Friday, December 11, 2015

Barcelona - To Eat 03Dec2015 (Ciudad Condal, Maestro, Suamu Bar Restaurant, Catalana, Granjala Pallaresa Chocolate Cafe, Birras&Tapas, La Paradeta, Hamburguesanostra, Xativa L'Arrosseria)

BCN - To Stay
BCN - To Do 
BCN - To Eat
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Ciudad Condal 
(Recommended joint by others)
A relatively small interior but with very eclectic designs offering cool photo-ops for sure.
 Ordered On:

*These bad boys were really really sweet*
Goat cheese with Eggplant

*Red peppers were super sweet and is served with eggplant. the sweetness from them
really help cut through the heaviness of the goat cheese. Nothing special really but it
was still pretty good.
Chicken Croquette

 *The dish that didn't wow. It was good but nothing that you can't get back home from a
Japanese croquette stall.*
Fried Camembert cheese

*Confirmed that it's much creamier and better than the one done at Catalana. Their jam
wasn't overly sweet and a beautiful pairing. More off dessert dish to end the meal*
Prawn Skewer

 *Nice, succulent and juicy. Really good order and quite the serve for the price!*
Cuttle Fish Re-order

 *Wins over the squid, hands down and my recommended must order!^
*We were looking at the front of house Sandwiches which many patrons were having.
Bread was crispy but nothing special. Probably won't have the Sandwhiches. Those at
Catalana look way better.*
6 Textured Chocolate Cake

*For the sweet tooth. Really nice, rich and subtle texturing. We couldn't even come up
with six adjectives for texture, much less tell the difference.*
Fried Artichoke

*Pretty good and lucky to have it in season. If you haven't had it before. It like having
vegetable fried chips.*

Fed 3 approximately €17/pax
Once again every single dish, with the exception of the chicken croquette and possibly the sandwich were a little normal. The rest shown through. With this second dining, its confirmed that this is the better place to go for Tapas over Catalana (reviewed further below.)
That's not to say that Catalana is not worth visiting at all. They have more variety and their front of house items are amazing! Scroll further down for Catalana review.

Ordered On:
 Green Peppers 4.65Euro
 *Really good but could have used a little more heat to it. Nicely fried! Not spicy at all!*
'Cabreas' Egg Style 5.90Euro

 *Their signature dish. Really crispy fries with a balance of
*The cured ham was amazing. Its got deep flavoring and really shown through. The bread served along was drizzled with olive oil and a thin spread of tomato compote. Lovely pairing!*
Grilled mushrooms and stuffed red pepper with cod 4.10
 *The grilled mushrooms aren't anything spectacular. However, the red pepper stuffed with cod fish is phenomenal. Its very similar to Venice dish of preserved cod. Amazing stuff and a must try.*
Grilled Cuttle Fish 7.75 Euro
 *Presented beautifully. Plump, juicy and with the squeeze of lemon. Over the top!*
Beef Tenderloin 3.95EuroEach

 *The tenderloin steak was really good. A fresh cracking of salt over head highlighted the whole dish and was prepared really well.*
Total about 18Euros per pax.

Finally after the last trip of failed attempt to find good tapas, Ciudad Condal more than makes up for it! Every single dish was a hit, with only onethe mushroom a little blend in comparison to the rest and can be given a miss.

A beautiful interior and located a short walk from La Ramblas. A recommendation to come here and try the rest of their stuff on the menu!
Click here for ABBA location of Ciudad Condal, Rambla de Catalunya, 18, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

(500m from Ciudad Condal)

Artesian self brewed beers at reasonable pricing. Place serves light bites as well but yet to be reviewed.

Click here for ABBA location of Maestró, Rambla de Catalunya, 79, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Ordered On:
Sampler for 4.90Euro

*I don't really search much for beer joints, but came across this artisian place and it looked pretty good. Missed the days of sampler platters where each beer tasted distinctively different from one another and this place defiantly delivered on that nostalgia. Adverse the darker ales, it was in fact the darkest one that was most surprisingly pleasant. It had a nice, coffee roast after taste that lingered after. Fantastic. Will return for a drink. The light bites have yet to be reviewed.*

 Suamu Bar Restaurant
300m walk from Barcelona Hilton
Came recommended for their Rice with Lobster Stock 17.50Euro

Click here for ABBA location of Restaurante Suamu, Barcelona, Carrer Europa, 23, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Ordered On:
Sangrias White and Red

*Sangria red and white. This was probably the only saving grace for the night. Alcohol to the rescue. White sangria's were a first for me and was the more popular choice. Hilton Hotel Sangrias were reported far superior and worth the try there.*
Calamari Rings

