November 27th, 2015
After a long day of eating and drinking, I’d had a good sleep and leaped out of bed around 10.30. I had to go and check that all was well in the Boqueria (honestly, I’m not kidding, the heart of a city is in the food).
Once again the sun was shining and the menu at La Mar Salada was looking good (the weekly lunchtime set menu is posted online), so it seemed like a good idea to wander down to Barceloneta (again) for lunch. Just to recap, La Mar Salada is an award winning restaurant, with a chef (Marc Singla) who’s previously worked with Ferran Adria of El Bulli. Oli is regarded as such a regular now that they all come out and greet him when he arrives!
This is Marc Singla’s take on a traditional Eggs Benedict, which would consist of a poached egg, crispy bacon and Hollandaise sauce served on buttered toast. Here the bacon has been replaced with thinly sliced chicken, the toast with blinis and the Hollandaise with Bearnaise, which is its more herby offspring. I’m sure you can tell how good it was from the pictures.
For the second course, Oli chose Durum amb magret d’anec, ceba tendre, papada confitada, mango i salsa de iogurt – a durum wheat tortilla containing magret de canard and pig cheek confit with a mango and yoghurt sauce.
I had an absolutely stunning Mar i muntanya de conill amb pop de Barceloneta i garnatxa – sea and mountain (like surf and turf) of rabbit and octopus cooked in garnacha (grenache) wine. It had a wonderful fish and game flavour – both the rabbit and octopus were extremely tender.
In the meantime, Oli spotted that Carxofes amb moll de l’os were back on the menu (something we’ve had before), as artichokes are in season – these are artichoke hearts, containing a poached quail egg and bone marrow, topped with trout caviar. Definitely something not to be missed at €5.25 each.
For pudding there was a new take on my personal favourite, Crema Catalana – Espuma de crema catalana. This was a light foam as opposed to a thick custard with a thin and delicate burnt sugar crust on top. It was melt in the mouth delicious.
Currently the daily set lunch menu (weekdays) costs €17.50 and includes a glass of wine. I’m sure we drank 2 bottles of rosado and had the extra artichoke – the bill came to about €30 each (it generally does). The food is spectacular and the service is exemplary.
La Mar Salada is at: Passeig Joan de Borbó, 58-59, 08003 Barcelona
In contrast to a lunch by the sea in warm sunshine, Barcelona turned on its Christmas lights this evening.
After a brief siesta we went to Poble Nou to drink craft beer in a brewery. The lighting was dim so the camera stayed in my bag. I was particularly taken by my friend Zim Sutton’s beer, Galactic Pale Ale. He was cooking tortillas at the event and I was astonished by the flavour of his pickled celery – it was so good it practically jumped out of the tortilla and bit me!