9am til late night.
The four of us shared the famous Bikini Comerç 24, Pa amb tomàquet, McFoie, Chicken Wings in Sweet and Spicy Sauce, Grilled Baby Squid and Patatas Bravas, plus Xocolate amb Pa, Oli i Sal for dessert.
We get Bikini all over the place in Barcelona. Bikini simply means grilled sandwich with ham and melted cheese in between. Though in Bikini Comerç 24 they use premium ingredients for a sandwich like mozzarella cheese, Iberico Ham and Black Truffle. It was simple but very tasty with the aroma of the truffle. I suppose you could probably imagine the taste of it. The only thing is it was only served warmish and the mozzarella wasn't stringy at all. So as the biggest cheese monster on Earth I was a little disappointed.
But of course, it is still delicious.
(Actually I was being nosy the other day, looking through the reviews of Catalunya Hong Kong and I found out that they actually have the exactly same thing served there! But they charged such a premium price! And they have a couple more dished being exactly the same as what is served in the Ticket Bar in El Bulli... What an inspiration...)
Pa amb tomàquet is like the basic bread served in Catalan cuisines, which is basically toasted bread with tomato pate on top. But the ones here are very gorgeous, eventhough it is a little pricy for bread. The bread is lightly toasted, crisp and the tomato is natually sweet and fresh, and what impressed me most is the tremendous amount to aromatic olive oil on top. It is so simple, like everyday food, but they just made it so beautifully here.
McFoie is a beef burger served with foie ganache. The Burger is made of a really light flat bun, more like English-Muffin-Shaped, lightly toast with juicy, medium cooked beef patty inside. The burger on its own was delicious enough. The foie ganache was actually not so impressive as expected. It was creamy but the taste was flvour was rather weak. Don't have too much expectation on the ganache, but the burger itself is quite nice afterall.
The Chicken Wings in Sweet and Spicy were boneless which really same as a surprise and I must say the chef is quite considerate since not everyone would like to get their hand greasy and suck bones in front of people around them. Though I found that the meat was slightly dry and actually you can't taste any of the meaty flavour of the chicken. All you can taste is the sweet and spicy sauce. It may be scrumptious for people who like strong sauces, but I didn't like it.
The Grilled Baby Squid was definitely one of the highlight of the night. Not being a big fan of squid, it was far from marginally impressive. It was so tender, smokey, flavoursome. SIMPLY MARVELLOUS. I think they kind of kept the organs and everything inside the baby squid (I am not sure if there is a better name for that)which is why there is still squid ink coming out of it when you squeeze them with your forks. But it wasn't gross, may be just a little creamy inside which I quite liked it.
Patatas Bravas is a common dish you get in tapas bar. It is simply fried potato pieces with spicy and Alioli sauce, which is like a garlicy mayo, on top. Since it was the first time I tried it in Spain (as I normally turn my head back to starch other than breads) I can't really say if it is of good quality or not. Normally the patatas bravas I see in other tapas bar use fried potato in cube, while the ones served in Tapas 24 use fat chips like the ones from fish n' chips shop in the UK. The Patato was not crunchy at all but work really well with the sauce. You may be able to get better patatas bravas elsewhere, but I quite like this one in tapas 24 so far!
Xocolate amb Pa, Oli i Sal is a must try FOR DEFINITELY. Indulging chocolate mousse in the mildly aromatic olive oil with sprinkles of sea salt giving the flavour a kick served in Tapas 24 (Barcelona). The balance between the rich, creamy scoops of chocolate mousse and the olive oil was impressive, while the crispy baguette slice enhanced the texture of the whole dessert. The bar was also generous enough to give us 4 scoops of chocolate mousse, which for most the photos I saw before when I was doing my 'pre-visiting research', they normally only have 3 scoops.
In general, the food is very delicious and the presentations are nicely done. It is overall a little more expensive than ordinary tapas bar but I think it all worths it. The only problem is that the most exciting daily menu is not available in Catalan! Thankfully the waiters are very friendly to explain every words on it. Also to avoid the long queue, better come at or before 7am for dinner.
評分: 味道5 服務5 環境5 衛生4 抵食3
More food to come!
For 2.95, you may enjoy a coffee, a pastry and a small fresh squeezed orange juice. For the pastry, you may pick a plain croissant, a donut or a Ensaimada, which is traditional puffy sweet Bread from Baleares.
If you want something more than just a piece of dough, you may pick the 3.95 euros set, with the pastry being replaced by the small sandwich. For the sandwich, you may choose between Fuet from Vic, cheese, ham, ham and cheese. Since I am highly unlikely be satisfied by a piece of bread on its own, I chose the ham and cheese sandwich, while my friend Kitty went for a tuna panini.