 *Fried calamari? Don't waste your time. Non-crispy batter and under-seasoned squid rings. Bread rolls were pretty standard.*
Rice in Lobster Broth

 *Poor presentation. The dish is best described as Teochew-Mui (Chinese style rice porridge). All claw and bone with little to no meat. The meat is suspected to be from frozen lobster and was shrivlled under the shell. In fact, others were looking elsewhere to buying food in order to last the night.* 

*A one spoon meal as there's no meat at all to dig out.*
 Fed 12 Each paid 22Euros each

This is possibly a case of the kitchen not able to fulfill the large order and start downsizing the lobsters. In fact the rice distribution was inconsistent as well. Bottom line, everyone was hungry at the end of the meal. Though the soup stock was tasty, but its absolutely not worth the dollar spent. Others have reported it is really good and should be larger portioned on their visits. So its perhaps best to come only as individuals or as a smaller group. It seems like another much acclaimed crab porridge at Chi JI Wanton Mee in Hong Kong place that when in the day you order makes the worldly difference to a quality of product. Try at your own risk. I personally won't be coming back that's for sure. 
Click here for ABBA location of Restaurante Suamu, Barcelona, Carrer Europa, 23, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

(Recommended joint by others)

Another recommended joint that's a short walk from Ciudad Condal. Another traveller on holiday came here three times for their meals! That should be a good sign :D.

Ordered On:
Spanish Omelet

*Nothing special. Egg with potato. Just wanted to try and can be skipped*
 Black Rice


 *Their Paella menu changes daily and comes out only at about 1330hrs.
Well worth the order! Squid ink rice with squid. Absolutely delightful and having the rice together with a little creamy, sweet Mayonnaise really makes it pop.*

 Four cheeses

 *The cheeses together with a little olive paste at the top, comes together beautifully.
A well composed and delicious dish. Worth the order!*
Grilled asparagus and Mushroom

 *Nothing unique or special about it and you probably can skip the order.*

 *Fantastic fish done in a light batter. Quality product that was finished quickly and with great pleasure. However, it was a little chewy and could be because it was over cooked slightly*
Squid off menu

 *Still just as good but looses out Ciudad Condal. It could be because of the different choice of protein. Cuttlefish versus squid. I'd personally suggest going for the Cuttlefish option*
'Cabreas' Egg Style

 *Fries here are in larger quantity than Ciudad Comdal but loose out slightly in flavor and
crispness. More fries equates to lesser sauce to fries distribution.*
Beef Tenderloin with Froie Gras

*For a little more you get a decent amount of Froie GRAS, what more to ask. The beef
here looses out slightly to that at Ciudad Comdal's in  terms of prep, seasoning and meat.*


 *Super tender pieces of octopus superbly done. Really good and a must order from the
counter. The best octopus still goes to that ordered from Duck and Waffle London.*

*The cheese was a little hard and should have been oozing a little, since having been freshly fried. It's more of a sweet than a savory.
Others reported that Ciudad Comdel does it better*
Fed3 24 Euros each

Catalana or Ciudad Comdal? 
Catalana has a larger seating capacity and a sheek design. Catalana also offer a larger selection by comparison with their front of house/bar selection, however, they loose out only just slightly, comparing dish for dish against Ciudad Comdal. (Small things like their toasted bread, with a little dash of olive oil would be a little better. That little extra 10%)
Catalana offers a different dining experience, offering greater variety and good tapas
over all. Their front of house dishes were definitely a feast for the eyes and the pallet
and will return to try their other options! The paellas were beautifully done and the day before serving was lobster paellas! Remember these only come out for a short window of time from 1330hrs to 1600hrs.

Click here for ABBA location of Cervecería Catalana Indú, Carrer de Mallorca, 236, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Granjala Pallaresa Chocolate Cafe 
(Recommended joint by others)

 Note opening times!


Tucked away behind La Ramblas the walkway to La Palleresa Chocolate Cafe has some cool shops along the way. According to google review and others recommendation, this Churros Chocolate shop is off good standing and popular.
Ordered On:

 *Spanish chocolate here, to be honest was a little disappointing. It's supposed to be
thick which it was, but it was more gloppy and had a watered down taste to it. Churros
were fairly standard but could be better if they were fresh out of the fryer. Sadly, this
place looses out to all time favorite and sinful choice San Churros (Australia)
*Fairly standard. Taste like a Panna cotta cum Carmel pudding.*
Nothing spectacular, with fairly standards Churros. The place was filled within minutes
of its opening but fell short of personal expiations.
Fed2 10Euros

