Food in Barcelona (part 2)

Lunch at La Roca Village

In case you are wondering, where the heck is La Roca Village, link here

Yeah, instead of sightseeing, I rather spontaneously decided to squander a day of my trip to go shopping at the premium outlets instead. Well I did get myself a new backpack, watch, wallet and two t-shirts, so I guess… Ouch! I shall write more about this place in the future (as usual), but suffice to say it is NOT inside Barcelona, and coming here is a day trip.

So I had lunch here. The shopping bus that I took gave us vouchers for a 10% discount at one of the restaurants here called Pasarela, so that’s where I went for.

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I don’t think the locals come to La Roca Village a lot. Things here are actually quite expensive. The discounts here are not as generous compared to the outlets in the US. In fact, the items that I bought are items that I really need, and they are indeed slightly cheaper compared to if I buy them back in Malaysia. 

Most of their transactions here I think are done with tourists. Chinese tourists especially. This place is infested with them!

The menu that I got, which is a standard menu, has Spanish names and descriptions, with NO English but Chinese translations! How about that?

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Menu

A flip through the menu revealed that their agua mineral (mineral water) is priced exactly the same as their Sangria beer and an assorted array of wines. So I asked for a local specialty red wine. It is called La Rioja.

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La Rioja and olives

For my food, I ordered something which I thought was another Spanish specialty. I saw the word fideua and thought, “Hey this name sounds familiar! Where have I seen it before?

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Fideua

Now I remember it must be Marta who mentioned it before somewhere in her blog…

This fideua, it is a creation from Valencia. In fact, paella is supposed to originate from Valencia too and not Barcelona. Much like paella, the fideua is cooked in a paella pan using more or less the same methods, but instead of rice, thin pasta noodles is used. The accompanying ingredients consist of different types of seafood.

In fact, if you ask a Valencian, he/she would tell you: paella is cooked with land animals, fideua is cooked with sea animals. The Catalan paella is a fucking abomination that should be exterminated from the face of the Earth.

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Fideua

My verdict? I love this! Maybe it is because I am not used to rice being al dente, but I love this more than paella!

Dinner at McDonald’s

At this point of time, I have been walking and climbing for 3 consecutive days (okay, one of them for shopping). I was really tired, and my thighs were screaming for respite. Also, thanks to the shopping, my wallet was also screaming for respite. So I planned to stay as close to the hotel as possible and get some cheap grub for dinner.

This only means two things: another paella set in one of those tents along touristy La Rambla, or fast food. In the end, I didn’t feel like having another paella, and fast food was much closer to the hotel.

So, McDonald’s it is!

I saw something interesting upon stepping into the restaurant…

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Easy Kiosk

There are kiosks for you to place orders by yourself, then there’s a special counter to collect your food. I don’t think I have seen this in Malaysia before. Do we already have this in certain KL outlets?

Unfortunately, you need a credit card with PIN to use it. Mine was new and I did not have time to get a PIN before I left Malaysia, so it was the normal counters for me.

Anyway, here’s what I got…

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McMenu 4: CBO

I have to admit, I do not know what does CBO stand for. I just ordered it because the picture looked prettier compared to the other items, and it looked like the only thing that I cannot find back in Malaysia. I’m pretty sure if they introduce this burger using the same name in Malaysia, it would quickly become a yellow joke in no time if you know what I mean. Lychee Pie, remember?

Let’s take a look inside…

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CBO

Are those bacon bits? Yes, they’re bacon bits! Nice!

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Inside the CBO

Ooohh!! Bacon pieces! Oh yeah baby! Seems like I lucked out and got myself a decent fast food burger!

Now that I’ve seen the whole thing, let me hazard a guess. CBO = Chicken, Bacon and… and what? Onion? But there’s no onions to be seen here… 🙄

Paella Valenciana

So the following day, after my visit to Camp Nou, I decided to look for squid ink paella. Everyone was telling me that it is a must eat in Barcelona so I have to find it.

According to my hotel’s concierge though, actually that’s not true at all. It is more expensive and tastes the same so the locals don’t really eat it much. It only became famous among tourists after some of those TV documentaries get paid by certain restaurants to cover it.

My search led me to a secluded neighborhood plaza somewhere between the Diagonal and Fontana metro stations.

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Placa del Sol

Unfortunately, the restaurant that was supposed to be the famous one was full for lunch services for the day. So I had to settle for one of the supposedly less famous ones around the plaza.

I don’t even remember the name of that restaurant I settled for, but I do remember I went there because I saw they offer something that I have been dying to try! You’ll see later…

So I sat down and immediately placed my orders of my craved food and a glass of red wine which the locals prefer. This was when the server decided to set me straight by telling me: “No senor, red wine for tourists. Catalans drink cava and white wine. I give you good local white wine.

Okay…

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Good local white wine

He did tell me the name of this good local white wine, but it was a Catalan name and I could not remember it.