After choosing which sandwich I wanted, I asked the lady if she can heat it up for me, which she kindly said yes. the bread was fresh that the crust was nice and crunchy. It was rubbed with tomato, like the Catalan Pa amb Tomaquet. The cheese inside was not as gooey as I expected after grilling, but it was very soft that It blended very well with the bread and the york ham.
My friend's Tuna Panini had tremendous amount of tuna on top. And as the biggest tuna addict, she expressed that she enjoyed it a lot.
The orange juice was so fresh, with plenty of pulpe that I felt like I was having an actual orange in liquid form! I ordered my usual Cafe con Leche, but it was slightly too strong for me. I guess I should order one with more milk next time.
Anyway, great deal to enjoy fresh bread in the morning. Straight out from the oven!
Carrer Provença, 233 (amb Rambla Catalunya), 08008 Barcelona
Carrer Gran de Gràcia, 132 (amb Rambla Prat), 08012 Barcelona
Carrer Balmes, 149, Barcelona
Carrer Mora d’Ebre, 64, 08023 Barcelona
Passeig Mare de Déu del Coll, 146, 08023 Barcelona
I have never been to Txapela for tapas before, but it is definitely an ideal place to have a light breakfast before heading to the airport because it is only 3 mins away from the Passeig de Gracia station for Renfe R2 Nord train to Barcelona El Prat Airport!
For 2.25 you can have a coffee and a pastry or a mini sandwich, which is flauta. There were more choices in terms of both pastries and sandwiches than Boldu. For pastries, you may choose from xuixo, croissant, chocolate croissant, donut, chocolate donut and muffin. For sandwiches, you may choose from ham and cheese, Manchego Cheese, fuet from vic and Spanish tortilla.
Although the sandwich was served cold, the the flauta was very fresh. I tried the one with fuet sausage, which there was a generous amount of fuet pieces inside. I love fuet because it is flavourful but not as salty as other Spanish sausage like chorizo or chistorra. The cheese and ham sandwich was also very tasty. It is served with fresh cheese instead, which has a mild cheese flavour and its texture is a lot like tofu.
Cafe con leche here was not as strong as the ones in boldu, but the milky taste was not very apparent either. Anyway for the price I paid, I was totally satisfied.
Address: Passeig de Gracia, 58, 08007 Barcelona
(There is a monastry in Sant Cugat too so now you have an excues to go there!)
The perfect way to start a day is with a great coffee. In Serrajordia they serve Illy Coffee. The way they make Cafe con Leche is like Caffe Latte, where the milk foath is so soothing and the temperature of the milk was just right that the milk foam nicely blended in with the coffee. It is never disappointing. Sometimes it would come beautiful latte art on top which delighted me in the mornings.
The first ever pastry I tried was the chocolate croissant. I have always loved chocolate croissant a lot and I have been going around town, searching for the best chocolate croissant. One thing to note is that the Spanish uses a lot of lard in their pastries production. Therefore it is hard to find buttery and flaky pastries in most bakeries. The worst I found is they often put a sugar glaze on top of croissants. I mean... may be some people like that... but for me, it just make it soggy and sticky and ehhhhh no thanks.
In Barcelona many bakeries had their chocolate croissants filled with tremednous amount of rich chocolate cream, have both ends dipped in chocolate and topped with chocolate sprinkle. I mean... how awful is that? I was so satisfied with all these sickly chocolate croissants in random cake shops I found, until I went to Serrajordia and bought my first ever pastry there.
The croissants in Serrajordia was surprisingly crunchy even when I bited into the part it was dipped in chocolate! It was buttery, really crispy on the exterier while it is extremely moist and fluffy inside. Both the chocolate cream filling and the dipped-in chocolate was really strong. There is also white chocolate version availabler. It is definitely made for all chocolate addicts!
(well I must admit you can basically skip lunch after having this for breakfast. Better treat it as a dessert!)
Bikini Croissant was not bad too. The croissant was as buttery and flaky as they were, with cheese and ham filling inside. Though I think the sweet ones were more outstanding.
Palmier was really amazing! It was so crunchy, buttery, with a caramelised layer on both side which made it sweet and even crunchier. It was baked perfectly given the size of it. (bigger than my face!lol)
Sandwich were pretty good too. They were made to order with the fresh bread they made in store everyday. I had this smoked salmon and manchego cheese sandwich in their signature Spanish coca bread. It was served with spinach, tomato and mayo. For 2.85 euros, this half-portion fresh sandwich was too huge and there were sooooo much fillings! The coca bread was toasted and it had a slight chewy texture while it was crunchy on the exterier. The fillings were amazingly fresh and there was so much smoked salmon!!!! Gosh how could you ever find this in Hong Kong?
Cakes were impressive. My favourite two were 70% flourless chocolate cake and Lemon Meringue Tart.
