Food in Barcelona (part 3)

Okay, I am typing this in a cheap hotel near Paris airport as we speak, and I’m headed back to Istanbul again to complete what some of you guys keep thinking I missed out on regardless of how I keep explaining: to explore the Sultanahmet area (Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar etc). So this will be my last Barcelona food post while I’m traveling. My next post will feature Istanbul again (if I have the time and internet to blog, that is)…

Soupy Lunch

I was on a random walking trail around Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) and El Born today. It was quite a boring day to be honest. Most of those supposedly famous architectural buildings charge exorbitant fees per entry, and if we don’t enter then they’re just, well… buildings. Seriously, I think many buildings in Barcelona have been unique to me, so those so called unique buildings didn’t seem too unique to me.

So I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch. I remember there is a somewhat fine dining-esque Catalan restaurant around the neighborhood, in between the Jaume I metro station and the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. So I went looking for it and quickly found it: Restaurant Senyor Parellada.

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I lucked out this time compared to that time with my attempt for squid ink paella. The place opens for lunch at 1PM, I was there at 1.05PM, and the restaurant was completely filled by the time I placed my orders. I think this is a popular place both for the working locals and tourists alike.

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Apparently, this place is famous for having one of the best paellas in Barcelona. But I’m not interested in yet another paella. Three paellas seem more than enough for me for this trip.

So I ordered something else that intrigued me. Escudella i carn d’olla. Catalan stockpot.

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This was actually cheaper than paella. And the fact that it has the word “Catalan” on the dish name makes me feel I am eating yet another local dish.

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It was wonderful! The broth was super rich and delicious! I think this is all thanks to the amount of meat that went into it. There’s chicken and pork meat (together with the bones), two different types of Catalan sausages, radish, cabbage and pasta. All cooked till soft and tender. Awesome!

To make matters even more awesome, I also had dessert. The one and only time where I ordered dessert to go with the mains in Barcelona. And what else could I order except the Crema Catalana (Catalan version of creme brulee)?

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This was surprisingly good too! I think they added some alcohol and cinnamon into the pudding mixture. Delicious!

You would’ve thought this meal would cost a huge atomic bomb compared to my other meals. But no, these with a glass of white wine and a bottle of water came to 21€. And I just realized I have began to stop seeing the prices in terms of Ringgit and only in terms of Euros. 21€ for fine dining compared to 15€ for similar food in a bar, is a good bargain!

Outside Breakfast

The hotel that I was staying in provides free breakfast. So I have been eating in throughout my stay. But on the last day, I decided to have a very light breakfast very early in the morning, and then try out one of those “secret local place” recommended by Booking.com’s people: Granja M. Viader.

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Granja is a place that serves breakfasts and brunches. I guess it is the Spanish equivalent of our kopitiams, although the food and beverages offered are totally different. Granja M. Viader apparently started opening its doors for business since 1870, so they are over 140 years old as we speak

I’m not so sure about it being the “secret local place”, but at least the “secret” part is true. The place was almost empty when I came. Although that could be due to me coming at the wrong timing. 11 AM on a Monday is not an ideal time to see if many locals would come here, is it? They’re all, well… at work. The two old couples in there having their breakfast were speaking in Catalan though.

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I ordered three things here. One was what attracted me, one was what I think I should eat in Spain, and one was recommended as a house specialty.

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Recommended: Cacaolat amb Nata (Nata = cream)

Nice! They gave me the sugar sachet, but it was not needed. The slight sweetness plus the rich cocoa made it a very enjoyable drink.

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Attracted me: Baguettes de Jamon Iberico (Jamon = ham)

I have to be honest, I didn’t enjoy this, for it was cold. I thought they would heat the bread up, but they didn’t. But I guess it is normal for baguettes to be cold in Europe. Just that my personal preference did not match…

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I think must have: Xurros

By the way, “X” is pronounced “Ch”. So if you ever come to Spain and see Xurros con Xocolata in the menus somewhere, please make the right pronunciation.

Well, I ordered just Xurros, without Xocolata. After all, I already have my Cacaolat for dipping if I wanted to. But seriously, these xurros are so good they should be eaten just by itself (okay, with sugar).


I have two more food items that I can share about, but I think those places merit their individual blog posts when I get back home. So yeah… and, time to check out and head to Istanbul again! 😀 😀

 

 

28 Comments

  1. I guess is common that need to pay for it, but the thing is does it maintenance well? If that so, I’ll be willing to pay (but please don’t be too expensive)

    • But in Europe, everything will be too expensive! They’ll charge 15 or 20 Euros per building, and that’ll be almost RM 100 for us >.< ...

  2. I have to say that the soup thing does not look so good to me :(. But that’s probably just because I’m not that big fan of soup stuff in general. The pudding looks delicious though! As do the churros… but I’m hard set on dipping mine in hot drinking chocolate!

