1st October 2013
This morning was complicated when I went to buy a Spanish sim for my phone – the phone needed to be unlocked and then the man in the shop forgot to add the new credit. At least it had me crossing the Boqueria four times before lunch! Eventually I got to Poblenou (on the outskirts of Barcelona), where I was doing some work with Adrian – he suggested eating first.
We went to a restaurant, just round the corner from Adrian’s office, called Market Cuina Fresca. It has a few tables outside (for al fresco lunching), a front without a sign (see top photo) and the interior is simple, clean and unpretentious. Market is very busy – we had to wait 10 minutes for a table. I mentioned the place to a friend later in the week and she said she was intending to go there soon because it’s making quite a name for itself. Apparently the restaurant is owned by a husband and wife team, he cooks and she does front of house. The ethos being that the food is bought fresh every morning.
I believe that Market is only open at lunchtime and it does a menu del dia for 12.90€ (see above).
I ordered Tartar de Pescado, Rúcula y Granada – fish tartare, arugula and pomegranate for my first course. It came beautifully presented (as did all the food) and the tartar was absolutely delicious. I’m not entirely sure what fish was, but I’m sure I could see some salmon in there.
Adrian ordered Tomate Orgánico con Albahaca y Vinagreta Ahumada – organic tomatoes and basil, with smoked vinaigrette. I had a little taste and the tomatoes were amazing.
My second course was Pollo Confitado con Morcilla Negra, Avellanos y Alubias Blancas – chicken confit with Catalan black pudding and a hazelnut and white bean sauce. The chicken was wonderfully crispy like the best duck confit, the crumbly morcilla and white sauce complimented it perfectly.
Adrian had Bacalao Fresco con Berenjena Asada, Tomate, Cilantro y Granada – fresh cod with roasted aubergine, coriander (cilantro) and pomegranate. Generally salt cod is the norm in Spain, but lately fresh cod has become more popular. Again this was a flawless dish, it did cost an extra 1.50€ but I think it was worth the supplement.
We both ordered Mató con Piña y Miel – fresh white cheese with pineapple and honey. Miel y Mató is a very popular pudding in Cataluña. The cheese in this one was probably home made.
Market doesn’t sell rosado wine – some Catalan restaurants only do red or white. As it was a very hot day and I didn’t fancy white wine, I had a beer with lunch. They do of course serve carajillos after pudding. A carajillo is an espresso containing anis, brandy, rum or whiskey, served at 11 am and after meals. It is said that Spanish troops fighting in Cuba added shots of rum to their coffee for courage, hence the name comes from the Spanish coraje (courage). I drink mine with brandy.
Market Cuina Fresca is excellent – get here early if you want a table!