The chocoalte cake was seriously so rich and indulging. The cake had a meringue-texture layer on top, while it was moist and velvety inside. It seriously melted in my mouth! A MUST TRY!
Unfortunately I didn't manage to take a photo of the Lemon Meringue tart. It had a genersous amount of tangy, creamy lemon curd, and the meringue had a fluffy texture similar to how Paul Lafayet used to make it when they still serve Lemon Meringue Tart. The tart base was not over buttery but still crunchy enough for my liking.
They also have take-away frozen mousse cakes and mousse cups. One evening I invited two other exchange friends, Kevin and Sophia to come over to my place and have dinner after class. Kevin bought me some lovely wine and Sophia bought us these cute little dessert cups! They were absolutely incredible. The texture was almost like icecream as they were frozen but they were so smooth and the mousse was layered with some chocolate crispy balls which made it almost like parfaits! My favourite was the lemon ones as they were really refreshing.
There were much more on offer. Go find out yourself!
Address: Passeig de Valladoreix, 08172 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, España
Els Quatre Gats has their A La Carte menu pricier than places like La Fonda, Can Culleretes. If you wish to pay a visit and are looking for the best deal, the weekday lunch menu is what you need. Mind you this place is incredibly packed so make sure you reserved seats beforehand.
During the weekdays, a set lunch will cost you around 16euros per person, including three courses with wine, mineral water and bread.
Since we went there in a group of five, we were lucky enough to get to try everything on the lunch menu. For the first course, there were spinach and cheese lasagne, vegetable and Parmesan, House Paella and goat cheese Salad available.
Spinach and Cheese Lasagne was of a massive portion which I was not surprise at all. There were plentiful of creamy spinach which was awesome or my liking, but slight not cheesy enough. There was a hint of truffle aroma, but sadly the flavour was rather weak. In general a lovely vegetarian lasagne. Just don't expect much from the truffle sauce.
Vegetable and parmesan was served in a small portion. Being simply vegetable strips bake topped with parmesan, it was exceptionally tasty. The crunchiness of cooked vegetable was delighting. The veggie tasted sweet and fresh, while the rich parmesan gave some extra credits to it. Although ingredients used are simple and common, and the presentation of the dish was nothing amazing, it was flavourful and delicious.
House Paella was also surprisingly well done. Of all the paella I tried in barcelona, some of them have the rice too soft, almost congee-like. One good example would be the disastrous paella in Can Culleretes with the long grain rice. Some are too dry, and the rice is tough and somehow not thoroughly, a texture that is beyond al dente, chewy, like the ones from Tapa Tapa. Some have the flavour of seafood all soaked into the rice but nothing left in the seafood itself, like the fish paella served in La Fonda, which was tragic. House Paella in Els Quatre Gats (well in english translations they call the rice "Mountain and Sea Rice", almost like Surf and Turf rice, but as "Paella" in Spanish menu) is lucious but have slight chewiness to the rice. It absorbs the sweetness of seafood and meat, but the seafood itself inside still tasted lovely and fresh. I am guessing they might have used two lots of seafood, one for the broth to cook the rice, and one for garnish. Anyhow it is the best paella I have had in Barcelona after Cheriff. Though I mean, I pay more than triple the price to enjoy a premium paella in Cheriff. Els Quatre Gats should be proud to serve such an outstanding paella. The only thing worth critising is that there was not a lot of seafood in the paella. But I mean who cares? You eat paella for the rice that takes up all the goodness of the seafood. If you fancy to eat more seafood, order a mixed grill!
The goat cheese salad was also beautifully done. The salad leaves were fresh and crunchy. The cheese was fresh, creamy and strong, which its flavour was nicely balanced by the honeyed tomato jam. It was a light start but definitely finger licking good.
For the Mains, the steak was the best out of all. It was cooked perfectly, with the centre being nice and pink. The meat was tender and meat flavour was dominating. It was only seasoned with salt which made it tasty enough. The jacket potato was mushy, but it would be even better if the potato skin is a little crispier.
Stew Fish with Potato and Clams had become the favourite of Kevin. There was a generous amount of fish on the dish. I would say it's a little similar to some Chinese style stew fish in a pot. Though to me the sauce was a little too flavourful to have covered the natural sweetness of the seafood.
Despite its inappealling look, the duck casserol had the duck falling off its bones, extremely tender and it worked well with the mushy artichokes. It was a pity the dish was slightly salty.
Swordfish was similar fried fish fillet. The fish itself tasted bear but fresh and sweet on its own. I believe the highlight was the veggie strips in the slight tangy sauce, which helped reducing the greasiness of the dish.
For dessert, we ordered apple cakes and pinaapple kebab.
