That night, after the fantastic paella lunch, I met up with Trig (you know him as Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef) for dinner and let him choose the place. Along for the ride was his friend, who currently cooks at Comerç 24, and two of my friends, who hopped over to Barcelona for a short trip! He brought us all to Cerveseria Catalana, a tapas place on c/Mallorca, just off Rambla Catalunya. The place was absolutely rammed and at 8pm, there was a half hour wait for a table. Those that arrived just a little after us were told an hour.
When looking through my photos, it’s apparent that we went through a lot of food – more than I remembered! What I do remember was how delicious and how fresh everything was. Here’s the rundown:
Pa amb tomàquet – bread with tomato: the first thing that pops into my head when one says Catalan food. These little bread sticks went down easily. (And if you’re not a fan of tomato, try rubbing one on some bread and then dousing the lot with olive oil – you might be surprised.)
Pasta salad – when Trig ordered this, I was surprised. I mean, pasta salad?! What arrived was this plateful of spiral pasta with tuna in a mayonnaise dressing. It was so simple yet it was the best pasta salad ever – perhaps the mayonnaise was homemade?
Pimientos de Padrón – no hot ones within this pile unfortunately!
Tortilla – the classic Spanish kind with potato. It was just slightly soft on the inside – scrummy.
Grilled asparagus – lovely and not too soft.
Fried artichokes – totally different from the battered ones that Blai’s mother makes. These are just thinly sliced and fried like crisps.
Croquetes with chicken – these were alright, not the best I’ve had but not too shabby.
Patatas bravas – who can say no to fried potatoes topped with mayonnaise and a spicy red sauce? OK, so the sauce wasn’t all that fiery but the whole dish was still good.
Filets of beef – oh ho! These were gorgeous and even caused the neighbouring table to exclaim.
Grilled squid – so tender and not a hint of rubberiness!
Manchego – cheeeeese. I like manchego and its slightly dry texture.
Steamed mussels – these looked very simple but must have been steamed with various aromatics as they were just gorgeous.
Mushrooms with garlic – again, these were simple and yet so ridiculously delicious. I’m definitely going to make these at home.
And finally for dessert, an alcohol soaked cake with whipped cream. Actually, we were expecting another cake filled with custard inside but this was still lovely.
After all this food and drink (beers and Cokes) the total was only 20€ per person – even with the current exchange rate, this was an absolute bargain! Thanks again, Trig!