(Located 1.7km away from Hilton Barcelona)
C&GOOD Coincidence! 
A happy coincidence. We had originally planned to go to La Paradeta but it was closed on our visit due to the previous day being a public holiday and had no seafood delivered.
Ordered On:
Pan-Fried Cod 11.90Euro Seafood Paella 9.90Euro x2
Pan-Fried Piglet 6.90Euro

Marinated Pig 3.99Euro
*Really nice. Its not tough at all, really juicy and flavorful.*
 Lamb Cutlet 4.99Euro
*Was nice. Maybe a little over done but good flavors with no gaminess to it.* 
Fresh Anchovies (Andalusia Style) 4.99Euro
*Not overly salty and was like having shishamo (Pregnant fish).*  
Grilled Razor Clams 4.99Euro
Mussels 4.99Euro
 *For the portion size at that pricing! A good showing of fresh mussels*
Galician Octopus 4.99Euro
 *Octopus was a little bit disappointing to me. Though super tender, it was more of a cold dish and not as impressive as that served at Catalana reviewed above.*
Fried Squid (Andalusia Style) 4.99Euro Squid Fried in Batter (Andalusia Style) 4.99Euro
Spanish Potato Omelette 3.99Euro
Coco Helado 4.50Euro

Nice coco shavings inside the ice-cream add a nice texture*

Copa Dolce Citrus 5Euro
Whisky Carmel Icecream cake

*The star dessert for the night* 
Total Fed8  Each paid about 16Euros each

Overall, the consensus was really cheap and pretty good! We really did order quite a lot and all of it were not photographed due poor lighting or rather inferior camera. Anyway, the shout outs go to the Seafood Paella. Good stock and wasn't salty. The fry on the cuttle fish, anchovies and squid were excellent. A light, even, crispy batter with fresh seafood. The pork orders were great too! Tender and flavorful. Those were quick to go. But not as quickly as the desserts which were all a hit. The star was definitely the whiskey caramel ice-cream cake, with a shot of whiskey. The rest of the deserts were in good standing as well and got everyone buzzing after dinner. 

A happy alternate that paid off well with a good meal. Another spot for cheap eats and very affordable prices I must say. We were expecting at least 25euros for the meal.
(2.0km walk from Hilton Barcelona)

Finally after a second attempt, we were able to make it here! The concept is really simple. PIck out what you want to eat, weigh and pay. They are often either fried or grilled. No rocket science here. Its self collection when your number. Ask the wait staff what your number sounds like in Spanish. Good, fresh seafood. Something different whilst in Barcelona.
Ordered On:
 Lobster 22Euro
 *A little small by comparison. The meat was definately sweet, but the live lobster could have been left out too long, hence its meat shrunk.*
Seafood Soup 4.20Euro
*Good flavor with tiny bits of mussels and fish*
Bamboo Clams and Octopus Grilled
 Bamboo Clams 5Euro
*Superb flavor and not at all over cooked*Octopus Grilled 4.08Euro
*Again not over cooked and we wanted to try something else beside the usual fries*
Tuna Steak and Prawns
Tuna Steak 7.18Euro
*A little dry to be honest, but that's most likely due to the cut. Nothing a little lime and fantastic tar tar sauce they had on hand, cant fix.*Prawns 3.99Euro
*Supersweet and worth it to try*Fried Silverfish 2.97Euro

Fanta 2.40
Bread 0.50
Salsa sauce 0.80Euro
Total 53.12Euro Fed 2
Really fresh seafood at reasonable prices. The lobster was fresh for sure, but probably left out a little too long that the lobster was consuming itself. The rest of the stuff were really nice. Seems that all their grilled items come with the fresh, herb green sauce and a squeeze of lemon.

Pretty decent value and you get the good stuff.

Food Court Opposite Supermarket near Hilton Barcelona (400m)

Pretty interesting concept. You get a selection of burgers of distinct origins and of different styles. What's more enticing is that they've got 7 flavorful sauces to choose from!
 Ordered On:  
 De Puelo (Garlician Beef with Manchego Cheese, poached onion and bacon. 160g 9Euro French fries instead of chip, an additional 2.50Euro
 *The burger was literally of the grill and so hot that I couldn't pick it up with my bear hands. The beef was cooked perfectly and probably a little tougher due to the ingredients pre-mixed in. A decent burger at a reasonable pricing! Worth to try the other flavors. Being in Spain, I opted for the Spanish variants. That's not to say the Waygu one didn't catch my eye. The sauces were all pretty good with bold flavors. Try em all or mix and match to find your favorite.*
Burgers from around the world for a short walk and at reasonable prices.

Xativa L'arrosseria
 ABBA Contribution by Calvin
(Yet to try due to late opening in the evening.)
Local-local joint known for risotto! COOKED With SEAWATER


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