It turned out that the apple cake was thin layers of sponge with the custard used to make Crema Catalana in between them. It was slightly too sweet and creamy to our liking, or it was just a little out of expectation that we did not fancy it wholeheartedly.
The Pinapple Kebab was simply pinapple pieces on skewer , and served with custard. Although there was not something wow and surprising, it was actually quite refreshing after this huge, satisfying lunch.
One thing to point out that prices on menus are not including VATs. It was around 17-18 euros per person at the end which we believe it was still reasonable given the quality, the portion and the experience in such an ancient artsy place. Worth going!
C/ Montsió Nº3
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
The first time I tried El Quim de la Boqueria was in the Mercat i Mercat Barcelona food fair, where the tapas bar set up a booth and sold solely Soft Shell Crab Burger. As there was so many cuisines serving soft shell crab in Hong Kong, I did not expect to get a decent Soft Shell Crab Burger in Europe. Nonetheless it really did surprise me as the burger was seriously SO GOOD! The beetroot bun had a tiny hint of sweetness. It was airy and soft, while the soft shell crab was beautifully crunchy on the shell but the interior was JUST COOKED! It was so juicy and flavourful inside... it was not seasoned but tasted natually sweet (OMG this is what I call Heaven...). The only thing worth critising was that the bun was not toasted. But still! It was so good !!!!!
Afterthat I have always wanted to pay a visit to its Tapas Bar in Mercat de la Boqueria. For 95% of the time it is super crowded.. I did some research on the web, and realise that El Quim de la Boqueria is so famous with its egg dishes. And you know what's lucky being a girl from Hong Kong? El Quim has opened its first restaurant - QUEMO in Wan Chai!!!!!! I am so going soon!!!
(Anyway back to Spain.)
So one day I went with my friend to its tapas kiosk in Boqueria and we ordered a Grilled Baby Squid with Two Fried Eggs, and a portion of Bull Trail to share.
The fresh bread to start with airy and crunchy on the exterior. We tried to save it for wiping of all the sauces of our dishes, but almost half ended up gone before the food arrived.
The Fried Eggs with Baby Squid was serious stuff! The eggs had the edges all nice and extremely crispy, while the yolk stayed runny and rich in that yolky flavour. The squid was sweet, really tender and delectable. They were lightly seasoned with pepper and garlic, and OMG saving the bread was the wisest decision we have made as it was so delicious to eat it with the runny egg!
The bull tail was nothing disappointing neither. The meat was super tender but it didnt fall off the bones like it should. Why is that? Because there was so much gelatine/cologen gluing the meat to the bones! It was gooey and moist, and the potato soaked all the lovely flavour too. How gorgeous!
Can't wait to pay a visit to QUEMO in Wan Chai. Tell me if anyone is going soon I am sticking with you!
Address: Mercado de la Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, 08002 Barcelona
評分: 味道5 服務5 環境4 衛生4 抵食3
I have never liked Paella very much...
...before I found out about Cheriff!
It's not always easy to find the perfect Paella, with the rice having the right chewy but cooked(!) texture, the sauce being just sufficient, not being too dry or soupy. The hardest thing to find some paella absorbing the sweetness of seafood in rice, but at the same time mixed (or just garnished) by decent fish with flavour!
Well. Cheriff is right place to go. But the warning, this place is seriously pricy.
The bread they serve was nice and fresh. They charge 1-2 euros per person for the bread even if you don't touch it.
In Cheriff, they mainly serve everything from the sea. I guess being located at Barceloneta, the sea is right next door. What's better than getting freshest ingredients from there?
For starter, I personally would recommand the mussels here. For 10 euros, the portion is definitely huge enough for sharing. The mussels here were indeed really juicy, fresh and lucious. The garlic oil at the bottom of the dish is perfect for bread dipping as there was left the goodness of the mussels. YUM.
The Calamaris was pricy though. I mean. Yes. For 18 euors, the portion was also huge. But I would say the Calamaris in Cheriff were slightly dry and over fried. The texture of the squid ring was still nice and soft, but I swear there are much better ones available in the seafood kiosks in Mercat de la Boqueria or Tapa Tapa. Mind you they will not give you any sauces to go with the Calamaris. You can ask for some, an they will give them to you too, but without telling you that the sauces will cost you 3 euros each. Watch out!
Anyhow, the Paella here is a must try! There are many different kinds of paella being served here, with some depending the daily price of the seafod eg. the different kinds of Lobster Paella. As a poor student, I only order the least expensive option - "Cheriff" Paella (16 euros per person, 2 people minimum) and shared it with 2 friends, while two others ordered the Canadian Lobster Paella (20 euros per person, 2 people minimum).