    • Yeah, I guess our taste is different when it comes to soup. I’m Cantonese so I love a good soup. 😀

      You know, when you come back to KL (I read your blog post), try to look for cafes (like the one we went to), you might be able to find pretty decent churros with chocolate dip. That’s pretty trendy in KL cafes nowadays.

  3. The soup looks good and definitely unique! I know how the Europeans cook them. What ABC soup? Wakakaka

    Hey, I love the ambiance of the restaurants outside and inside. So cozy and different from our Asian styles. Finally, you ate and savored really delicious food. I wonder whether you have gained kilos?

    • I don’t know. I hope not. I walked a lot and ate a lot. I guess sort of break even… 😐

  4. Aiya, you are so lucky to get a seat at the famous place for best paella so die, die also must eat another paella to see how it compares to the 3 paella that you have eaten earlier mah. Maybe this so-called best paella will totally blow your mind.

    Hahaha, I am the same with Princess, I see the soup, I am like, eh, abc soup. They cook it with Catalan sausages, is like us cooking ABC soup with siew yoke bones lah I guess to give it more taste, hehehe.

    In UK, baguette sandwiches are all cold punya wor so it isn’t like you to expect it to be warm since you lived in UK before.

    How do the xurros compare to our local yau char kwai?

    • Hahaha maybe, but I did not regret going for “ABC” soup at all. Now I know another Catalan dish 😉 … Please lah, siew yoke and Chorizo/Longaniza are totally different, the soup will taste completely different.

      Yala, you are right, I expected the baguette to be cold. It was just wishful thinking. And like Marta said, it is a sin to heat Jamon (ham).

      Xurros and yau char kwai, not same one lah… the way they knead the dough also different… Xurros not chewy, more crispy and fluffy.

  5. wah!!! really no joke!! I LIKE EVERYTHING IN THIS POST!!! eih, for the very first time, frankly, i just love everything you posted here.. love the soup, love the pudding, love the baguette with ham, love the chocolate with cream, love the churros!! and i see the word recommended.. sedap!!!

  6. Oh dear, if I were to go there, I think I end up losing some weight.. hahahaa.. I cannot stomach western food all the time, but the desserts is an exception!

  7. “To make matters even more awesome” Now that is a very positive phrase 😀

    So the drink with the heart-stopping cream was iced chocolate? A drink like that will make me full until the very next meal.

    Not sure if you pay attention, but do the restaurants so far on your trip make a fuss when you dine alone (assuming you are going in these places alone and not with friends you met up with or a stranger you picked up)?

    • Heh that drink did make me full, but it did not prevent me from having lunch. The sight of something else made me forget hunger fullness.. 🙄

      Not that I noticed. Everyone seems fine seeing me alone. I guess I’m not the first and certainly not the last solo traveler to this city..

  8. That soup looks simple but packed with good stuff. I can see the sausages and some kind of cured meat in there, so how can it not be good, eh? Maybe I can buy good sausages and meat and try this in my kitchen. Mmmmm….that Crema Catalana looks so creamy and yummy!

    Wah! I like that Cacaolat amb Nata! Very generous topping of whipped cream on top. Was the bread hard and chewy? I don’t mind the bread cold. The Iberico ham must be good, right? I know I will enjoy the xurros. I had that once at El Cerdo, dipped on chocolate. Yum! Yum!

    • Hmm but you can’t buy good sausages in Cold Storage. After tasting the ones in Barca, I can say the chorizo we get in Cold Storage… “cannot come one”… 🙄

      I see a lot of touristy cafes here will offer xurros con xocolata as a set. Churros with chocolate dipping. But (I think) the less touristy one will sell them separately. Meaning dipping in chocolate sauce like how we see in Malaysia is not the only or best way to have it.

  9. LOL at princess comment. I also tink the soup looks like ABC soup + cabbage, jst that their version more ‘pekat’…sorry, I heck know what is catalan sausages…hmmm…I tink I should ask my sis to buy some catalan sausage in Barcelona to boil ABC soup!

    • If she direct fly back maybe can. I can’t bring those sausages with me bcz I will stop again at Istanbul and it is banned by Customs there 🙁

  10. Typing this now in a cheap hotel? Amboi, leng zhai, if I were you, I sleep first.. Zzzzz.. Went out for lunch justnow and I’m sweating all over already..Your soupy lunch looks good, ching-ching-dei.. I saw cabbage and meat and potatoes (but you mentioned radish).. Can cook this when you come back.. Like our ABC cabbage soup hor..

    • Sleep mat guai? I just woke up lah. It is almost 8AM here, my darling 😎 … Aiya you compare it to ABC soup, alamak, makes me feel like wasting money to travel hahaha! But no, not like ABC soup. They cook the soup with their Catalan sausages, yums!!!

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