Well, I suppose after this, I can say I am more of a white wine person. It seems to have subtler flavors and more refreshing compared to red wine which I think is more in-your-face in terms of flavors.

Anyway, anyway… here’s the food that I craved for…

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Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana. Paella done the Valencia way, the original way, with only land animals and nothing from the sea. And this one here is a proper one apparently. Most places in Barcelona, though they offer this item on the menu, they use pollastre, chicken. It is quite hard to find one that stays true to the origin and uses conill.

What’s conill, you might ask? Well, nothing much. Merely this…

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Conill

If you decide to hate me after this, I can… no, I refuse to understand. I’m just trying to eat something that Spanish locals eat. Are you going to hate all Spanish people who loves conill meat? And how is it much more disgusting compared to eating unborn ducks (balut) for example?

So what did I think about this rabbit paella? Well, I expected the meat to be like chicken, but there’s some difference here. The meat seems more… brittle? Firmer, but not tough to chew. And it doesn’t have that strong chicken flavor to it if you know what I mean. If was most definitely very interesting indeed!

Frigo Pie

Let’s sneak in one last food item before I call it a day…

This was another thing that I have been searching high and low for because I saw it from Marta’s blog. I thought it was going to be easy to find a supermarket that sells it, but no. It took me 3 freakin’ days before I chanced upon it in one of those mini convenient stores by the metro station.

Here, I present to you, the ultimate Spanish food item not to be missed, the Frigo Pie! (pronounced Pi-e)

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Frigo Pie
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Frigo Pie

LOL! Yeah, an ice cream!

Interestingly, I expected this to taste and feel much like those rainbow Paddle Pops that I used to eat in Malaysia as a kid. But no… First, the texture is soft, so you can bite into it easily. Also, there’s a mild fruity flavor to the ice cream, so it felt somewhat more refreshing to be eating this.

Forget the many Italiano gelaterias all over Barcelona. This is the ultimate local’s ice cream in my opinion, and I love it! 😀 😀 😀

28 Comments

  1. That reminds me that one of friend always like to try McD in different countries, because she said she wants to see what’s the differences among them.

    • Usually this is 50-50 true only. Want to see McD difference AND lazy to research and find out the good local food. Hahaha! 😀

  2. First of all, I don’t think I’d want to lick anyone’s foot….wakakakaka! 😀

    There are different types of Spanish paella…meat paella, seafood paella, vegetarian paella, mixed paella…and I think they’re all acceptable. I like paella made with rabbit meat too…they’re a bit like chicken, only much softer. We can get authentic and good ones here too. By the way, what rice did they use for your paella? If it’s made with Bomba rice, those are really good…and authentic, I think.

    I see you went shopping and bought lots of stuff….for yourself! None for your family? Muahahaha!! I’m eager to see the shopping post.

    • Tsk! Why you so obsessed with the idea of getting better paellas in Malaysia lah?? Actually nowadays with the chefs going all over the world and stationing everywhere they want, it is much easier to get any authentic food from wherever we are. The thing is, there is still a difference between eating a paella in a Spanish bar compared to eating a beautifully executed paella in a Malaysian hotel. That’s why we travel, right? (I dunno what rice they use, not our Thai jasmine rice lah 🙄 )

      Things in La Roca Village is REALLY expensive. I was unpleasantly shocked. If you ask me if I regret going there now, YES! No thanks to so many China people going there to jack up the prices 🙁 …

  3. So far, i only see 1 McDonald outlet in Singapore which is in JEM there, that has like what you shown, kiosks to place order, and if you place order over the counter, you will be given a receipt with a number to wait and collect your food at another counter…

    • Interesting. Even Singapore has it. Maybe soon they will import this concept to Malaysia then. 🙄

  4. I would like to try that Paella Valenciana, but without the rabbit meat, only the standard animals for me, the Frigo Pie sounds like a nice dessert to end the meal

    • For authentic paella Valenciana, rabbit is the standard animal hahaha! But if you have it from Barcelona then yeah, chicken for u.. Or u can just have seafood paella.. 😀

  5. that’s a cute rabbit picture…now I felt guilty for eating rabbit satay…BTW, Frigo Pie is in pink? is that strawberry flavour?

  6. Aaaah fideua!! I am drooling right now!!!

    Yes, only Chinese people go to La Roca village hahaha. I think there is a similar place in Madrid. Never been there.

    Eating rabbit is not suuuuper common (definitely not as common as pork, beef or chicken, and also less common than lamb) but we don’t think it is weird to eat it. I will tell you a story: when I was 4 or 5 years old we had a rabbit. We kept it in the balcony. One day the rabbit disappeared and I was very worried. My mum said he might have jumped out of the balcony (we lived in the second floor) and we even went to ask the concierge if he saw him. Many years later I finally knew the truth: we ate that rabbit…

    You had the frigo pie!! And even liked it!! Nice, haha!