The house paella was honestly so good! It was the paella I had in Barcelona that I appreciate most! (I guess it might be because I have never been to Valencia which is like the birth place of Paella.) The slightly chewy right was soaked in the flavourful seafood sauce, and there were tremendous amount of fresh, decent seafood inside. I mean... there were more seafood than rice! And the portion was so huge that I believe a 2 people portion can be shared between 3 comfortably! There was no sign of Saffron, and it might not be the most traditional Paella, but it was a true beauty!
The Canadian Lobster Paella was also highly impressive. The sauce used to cook the rice was even sweeter. The lobster was fresh from the water. Like how they do it in the seafood restaurants in Sai Kung, they pick a live lobster out of the water and show their customers before it being cooked. It looked absolutely humongous and according to my friends opinions they lobster meat was fleshy, fresh and really tasty.
In general, seafood, drinks, basically everything served in this place were pricy so be prepared. But its quality and its portion size definitely justify the price! Another MUST-TRY in Barcelona!
Address: Ginebra, 15 - 17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
All frozen Margarita and Mojitos were 3.50 euros each. HOW CHEAP! and they were of pretty good quality. Not being a huge fan of mint, I always loved my margaritas. For margarita, they have the good old lemon flavour, passion fruit, strawberry and tangerine. There were also original mojito and raspberry mojito available.
Burritos. Were AMAZING. The portions were huge and the meat instead was always juicy, lucious and flavourful. The pork one was served with a little bit of rice rolled inside but you really won't notice it unless you take a close look, while the grilled beef one had some mash rolled in. The pork was scrumpious and the beef tasted like steak cubes. There were plentiful of meat and both were superb! Mind you for a group of girls, one piece of burrito can fill each of you up easily. Not a wise choice to each order a portion of burrito!
Tacos were not bad too. I have some doubt about the chicken and guacamole one as I found the chicken pieces slightly dry and tasteless. Though the slow-cooked beef was my favourite. It was served with tomato salsa, and the shredded beef was so juicy that the juice just keep dripping through the thin tortillas! You may also pick the grilled beef one. It is served with an extremely spicy sauce which my warning is be safe with it. It is not like the Chinese spice where it is spicy but at the same give some extra aroma to the dish. This one ONLY KILLS YOUR TONGUE. FULL STOP. I believe the grilled beef was so much nicer in burritos than in tacos.
If you have a decision-making problem just like I do, you may also order the taco variety, so you can try all tacos available on the menu.
I shared with my friends this quesadilla with shrimps and mushrooms. It didn't look like the ones we get in American restaurants, but who cares? It tasted good! The toasted tortilla was soft, and what filled inside were a tremendous amount of cheese, shrimps and mushroom. It was an interesting combination. Finally there was something other meat options. We were no longer carnivores for once!
If you ever got bored of Spanish food in Barcelona but don't want to be cheated in all those "Asian" place, this is where you want to be!
Address: Via Laietana, 46, 08003 Barcelona, España
I must say, the sandwiches looked highly temptatious in Farga. Other than the normal fillings such Spanish tortilla, ham and cheese etc., they also have smoked salmon, jamon Iberico etc. Everything looked soooo good! So at the end, I picked a Jamon Iberico and egg sandwich in cereal bread.
The cereal bread tasted fresh but not very airy. A little tough I must say. There were a generous amount of Jamon, of which the quality was fair. They made the egg like an omelet n cut it into strips to put them into these mini sandwiches as fillings. The egg strip was not too dry, but far from creamy.
The fresh brewed cafe con leche had right amount of milk I need. The foam was fluffy and velvety, quite outstanding comparing to Bubo and Txapela.
Generally speaking, for a price of 4.75 for a coffee and mini sandwich, food quality wise I would expect more surprises. Nonetheless the services and the setting of the restaurant were excellent.
Just out of interest, Farga and Farggi, the icecream brand, are both in the same company. I was so ready to practise my Poor Spanish to ask the receptionist but she told me before I finish asking, as if she can read my mind!
I have always wished to try Quimet&Quimet. Having walked pass it several times but each time my friends were hoping to find a place where we can sit and catch up a little, I thought I would never be able to try it. two days before I was leaving Barcelona, I met up with Jenny for lunch but as we were having endless for conversation for almost 10 hours, we changed from one place to another, and at the end of the day I ended up at Quimet&Quimet! I almost thought I would have missed it but I finally got a chance to try!
All montaditos were around 2.5 euros each. A little pricy compared to montaditos served in the nearby Cerrar de Blai, but it definitely worths marking on your schedule for your trip to Barcelona.
Not being noticeably starving as we have been in-taking coffees and teas everywhere we went, we shared 4 montaditos - Foie Gras with Volcanic Salt, Mussels with Caviar, Tuna Belly and Sea Urchin, and Salmon with Yoghurt and Truffle Honey.
