Monday 13 June 2011

Restaurant Bistrot El Regulador, Barcelona

During the three days I was in Barcelona, it was wet and windy for the majority of that time, clearing only briefly on the final day. In order to take advantage of the weather, I took a bicycle tour of the city for about three hours and then spent the rest of the day walking.

Cold and wet in front of Barcelona's Arc de Triomphe

Of course, everyone seemed to have a fully functiona bicycle but I was given one that squeaked everytime the brakes were briefly touched, attracting numerous stares and curses from the locals throughout the ride.

My squeaky bicycle and I

Needing a rest in the afternoon I searched for somewhere to eat. Whilst walking towards the main market (always a good choice for a light fresh meal), I stumbled across the restaurant in the Hotel Bagues on Las Ramblas and ended up having a surprisingly fantastic meal.

The meal commenced with complimentary nibbles and an amuse bouche of blue cheese brulee which was sweet, salty and tangy at the same time. As Neil Perry would say, it was "perfectly balanced".

Assorted nibbles: nuts, potato crisps and olives

Blue cheese creme brulee

For the appetizer, I had a salad of "8 greens with dried tomatos and parmesan shavings" which was just what I needed. There was nothing exceptional about it but it was so similar to what I'd make at home that I really enjoyed it.

For the main course, I again ordered off the appetizer menu and had tuna tartare with crisp bread and wasabi ice-cream. The contrast of the cold and soft ice-cream with the firm tuna and crisp bread was splendid. I found this course to be an example of fusion food at it's finest and I loved it. The tuna was full of flavour (seaweed, sesame, ginger) but the entire dish was still very light.

I was going to skip dessert as it was already 3.45pm and I had a cooking class at 5pm but I couldn't resist after watching the table next to me order the bunuelos of chocolate with sechuan pepper ice-cream and then moan in delight with every mouthful. The bunuelos were soft and gooey in the centre (like a fondant) and the cool ice-cream complimented the hot oozing chocolate nicely.

Overall, I enjoyed this meal tremedously. For the amount of food I ordered, it was very well priced and a great spot to rest one's feet with a great view out to Las Ramblas. The only downside of the restaurant, was the view out the side window....

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