Carles Abellan is one of the world´s most renowned chefs having worked for 15 years with Ferran Adria at elbulli and a number of his other restaurants. Abellan then went onto open his own restaurants including Commerç 24 which redefined tapas globally, and then my favourite Tapaç 24 in Passeig de Gracia (which I will write about soon), BRAVO at the prestigious W Hotel Barcelona, and a handful of others. I knew this meal was going to be extraordinary given the hype around the restaurant and of course the chef. As we sat down to order, the man Carles himself walked in the door, put on his chef´s jacket, walked up to us and took our order much to our delight.
Walking into the small narrow space your eyes try to take in everything quickly. From the soft tan leather high bar chairs to the dark blue tiles that line the bar and walls. He is playing with new and old Catalan themes here. There are two large television screens on the wall showing the working kitchen downstairs adding to the theatre and behind the scenes feel.
You sit in the round, and watch the chefs smoke and prepare your seafood in front of you whilst the waitstaff fill you in on every detail of the menu, the oil, wine list and more.
We ordered share plates for the majority of our meal and then one portion of the Fomentera style Lobster. A treat yes, but we were in the mood to live it up given the many years since we had last had such an opportunity.
The wine we chose was a Montsant white. Carles has a range of his own wines from Monstant, Priorat and Penedes which he presents as the first option. We order a glass each, which, upon arrival is very small and end up ordering a bottle. It is clean and crisp and goes down way too quickly.
Our sharing plates arrive promptly and we dive into the sepia, the cloisses (clams) which are swimming in a warm delicious buttery broth, king prawns and a fresh tomato salad with seaweed and jelly cubes. Last dish is a wonderful Spanish mackeral served ontop of on a bed of dreamy flavorsome potato mash. I could eat this for days and days. As is tradition here everything is mopped up with a crusty bread and local olive oil. I for one love that I don´t feel guilty dipping my bread into the broth and cleaning up the plate, like I do in Australia.
After the 4 or 5 dishes and wine we are quite full, however the waiter urges us to clear the last of the mackerel and potato as the final dish is on its way.
It goes without saying that the final dish was one of the best I´ve ever eaten. Whole lobster, cooked Formentera style. Despite being ridiculously large (we ordered one portion to share and received 3 portions which is a whopping 1kg of lobster) the whole dish was devoured right to the last sliver in the pan. Once again we mop up the caramelized juices on the bottom of the pan. The lobster comes served with handmade potato crisps and 4 poached eggs, which the waitstaff break open and crunch through the lobster and chips in the pan. The lobster was the most succulent and slightly sweet crustacean I´ve ever tasted. The table of 8 beside us shared the exact same dish so we felt a little annoyed that we were given the same portion size for 3 women. Yet it was worth every last bite.
VALUE FOR MONEY
We rounded up the 4.5 hour long lunch with the bill blowing our expectations (the lobster cost us €150 alone) but all agreed after the bill shock wore off that the day was amazing and we ate like queens. Each dish was worth every penny (just maybe watch what portion number they write down next time when ordering).
+34 93 760 51 29
Wednesday to Sunday 1:30pm to 4:00pm and 8:00pm to 11:00pm.
Monday and Tuesday closed.
C/ Passeig Joan Borbó, 19.