One of the highlight of the night was this Salmon montadito with yoghurt and truffle honey. The smokey salmon went so well with tart, creamy yoghurt and the sweet honey, while the aroma of the truffle slowly released in the mouth. All the ingredients worked perfectly together that it was such an unforgettable taste.
Another montadito with Tuna Belly and Sea Urchin was also remarkable. The tomato puree base was rich like Ratatouille. The tuna belly was soft and flaky, while the sea urchin made the sweetness of the fish even more outstanding. It was indeed light and delicious!
The Mussels and Caviar one had the same delicious tomato base. The mussels was sweet and creamy on their own, while the caviar gave a little kick to the the montadito. It was not as surprising as the other two mentioned above but was still pretty good.
I would not describe there was any surprise to the foie gras and volcanic salt at my first sight to it. Though the cracker was perfect for the rich, smooth foie gras terrine and the volcanic salt had a distinct earthy taste that enhanced the flavour of the foie.
Apart from Montaditos, Quimet&Quimet was also renowned for its great variety of wine and liquor. Although it is not the most comfortable place to enjoy tapas, you will experience why the Spanish love standup tapas once you are here. (Shhh) It is somewhere you will definitely feel regret if you miss it out!
Address: Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, España
This is definitely an ideal place to enjoy pinxos because they are only 1 euro each and they are sooo tasty!
Pinxo is a classic tapas to enjoy in Pais Vasco (Basque Country). Along Carrer de Blai, there are many pinxos bar. Some are pricier, some has less space to sit and chat, or some may have a smaller range of pinchos on offer. I personally love going to La Tasqueta de Blai because they serve a huge variety of pinxos. Not only do they do they change the food on offer through out the day, they also have seasonal flavours which makes you want to come back all the time!
My favourite one had to be the smoked salmon and tomato pinxo. There was tremendous amount of salmon which I just can't help dropping some on the plate while munching it. The salmon was so moist, nice and smokey but alright with the saltiness.
The cream cheese wrapped in York ham was not bad too! The cheese was so creamy inside, while the basil and the bits of boiled egg really enhanced the flavours of the pinxo. Simply delicious!
Smoked Bacaloa (cod) was not bad too. Not much of a surprise but it still tasted fab.
I also find the one with red pepper filled with blood sausage really interesting. The sweetness of the pepper helped balancing the slightly rich and smooth yet slightly greasy blood sausage. The blood sausage tasted a little like the British black pudding but much more moist to it.
There were also quite a number of vegetarian options with aubergines, cheese, tofu etc. The ones with tofu were so far so good. Being marinated in soy sauce, the flavoured tofu worked pretty good with the sweet cranberry sauce. Though I still prefer the Chinese way of cooking tofu.
Each glass of wine was only 1 euro each and their house wines are lovely and sweet!
Carrer de Blai, 17
Afternoon tea is available everyday from 17:00 to 19:00. All the sandwiches and cakes are on the table which we can help yourself. You may order drinks, and get something to munch on from the table, and paying them at the prices according to the A La Carte afternoon tea menu, or you can get a package, with either tea, Jing teas, or a glass of Cava, and help yourself to whatever you want on the table. I on purposely chosen to come on a Tuesday, because from Turesday to Saturday, there is a pianist playing live music on the beautifully snow white grand piano in the lounge.
As a caffaine addict, not having a package with coffee really was the most disastrous fact about this afternoon tea at Blanc. Being not a huge fan of teas, I order a package with tea, and a capuccino to cheer myself up.
The capuccino was hearty. It came with two petit sponge bites which were lovely. There are bits of almonds inside. They are slight caramelised, chewy on the exterior, buttery and moist inside. Their sizes are perfect for dipping. The Capuccino was covered with smooth, creamy froth, and the strength was just right to by liking. The milky flavour was not too overwhelming but soothing and tasted naturally sweet which is gorgeous with my sugarless coffee.
For the teas, there are quite a number of choices. In Blanc, before pucking your teas, the waitresses will bring you all teas available to so you could have a snif of all of them before making up your mind. Not being a huge fan of teas, I am not sure how to judge the Arabian herbal i picked. Though it came elegantly with a ancient style tea pot, and 3 pies of that delicious sponge.
For sandwiches, there were two types availble. One of which is the common option - Jamon Iberico. Although sandwiches were served cold, the baguette used was nice and crunchy. I always love the Pa amb Tomaquet. Not only dies the tomato makes the bread moist than ever, its sweetness balances the saltiness of Jamon. With this perfect match and fresh. Read, it was simple and fulfilling.
According to the menu, the other sandwich available should be with ruccula, olive sauce, dried tomato and cream cheese . However on the table I only found cereal bread with cucumber, carrot and avocado. I love avocado and vegetarian sandwiches, but this one seriously a little dry and bare. The fillings were so insufficient that basically all I could taste was the fresh, grainy cereal bread. The bread was wonderfully fresh, but I would ask for more at places like Blanc.
