Again, I searched for the top 10 restaurants in Barcelona. This time, though I decided to only tackle a few. Reasons: I am trying to maintain my weight while enjoying fresh baked bread (why can’t I have it in America???), and handmade gelato. And also, I have been receiving recommendations and strangely enough those restaurants did not make it to the top 10. Being me, I value my friends suggestion more than TimeOut so I reserved the places for other places like Abac, Tickets, Comerc 24, etc.
Nevertheless, I took the walk to Dos Palillos for a try. And I am so so so glad I made it. I will take my little sister – Bella here when she comes (if she decides to move those fingers to book tickets…). So a little bit of background on the chef, I know I usually don’t share these facts, but I got so excited and hopeful for a great meal after reading information about Raunch, the head chef. So here it is:
- Worked in El Bulli for 10 years, in charge of building up recipes and books
- Travel with Ferran many times
- And if that was not enough, he was awarded a Michelin Star for Dos Palillos
I was so determine to get a table but decided to try my luck the next day. My class finished at 12.40 so I walked from there to the place and hang around the area till 1.30 – right when it opened. I thought I would be the first one but no a couple made it before me. Guess they must have walked in while I was browsing some book at the bookstore opposite.
I was directed to the asian bar (with an open kitchen). I think the space was very well designed, simple and clean-cut, very homy yet luxurious. I went for the Festival Tasting Menu (10 dishes vs 13 dishes for Grande Festival Menu). I choose to replace the seaweed salad for Vietnamese spring roll (no offense but I regret it deeply).
Presentation: no doubt, perfect, simple, elegant, great emphasize on the main ingredient
Staff: in this case, chef, they prepare and serve you the dishes right away, much like a bartender
Service: very attentive, the food keeps coming out with negligible waiting time. Bad thing about this is that at the end, I feel like stuffing myself, literally. But I believe that with such a long list of tapas dishes to serve, in 2.5 hours, that was the only way to do it.
Atmosphere: most of people came in pair. Everyone was sharing their work and experiences with moderate noise, and you can always hear (and see) what happens in the kitchen, so it was very lively to dine in the restaurant. Very Spanish, shall I say?
Food: Unique, distinct, mesmerizing and yummy combinations of flavor. I will provide my detailed opinion about each dish below. However, except for the lightly torched calamari, which earned me two free desserts (which I was too happy to forget to photograph them), I enjoyed my meal very much. Oh and to the Vietnamese out there, the spring roll is a Chinese version … (I complained it to the chef so hopefully they will make some changes lol). Must try dish: the seaweed salad (okay, let me be honest, I did not try the dish but looking at the delicate process of putting 5 different seaweeds together (he looked like he’s making art, right there), in a stone bowl with 3 (or 4) types of clams stimulated my gland to the core), lobster tail, burger, and Iberico pig in Cantonese style!
Always start with a cocktail – Lychee infused sake, more like lychee infused water with a very light hint of sake, to clear out your tastebud. Me gusta!
Alaska king crab leg in Japanese spices, yumm
Japanese picked vegetable
- Lobster tail and spinach in vinegar <3
Marinated mackerel and fish floss
- Seared calamari and yuzu juice
- Calamari kimchi – The kimchi was perfectly fermented but the squid, well I just can’t take raw squid
Cherry tomato tempura. Gosh those things burst in your mouth, like I had to resist myself groaning
Grilled unagi – the best!
- Shrimp dumpling – light and delicate, though I prefer those a DimSum shop in Boston
Nippon Burger, perfectly cooked with Chinese bun – reminded me lots about home
The meal ended with Iberico pork in Cantonese Style. Though it was very fatty, despite how full I was, I was very tempted to order an a la carte for this dish
Strawberry jam mochi with matcha powder. Though I prefer mochi ice-cream, the jam was very freshly made, given that I am extremely allergic to artificial jam
He must love strawberry. Here is shaved ice with Strawberry syrup and sesame sauce
Overall, I really enjoyed my lunch in the restaurant. The chef was very friendly and attentive. I highly recommend to stop by the restaurant if you are in Las Ramblas (oh well, you know you will be in the area at least once, if not all the time during your visit ;)). Drop a line and let me know what you think!