Friday, 9 September 2011

Barcelona Restaurants: Barceloneta

How much would you pay for a plate of prawns, 6 to be precise?  At a good restaurant £12-15, though baring in mind they're just grilled, no foams, or sauces maybe not.  I'm guessing you would not pay £35, but if you don't at Barceloneta you will be missing out big time (I am going to caveate this by stating quite clearly that I wasn't paying, and if I was maybe I would be less adament).  The gambas de palamos are regarded as the best prawn world wide and after trying them I can't disagree.  If I was more pretentious I would say they were the Platonic archetype of a prawn, all others being paltry shadows dancing on the cave wall... but I'm not (ahem) so I'll just say they were bloody brilliant.  Food like this is what differentiates the Spanish and Itialians in their food culture.  Simple, unpretentious food, with bags of flavour, beautifully grown, caught or bred is king and people will pay a lot (some would say an extortionate ammount) of money for a great, great prawn that hasn't had much cheffing inflicted on it.  This is a very, very good thing.

Barcelonetta is great.  It scares of a lot of visitors by having an ever so slightly naff nautical theme with some expensive fittings that seem to be attempting to replicate a yacht.  This is derigour for fish restaurants in Spain and you shouldn't let it fool you into thinking they are not high-end.  La Trienera, one of Madrid's best and most expensive restaurants has exactly the same copper port hole feel.  Once past the initial aesthetic hurdle you will be overjoyed by the food.  The paella is nice, but it isn't what I would go for.  The simple grilled fish and seafood is what really stands out.  It is quite simply fantastic and it is in very few places that you will get fresher or better seafood, simply but perfectly cooked.  They'll make you pay for it true, but it really is wonderful food, highly recommended.

P.S. Cheaper prawns are also on the menu

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