The first cake I tasted was the Chocolate Texture. The central was this crunchy praline, topped with vanilla custard-like cream, all coated with chocolate mousse and dark ganache. The mousse was rich and indulging, and vanillacream was light, cold which reduced the sickiness of all the chocolate on each layer. The amount of sweetness was just right. It was definitely goodness for all chocolate cravers.
I had doubt with the matcha mochi at first. I mean this is the same logic as you wouldn't order sweet and sour chicken at places claiming to serve Chiinese food to white people in Europe, right? Surprisingly, the mochi dough was extraordinarily fluffy and soft, very freshly made. Inside was some mochi mousse, which was strong, velvety, very light and airy. Of course you can not expect the matcha flavour to be as rich as the matcha icecream from Chacha Sweethouse, but it would work nicely as a sweet treat withyour teas and coffee if you'd prefer something light.
However the lemon meringue tart was rather than disappointing. The lemon curd was refreshing, while the meringue was creamy but not fluffy enough. The base of the tart is a buttery piece of cookie. Its texture was almost like a thin slice of shortbread I personally think it was a little overly buttery as a refreshing dessert. So at the end I giving up on the tart base.
I also tried a matcha financier, which was outstandingly good. Its texture is a lot like the petit sponge that came with the coffee and teas, with rich aroma of matcha. It didn't look particularly outstanding but the rich matcha flavour really move me. Almost as strong as the matcha butter cake I find in Cha-no-wa!
Apart from pastries, cakes, they also served Asian and Turkish sweets, as well as mousse cups and yoghurt.
They didn't really refill anything at the buffet table, which was absolutely alright during weekdays but became problemetic when it came to busy days like the weekends. I mean... for some items like Matcha Mochi, there was only one piece available for everyone in Blanc.
It was quite a relaxing experience to sit on the soft, while enjoying my tea or coffee and listening to the pianist playing live music.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia 38-40, 08007 Barcelona, España
If you are as foodie as I am and you are planning to visit Barcelona next month, and you haven't made any reservations yet, you can basically drop the idea and starting planning for your next trip because you need to book your table at least 2 months in advance. Well you may also bet on your luck, wait outside the restaurant and try to see if anyone will drop out on the day. Reservations are only opened 2 months before so you can not book it right in advance, and make sure you pick up the phone call from the restaurant few days before your booking as they may cancel your booking without your confirmation!
In Tickets, you and your party will each be given a fancy menu (which will cost you 18 euros to buy if you are so keen to keep a copy). You may order each dish from the menu, or you can tell the waiter that serves your table the budget per ahead you prefer, what food you are allergic or do not prefer, and they will bring out whatever surprises you.
It was like a farewell dinner for my group of exchange friends together with our most admired history and art teacher Alex. We went in a group of 6 (the maximum number of seats you can book) and we had a budget of 50 euros per head. We had 15 dishes in total and we also ordered two bottles of cava to share.
The first apetizer was this pistachio tempura. There were around 8-10 pieces in each bag. The coating was very light, the nut of crunchy and delicious. However it depends whether you value this bag of nuts as much as 3.60 euros each.
The Tickets' Olive-S was quite interesting. It had a thin layer of gelatine filled with olive juice that just bursted in my mouth when you press against the gelatine coat. We tried two version, one with some spice and the other one with rosemary. They look almost identical but I think my favourite was the herb one.
The crostini with Tomato Seeds and Cantabrian Anchovy was quite impressive. The bread snap was crunchy, while the anchovy was of high quality. The marinated fish was flavourful, slightly sweet without that unwanted fishy taste that everyone tries to avoid. The tomato seed was refreshing and lucious that went well with the anchovy. Even Sophia who was not a big fan of anchovy said she found this pretty good!
I liked the Mini Airbag Stuffed with Manchego Cheese Foam. This bite-size tapa was made with a delicate airy puff that cracked into pieces easily, letting the cheese foam inside to slowly dissolve in the mouth. How lovely...
The air baguette was totally, and I mean completely(!) hollow inside! it was just like a bread shell wrapped round with Jamon Canario, the one Spanish ham that is cooked, from the Canaria Islands. It was very light indeed and the paprika on top really gave it a kick. It was something differed from the usual Jamon Iberico.
Quail Egg with Its Nest was outstandingly good, and it was Kevin's favourite. The boiled quail egg was still runny inside and the rich egg yolk again like the olive bursted out in the mouth. It was topped with a tinsy bit of wasabi mayonaise which surprisingly worked perfect together! The nest was crunchy and it was just marvellous with the gooey egg yolk!
The tuna in ones was a little like the Japanese Temaki, with chopped raw tuna cubes in a seaweed and crepe cone. What made it special was the crepe cone as it enriched the texture of that entire bite.
