10.18.2014

TALLER DE TAPAS / L'OSTIA

Recently I spent an extended weekend with a friend in Barcelona, away from cloudy and cold England.  Before we left England, I asked on Twitter some restaurant recommendations: Tickets by Ferran Adria has been mentioned a lot of times, like other restaurants in the W Hotel… I wasn’t very keen on those recommendations which sound more like 'the cool place to be and to be seen' than the best place to eat. My friend and I went for the total adventure and decided to stop when we found something attractive (menu) or nice surroundings.

We arrived in Barcelona at the beginning of the afternoon, it was 27°C the perfect ‘été indien’ literally Indian summer as we say in France. We replaced our coat and jumper with t-shirt and sunglasses and went to Barrio Gotico for a little snack.

On a small square, we found a little restaurant T aller de Tapas, I discovered when I came back to London that they have many restaurant in Barcelona. We started our afternoon snack with ‘dos cervezas’ and ordered a few tapas.
I couldn’t start my trip to Spain without having croquetas, so I ordered one and we shared it. It was a nice croquetta, not too greasy but it was very rich and creamy. Maybe it tastes a little bit too much cream and not enough ham.
 Croquetes casolanes de pernil de gla  - Jabugo ham croquette
Patatas Bravas - Fried potatoes with garlic mayonnaise and spicy smoked
paprika sauce
Another classic I ordered, patatas bravas. They were ok, not the best one I had but the potatoes were well cooked but a bit dry like they have been made and left to cool down for a while in a bucket.  
Broqueta de llagostins a la planxa amb all i oli - Grilled langoustine skewer with garlic mayonnaise

I had a grilled langoustines skewer served with garlic mayonnaise after while my friend had salt cod and parsley fritters.
My langoustines skewer was well seasoned, nice and cheap which make me think they were more prawns than langoustines… anyway it was good.
On the other side of the table, my friend was quietly enjoyed his salt cod and parsley fritter, looked up with a smile on his face and said "they were alright", so i think they were okay-ish.
 Bunyols de bacallà - Salt cod and parsley fritters

This place was certainly not the best place we went to during this long weekend but it was a good value restaurant to grab a little snack of the most classic Spanish tapas with a beer. The place was nice and looked over a church, it didn’t have a lot of tourist traffic, considering we were in Barrio Gotico it was quiet enjoyable.

5/10 

Taller de Tapas

Carrer Comtal, 28
08002 Barcelona
Twitter: @tallerdetapas

We found the second restaurant by accident, we were walking on the way to Barceloneta to eat near the beach and enjoyed the sound of the waves. We never arrived at the beach on that night, we fell on a very nice little place which had a local looking restaurant with a big terrace. Inside the restaurant was very modern, outside on the restaurant wall, there was a board with all the special dishes/ tapas of the day.

We decided to have dinner there as dishes sounded nice.

Again to start we had one croquetas each, this time it was a mix of chicken and iberico ham, they were very good, this time the taste was well balanced, you felt the cream, ham and the pulled chicken. 
Croquetas de pollo con jamon iberico de bellota - chicken croquettes and iberico ham

We had also some 'pan con tomate', the bread was very nice...not sure it was homemade but it was fresh, tomato had been spread on it and some piece were left on top. The taste of garlic was there but not too much - fautless dish. .
Pan con tomate de la Pepi - bread with tomato, garlic and olive oil

When I looked at the menu, my eyes were attracted directly by 'chupa chups de pollo', when the dish arrived I wasn't expecting this presentation, I was a bit disappointed. I changed my mind when I tried one of the 'chupa chups'. This chicken was absolutely amazing! Sauce were very nice, the chicken was perfectly cooked, a mix between crispy and moist. 
 Chupa Chups de pollo 

As a 'main'...(I don't really know if you can really say a main when we speak about tapas, but well you might understand what I mean), I had the scallops. 
I have never saw scallops this size before in my life, they were massive - around 6 cm each.
They were perfectly cooked and seasoned, the iberico pancetta gave a salty touch  to the scallops, the spinach cream gave a smooth texture and the leek a touch of crispiness. 
This dish was a 10/10! I 
Vieira con panceta iberica, fondo de crema de espinacas y puerro crujiente - scallops with iberico pancetta and spinach cream and crispy leeks

While I was having a moment of pleasure with my scallops, my friend had his main: oxtail burger. I managed to steal a bite of his burger, the bun was nice, the patty was excellent. Oxtail was slow cooked, my friend mentioned the fact that there is not many burger place in London if even none who does oxtail burger... such a shame as it is very good and tasty but also it is very cheap to do!
 Hamburguesa de rabo de buey -Oxtail burger 

As a dessert I ordered the traditional Catalan cream, spoon test was a success, sugar was nicely caramelised on top, the custard had a nice taste of lemon zest and cinammon. 
 Crema catalana L'Ostia
My friend went for a cheesecake, according to him it was a nice cheesecake, but I saw in his eyes he was jealous of my Catalan cream.
 Pastel de queso L'Ostia

Overall this restaurant was a real bargain: nice atmosphere on this quiet place, great and attentive service, excellent and tasty food. I will definitely keep in mind this address as a place to come back. 

9/10

L'Òstia Taverna Gastronomica
Plaza de la Barceloneta 1-3
08003 Barcelona
Twitter: @Lostiabcn



















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