Barcelona Eats: Part 3

My favourite part of the trip took place in La Boqueria. This place was food heaven for me. There are a variety of market stalls there from meat, seafood, vegetables and fruit. Lots of fruit.

I went to La Boqueria on two occasions. On the first day, I tried the fresh fruits, fruit juice and some dried fruits. I came across a stall with many dried fruits, such as apples, mangoes, strawberries, pineapples, bananas. I can honestly say that I dried pineapples are my new favourite snack. No added sugar, but they retain a lot of sweetness. You’d think you’re eating candy to be honest.

The fruit stalls are vast and the pricing is cheap compared to London. You can get a fresh cup of fruit juice for a little as €1.50 if you search hard enough. The same goes for bowls with chunks of fruit such as pineapples, dragonfruit, kiwi, mangoes, strawberries and more. Search hard and you’ll find a bargain.

There are also hot food stalls where you can have anything from paella and empanadas, to churros and pancakes. The options are endless.

And then they have spices from all over the world. But one thing I had to get my hands on was the king of all spices. Saffron. And Spain was the perfect place to buy it from.

The second day at the market was for tackling some savouries. I tried a spinach and cheese empanada which was great; spinach and cheese being one of my favourite combinations. I had some tasty vegetable croquetas as well – it was actually my first time trying these and I wasn’t disappointed at all.

The meal of the day however, was the paella from Ramblero de la Boqueria. Again, this was my first time trying this dish. It came with prawns, squid and mussels (my favourite trinity in terms of seafood), all cooked perfectly. I can’t fault this meal and La Boqueria in general.

I’ve booked a cheeky weekend away back to Barcelona, so I’ll be enjoying the food again quite soon!


Barcelona Eats: Part 2

Part 1 went off to a mediocre start, but now, it only goes up from here.

The first evening was spent at La Barca del Salamanca – a seafood restaurant – again on Moll de Gregal. This restaurant was recommended to me by my brother, so I trusted it would be a good meal.

La Barca del Salamanca

To start, my friend and I ordered some tomato and olive oil bread, and I got a serving of padron peppers too. The grilled monkfish was ordered for my main course. For drinks, a pitcher of sangria of course!

Tomato and Olive Oil Bread

I’ll keep this one short and snappy: very moreish and because I ate so much, it was a mission finishing my main. We also got olives with this, but I’m not a fan of them.

Rating: 5/5

Padron Peppers

Blistered just right and topped with crunchy sea salt, these padron peppers were bursting with flavour. The portion was large as well which helped me forget about the price!

Rating: 5/5

Grilled Monkfish

This main came with potatoes, asparsgus, tomatoes and a slice of lemon. The monkfish was fresh and the portion overall was large. At this point I was ready to fall asleep and the sangria was not helping. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this dish, it just needed a tad more salt and pepper.

Rating: 4/5

The service was great, however, if you’re not careful, you’ll be convinced to order the whole menu. So, be sure to stand your ground and say no thanks. The night finished with free mini cakes to our surprise and a shot of lemon liqueur. A night well spent, I must say.

I need to go back to this restaurant!

Overall Rating: 5/5

Part 3 will include adventures around Las Ramblas.


Barcelona Eats: Part 1

The trip to Barcelona was an eventful one, to say the least. It was originally planned for 4 days, but my best friend and I faced a cancellation five hours before our scheduled departure. The next available flight was in a further two days. I was annoyed at first, but then I realised there’s nothing we can do, so we may as well enjoy the extra two days!

This meant more opportunities to taste the great food of this beautiful city.

After landing early in the afternoon, we decided to go for lunch. We took a short walk to the beach and went along the strip of restaurants on Moll de Gregal. We were stopped by a greeter of one of these restaurants and was convinced to give it a try. I usually read reviews before I try a restaurant, but this time, I was feeling very lax.

Vitaminas Burger & Beach Bar

I ordered the patatas bravas, calamares and a pineapple, apple and ginger smoothie.

Patatas Bravas

It’s hard to go wrong with patatas bravas, so I wasn’t disappointed in what I received. The portion was a good size, and the fried potatoes were served with cheese, paprika and were piping hot. Very crispy and enjoyable, although a tomato/spicy sauce with it would have taken it to the next level.

Rating: 3.5/5

Calamares

As soon as I saw the calamari, I knew never to order it in Barcelona again. Don’t get me wrong, the seafood is fresh, but where was the seasoning on these calamari? The calamari was fried in a batter similar to the ones you get at your local chippy, but the salt wasn’t anywhere to be found. A bland disappointment.

Rating: 1/5

Pineapple, Apple & Ginger Smoothie

On a brighter note, the pineapple, apple and ginger smoothie was amazing. It was so refreshing and definitely saved my meal overall. Since being back in the UK, I’ve been making myself similar smoothies as it was just so tasty.

Rating: 5/5

To summarise: would I return here for food? Probably not. Would I come here for a great smoothie? Definitely.

Overall Rating: 3/5

We’re off to a mediocre start, but I promise, it gets way better! Stay tuned for more posts on my eats through Barcelona!


HAZ: A Review

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like Mediterranean food and it is definitely in my top three types of cuisine.

Turkish food specifically is always a solid choice for me when it comes it eating out or ordering in. Borek, lahmacun, moussaka and more, the ingredients are simple, yet the flavours are fresh and bold.

I visited HAZ in St. Paul’s, London, for a birthday dinner back in January; seven of us in total. I had booked a table in advance.

The atmosphere was modern and slick, with a great bar and plenty of dining space. I ordered a bottle of Haz Rose Çal Karasi, Kalamari to start and the Steamed Atlantic Cod for the main. While we waited for out orders to come in, we were served with a basket of Turkish bread.

Haz Rose Çal Karasi

Rose

Price: £5.50/glass or £19.95/bottle

The house rose is described as having ‘fresh red fruits, cherry and raspberry with a fruity and vivid palate.’ This was a fresh and dry rose, not too sweet. The bottle lasted the majority of the evening between myself and a friend. The server gave us a bucket of ice to keep the wine chilled which was great.

Rating: 4/5

Kalamari

Calamari

Price: £6.45

If I see calamari on a menu, I’ll order it straight away. It is one of my favourite things to eat. I was surprised at how large the calamari was at HAZ – and only £6.45? A bargain compared to other places. They were served with a yoghurt tartar and a wedge of lemon. These were the best calamari I’ve ever tasted, honestly.

Rating: 5/5 (If I could give more points, I would)

Steamed Atlantic Cod

Cod

Price: £15.95

The cod was steamed with ginger and shallots. It was served with baby new potatoes and a plum tomato and pepper sauce. This was such a flavourful dish and the new potatoes on my plate were a bonus as they were not mentioned on the menu. This main was a great end to the evening – I was stuffed by the end of it!

Rating: 5/5

HAZ will definitely be seeing me again when I’m back in London. It might be my new regular spot as the food was fantastic and the service was brilliant. I can’t wait to try out the other menu items and some of their desserts (if there’s enough space in my stomach!).

There are six branches of HAZ in the City of London: Bishopsgate, Finsbury Square, Houndsditch, Plantation Place, Premier Place and St. Paul’s.

HAZ is available for delivery too!

Overall Rating: 5/5

Location: HAZ, 34 Foster Lane, St Paul’s, London EC2V 6HD
Website: https://www.hazrestaurant.co.uk/