It was the first time I tried fresh oysters being served with ponzu sauce and salmon roe. Ponzu sauce is the type of vingre that the Japanese use to marinate its pickle. The ponzu sauce together with the roe enhanced the sweetness of the oyster. It was so fresh and scrumptious!
When talking about my favourite tapa of the night, it has got to be the Avocado Cannelloni filled with Crab Meat. The avocado slices were so soft and it was filled with tremendous amount of crab meat that simply flooded out when I bited into it. GOD That was SO GOOOOOOD!
The marinated fried fish was no bad too. It was marinated in Indian style with spices. It was flavoursome, crispy outside but far from greasy. The only thing was I found the flavour of the spices slightly overwhelming that you could hardly taste the sweetness of the fish itself.
Jamon Canario a la Gallega was prepared the same way as the famous Pulpo a la Gallega from Galicia. The potato was soft and mushy. It was not too surprising though as for me it is just potato and ham. I guess it is something very traditional for the Spanish.
The Mollete with Double Chin was simple yet very tasty. It was made with a light little bun filled wth grilled belly pork slice. The pork itself was scumpious and juicy which really made this little sandwich so delicious but free from any complexity.
For desserts, we had Passion Fruit Marshmallow and Black Sesame White Chocolate. I must say for both the sweets, the presentation was way more exciting than the taste itself. The Marshmallow worms were fluffy and light, while the chocolate was smooth but melted easily on the hands.
In short, it was a fascinating experience dining in Tickets (it's not too filling though so like Kevin said don't go there starving.) The food quality was excellent. Worth trying!
Reservation Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Avinguda Paral·lel 164, 08015 Barcelona, España
Ciudad Condal is one of my favourite tapas bar which was recommanded by my exchange friends Kevin and Sophia. They serve excellent tapas and there are daily off-menu specials made with the freshest ingredients of the day. Whether or not you find the stuff I recommand will depend on your luck, but trust me there is no way towards disappointment for definite.
For items that are always available, you must never miss out the Salmon Montadito. All montadito at the bar except the ones with Spanish Jamon, 5 Cheese and anchovies are 1.45 euros each. The Salmon one is usually the all-time-favourite for every one if you like smoked salmon to start with because it is so thick and moist and soft and not overly salty hmmmm it really delicious even though yes it is only salmon!
Fried cheese is pretty good you are nut for cheeses. It is like brie on skewer, coated with nuts and served with a sweet cranberry sauce. Once itifried, the cheese inside is so gooey and creamy. YUM.
Veal Sirloin is not bad but sometimes it is a little chewy. There are usually daily special steak on skewer at the bar and my experience with those are better. Ones we had this skewer of steak with apple and foie gras. It was only 3.95 euros each but it was seriously finger-licking good. You would have to rely on your luck for that!
There are also a variety of salad available everyday including the classic ones in most tapas bar like Russian, seafood, etc. This Califonia Salad was the most appealing to me as it was avocado-covered! Apart from avocado, there was farfalle pasta, york ham, cheese, and it was served with two slices of fresh pa amb tomaquet. I just love the soft avocado in oil! And a portion of salad is so filling. Better share it with someone!
There is Spanish tortilla everywhere you go, and you can buy one easily from the supermarket. You can buy one, stick it into the microwave and TaDaaa here you are.
But if you are talking about a quality tortilla, Ciudad Condal is one of the best place to enjoy it. It is only made with egg and potato like the traditional ones, but the tortilla here had the potato soft and mushy, while the egg was delectably fluffy, smooth and lucious inside. It was only just shaped! What an amazing tortilla.
Baked pepper stuffed with cod is another classic at tapas places. The sweet peppers was stuffed with an overflowing amount of shedded yet juicy cod pieces and they were topped with baked with some emmental. Worth the wait.
In general I would not recommand anyone to try their grill seafood here because they quite expensive, and sometimes seafood are served overcooked or cold. Though their grill prawns are pretty good. The prawns are really plump and succulent. Without any flavourings the prawns on its own are sweet on its own.
This off-menu baked cod is also a must try if you see it. The salted cod was topped and baked with brie, and it was served with a sweet tomato jam. Scumpiously fabulous.
Ciudad Condal will be a great place to enjoy tapas in Barcelona, and the prices are reasonable too. It is really close to Pl. Catalunya along Rambla de Catalunya. Queuing is a must but if you don't mind, you can go reserve a table at the reception, but at the same time wait behind the bar for any available seats. At the bar, each individual have his/her own bill. You may also enjoy stand-up tapas, grab a glass of wine, a plate of food and just chill!
Address: Rambla de Catalunya, 18
Gran Via de les Cots Catalanes, 603
08007 Barcelona, Spain