Thursday, April 28, 2011
Comerç 24, Barcelona
We were back in Barcelona, and having much better luck this time around with restaurants actually being open. When we were here earlier on our trip, a lot of places were closed for Easter. We are lucky to get a booking at Comerç 24, with only the late sitting of 9pm available. The place feels quite industrial, with cement & dark colors with splashes of yellow. We are ushered to our table and offered aperitifs. Within moments a basket of bread is places on the table. The bread is crusty and a little warm, but the exciting news is a little wooden vessel filled with 4 different types of Spanish olive oil. They are all explained to us, their difference in age, harvest time, and also olive variety. The little dish is filled with just enough to try, before switching to the next. We try to pick a favorite, but that are all extraordinarily good and each expressing their own unique characteristics.
Comerc is the older, more classy sister of Tapaç24. It's sophisticated while still being edgy, and you can definitely see the influence and inspiration from Carles Abellan's time at the famed El Bulli. Gold dusted macadamias? Just a little something the whet the appetite, is next to reach the table. They are sitting in a little sardine tin along with a matching tin with plump green olives filled with anchovy.
Some tiny sweet shrimp are perched in a little bowl, with a tart accompaniment underneath and some little pearls on top.
Oysters are sitting on ice, and topped with a beetroot foam and red shiso.
The Summer broth is just beautiful. Beautiful to look, and also packed full of flavour. It's a dashi broth, full of Summer vegetables & forage flowers, with the most vibrant colours.
Anchovy with orange and herbs, sounded so simple and something that could have been found on a few other tapas menu's around the place .... but oh my, the fresh anchovies, the herbs disguised in a crispy breadcrumb, the fresh herbs, and the Summer oranges. Divine!
Tuna Pizza also featured on our menu, and we were intrigued. Of course we are familiar with Nobu's idea of a tuna pizza so were interested to see what they would do with it here ... A perfect crisp-bread, slices of fresh raw tuna, sliced spring onions, radish and a tangy lemon dressing.
Salt cod with artichoke ice-cream. The salt cod, I can't really remember much about it, except I remember loving the artichoke ice-cream. There was also a salt cod cream, a caramel & toasted pine nuts in with this frozen addition to the dish.
There were several more savoury courses on our menu, including a "yaki soba" of razor clams. We noticed a lot of Japanese ingredients being used here, with the familiar flavours of where we now call home. We finish our savoury courses with a beautiful grilled beef. It's on a sesame paste, with fresh snow peas & shoots and accompanied by a rich, sesame dipping sauce.
There's a little intermission of Spanish cheeses. Each one coming with a well thought out accompaniment and a basket full of crisp bread.
The pre-dessert looks like a Raw-foodies breakfast! A shot of juice, bright green & red, as well as a fruit sorbet with more green, and fresh fruit.
The dessert then comes in a checkerboard, feauturing the chocolate with olive oil and sea salt we had previously tried, and loved, at Tapaç24. as well as a pineapple & lime dessert.
We are offered tea or coffee to finish and I choose tea. A small tin of each loose leaf tea is then bought over to the table on tray, each one explained, and then offered to smell. Such a hard decision, I opt for a green & citrus infusion. Another little tray is then bought to the table with a pot of warm, not boiling, water as well at a tea cup, tea pot & strained. It is left to infuse for a few minutes when the waiter returns to serve the tea with a plate of petit fors.
The little matcha chocolate block is too cute, and there is more of the gold dust over chocolate.
A great building, with some inventive & delicious tapas. Not somewhere you would want to eat everyday, but definitely worth a visit if you have some time in Barcelona.
Carrer Comerç 24
08003 Barcelona, Spain
Tuesday-Saturday 1:30-3:30pm & 8:30-11pm
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