One minute I was turning on the central heating and checking my jumpers for moths and the next I was on a plane for Cataluña. I’m staying in Calella, 30 miles north of Barcelona and the temperature is ranging between 18 and 21º C (it’s been raining for the last two days, almost solidly, but the food is good, so I’m very happy). I’m staying with my friend Oli in a palatial apartment on the main shopping street and it’s a buzzing Catalan town, con mucha marcha. If you remember back to July, I had lunch here in a restaurant called Can Miguel – afterwards, as we turned a corner, we looked into the window of Tic-Tac and two French diners (outside) told us that they’d just had an excellent lunch, so I was very keen to come back and try the food (Oli, of course, has tested the water for me, during the intervening 3 months).
We had a look at the menú del día (above) beforehand and it all looked very promising. Today being Thursday, arròs and fideuá were on the menu, which had me sold from the start.
We drank a local vi rosat – Ermita de Sant Gil, which is quite a popular house wine in Calella. This is a decent vino de la casa – sometimes a house wine can be a bit rough.
Oli ordered Amanida de la Casa (house salad) as a starter …Oli ordering salad, what’s the world coming to?
I had Carxofes Fetes al Forn al estil Tic-Tac (artichokes cooked in the oven, Tic-Tac style) – which looked stunning and tasted delicious in a Miso jus. It was so good that when I’d finished the artichokes, I tipped the bowl up to drink the broth!
We both ordered the same main course, which came in a large cassola (pan) – Arròs a la Cassola de Peix (casserole of fish rice), this is somewhat like a paella, but the rice is in a soupy or sticky sauce and it’s cooked in the oven. You will find similar called arroz meloso which I believe is named after the consistency of honey (miel). This was excellent!
For pudding I had crema catalana (I had to have this on my first day, as it’s one of my favourites). The Tic-Tac version is first class and tastes a little fruity (of oranges and cinnamon).
No good meal in Cataluña is complete without a carajillo de cognac, to pick you up for the rest of the afternoon (or to help with a little siesta)…
The Tic-Tac menú lived up to it’s French recommendation and was worth the 3 month wait!