    • You know what? I think there’s also a Suzhou Village owned by the same company. Maybe the Chinese can stay home for those crazy shopping spree now 🙄 … Maybe once the Chinese is gone, prices will be reduced further for the locals..

      Goodness! Poor you! Eating your own pet!

      And yes I’m serious. I do like the Frigo Pie 😀

      • I don’t know if it’s the same company but we have not one but two! outlet villages in Suzhou!! I don’t care about brands so I never bought anything but my dad got a pair of Jeep shirts once.

        • Two??!! Why are they coming to Barcelona to shop then?? Goodness!! I really believe if we remove the Chinese people from the equation, prices in La Roca (and every other freaking outlets in Europe) will have their prices come stumbling down in no time. The jeans that I could get for US$40 in US outlets were going for 60 Euros in La Roca, so I’m sure there’s still a lot of room for prices to drop.

  7. The Paella Valenciana look really good, I must say, even though I dont think I could eat rabbit. But only because I used to have 2 pet bunnies and loved them to bits. So don’t worry, I don’t hate you :P. I actually tasted a tiny bit of rabbit once and I thought the meat was quite good lol… I still haven’t decided yet if I will eat this when in Barcelona! I’m all about eating the local specialties… so I guess I”ll decide when I get there and see iT!

    • Actually it will be extremely difficult to find rabbit paella in Barcelona. Normally the paella Valenciana here are made with chicken meat. Rabbit meat is not native to Barcelona I think..

  8. very nice gastronomic experience!!! so you are really enjoying yourself (with food) there I can see..

    I googled that CBO burger, it is really Chicken Bacon Onion woh, yours must be one defective items from the kitchen which the crew forgot the onions, haha!!

  9. You are right about CBO being Chicken Bacon Onion as shown here:

    https://www.mcdonalds.es/productos/sandwiches/cbo

    if there are no onions in yours, it is either:

    A: they have ran out of onions or
    B: they have forgotten to put in onions for you
    C: they see your face and think you are someone who does not like to eat onions so they did not put in onions for you.

  10. McD for dinner! What a champ 😀 Did you think the buns and fries measure up to those in Malaysia? The cheese looks good in my opinion. In Australia, we have those ordering kioks things at some Maccas but they are not for regular item menus – you can only order their customisable burger set there.

    Frogie Pie! Hope to try it someday. Haven’t seen anything like that in Oz 🙄

    • The bun and fries are more or less the same, but I think their patty seems to be of better quality. Still processed crap, but at least you get get bits of chicken chunks in the patty.

      Not Frogie Pie. Frigo Pie. Frigo is the brand. 😀

  11. I don’t think I have seen kiosks for ordering here inside McD. I think for our credit card, we do not need to enter the pin, we just need to press enter when being prompted for the pin. That’s what the bank told me when I call to ask them about pin based credit card terminals overseas. They warn me not to use the credit card pin for ATM purposed in credit card POS terminals and kiosks overseas. Just need to press enter when prompted for the pin because our credit card PIN for ATM purpose is different. Maybe you can try using the kiosk and press enter only when prompted for your pin.

    Fideua looks like having cheese on top. Does it have cheese on top?

    • That’s what the banks told me too, but it never worked for me in the US. I press Enter and the transaction always got rejected. Over the counter you need to inform the cashier that you got no PIN for him/her to choose the right option. If it is the kiosk then no such convenience. 😐

      No, those are not cheese, they are just broth reduced and thickened.

  12. Eh, the fideua looks like be hive.. So sticky one the pasta, like “yat kau yat kau” (berketul), but since you said nice, must be nice lor.. Looks like bolognaise sauce.. Woi, I’m laughing on your CBO thingy la.. Sounds like what? Eh this kiosk thingy, I’ve seen in FB, but I thought not real, and people just made it up.. Mana chai, wah, really ger wor, fuiyoh, canggih !!

    • That yat kau yat kau parts are the sauce. Hou yeah lei gar… really very nice one… Bolognaise sauce step aside please!

      CBO sounds like… CBO lo… 🙄

  13. Very nice indeed! MacD burger with bacon bits, Paella Valenciana and Frigo Pie. So you have now eaten your fill of paella, this time with rabbit meat. If I remember correctly, at one time rabbit meat was sold at Aeon. And you can get satay arnab at Satay Kajang. When you first mentioned Frigo Pie in one of your earlier posts, I thought it was a pie hah..hah.. Now I know it is an ice cream. I do want one right now because the weather is extremely hot!

    • I think I have seen before also, satay arnab and rabbit meat sold in AEON…

      Hahaha, if you come next time and wanna find this, make sure you pronounce correctly, Pie not pronounce as apple pie’s pie. Pronounce as pi-e. Pee-yeh..

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