Bar Central La Boqueria – Barcelona, Spain

After walking around Mercat De La Boqueria, the famous market just off Las Ramblas, my Mum and I decided to get some lunch. There are lots of gorgeous smells around the market with various different restaurants. We chose Bar Central La Boqueria, a restaurant which is part of the market with bar stools and high tables along the side.

The seafood on ice at the front looked so fresh and the aroma from their grill was so mouthwatering that we had to just get it all. We chose octopus (Polpo), snails, and scallop and some padron peppers. The snails were a little more rich and stew-like than we had expected, but the rest was absolutely delicious and writing this makes me want to eat it all over again.

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One to check out if you are ever in the market and needing a bite to eat.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d2374383-Reviews-Bar_Central_la_Boqueria-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

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Ciudad Condal – Barcelona, Spain

Ciudad Condal is an institution in Barcelona. It has been around for years and people line up for anything up to an hour to get a table there, but it is worth the wait!

The atmosphere is buzzing to say the least – with all the waiters in a good mood, singing loudly behind the bar and serving the tables with big laughs and cheeky jokes with the customers.

My Mum and I came together and we only waited 15 minutes before we got a table.

Our waiter was charming and we just told him roughly what we wanted and he recommended the dishes that we should get, which was perfect! He ordered very well!

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Thick Smoked Salmon Slices on Bread
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Grilled Calamari
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Prawn Pil Pil
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Fried Sardines
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Anchovies
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Crema Catalana

I would definitely recommend going Ciudad Condal and I will definitely be coming back to try some more dishes.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ciudad-Condal/168195233218836

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d1059712-Reviews-Ciudad_Condal-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

Vinitus – Barcelona, Spain

Yes, I have written about Vinitus before! Yes, it is the same one! But it is so good, that is deserves another write up! I recently went to Barcelona with my Mum and she had never been to Barcelona before so obviously I had to take her to one of my favourite tapas restaurants there.

We sat at the bar – which is my favourite seat because you get to watch the chefs cooking away and you can point at which dish you want behind the counter. We ordered some Sangria and look around the counter to see what we felt like eating.

They have a seafood counter with fresh seafood that they bring in everyday and so we ordered lots of it! We had baby calamari, clams and prawns which were all gorgeous. We also ordered padron peppers which are my absolute favourite and some seafood salad.

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It is genuinely one of my favourite tapas spots and it is so well priced! Definitely worth a visit!

 

https://m.facebook.com/pages/Vinitus/562839933859697

Vinitus – Barcelona, Spain

Renata and I went for a weekend in Barcelona and after a day of walking around shops and markets, our feet needed a bit of a rest of we went for a well priced and very very tasty tapas and wine stop.

I absolutely love tapas and this is a good place to get large variety of tapas choices (literally anything you could think of including fresh seafood!).

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We sat at the bar and in front of us was a gorgeous array of amazing dishes. We wanted them all!

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Jamon Iberico
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Padron Peppers
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Crab Stick Salad with Pan Con Tomat
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Burrata

Massive selection of great tapas, well priced and a very chilled atmosphere!

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d1228300-Reviews-Vinitus_Barcelona-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

Bad Egg – Moorgate, London

You know how much I love a brunch. I mean, who doesn’t? It means you have time for a lie in, a gym session AND you are still in time to get the glorious breakfast foods that you wouldn’t have the time to eat during the weekdays.

For Astrid’s birthday this year we went to the famous Bad Egg for a boozy Saturday brunch. I was so excited as I have been meaning to go here for ages. For £35 you get 3 different dishes PLUS bottomless drinks for 2 hours! Please tell me how that doesn’t sound appealing.20160312_151513

20160312_151524Our server was absolutely hilarious. He was loud and funny and we just thought the service was fabulous because of him.

I started off with a Bloody Mary (which was AMAZING!) and continued on the meal with the house prosecco on the bottomless menu which was actually quite nice. I was very happy with the drink situation – absolutely worth the bottomless brunch choice.

On the menu you are able to choose 3 different plates. I chose the buffalo rib tips (served with spicy Buffalo sauce & blue cheese mayo),  pulled pork, beans & kimchi on toast (slow cooked pork, baked beans & kimchi on sourdough toast), and the pancake with bacon and maple syrup.

The kimchi pulled pork with beans on toast was sensational – not just to look at – but also all the different flavours went very well together. I recommend this one definitely.

The buffalo rip tips weren’t but favourite but I didn’t dislike them. They were just a tad bit over cooked so they were a bit hard and I couldn’t really taste the meat but they were also a tad bit too saucy, in a overbearingly salty and sour way that made my eyeballs twitch just a tad. If you enjoy an eyeball twitch – this is the thing to order. Otherwise – don’t.

Then last but not least, they put down the plate of what seemed to be a mini crepe (not the fluffy buttermilk pancake I had imagined) that had unfortunately died a tragic death by drowning in a sea of maple syrup (RIP) with two bacon rashers to cover up the awful murder scene, and my face dropped. And no, unfortunately it didn’t taste any better than it looked. Just don’t order it if you go.

The mac and cheese balls and the hash that my friends had ordered looked great and also were raved about highly – So I’d probably try these next time.20160312_151014Overall it was a really fun meal out and a great atmosphere. A fabulous place for a brunch with a group of friends, as long as you don’t take the food too seriously.

 

http://badegg.london/

http://badegg.london/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/BAD-EGG-Bottomless-Brunch-Menu-October.pdf

La Fabrica – Finsbury Park, London

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There are actually quite a few good restaurants around the Crouch End/Finsbury Park/Highbury vicinity which I have been discovering since I have moved into the area last year. It’s an area that has been slowly gentrifying and I am absolutely loving exploring it.

La Fabrica opened towards the end of last year – and Renata and I recently went one Thursday evening to try it out. The interior has warehouse/industrial type decor but still feels cozy with it’s dimmed lights and has a great buzzing vibe.

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We ordered a variety of different dishes – Pan Con Tomate with Jamon Iberica, Padron Peppers, Grilled Squid, Croquettes and Lamb Chops.

My favourite was the Pan Con Tomate with the fresh and light taste of chopped tomatoes mixed with the saltiness and denseness of the ham (YUM). Everything was delicious and bursting with great flavours – so I would recommend it all.
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We were so full from all the little plates – but when the dessert menu came and we saw churros with warm dark chocolate sauce – we just had to order them. I am so glad that we did. They were cooked to perfection, with a crunch on the outside and a slightly gooey on the inside, and the sauce went so well with them.

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Everything (along with a bottle of flavourful red wine) cost just under £70 total for both of us – and we were full to the brim with great food and drink.

http://www.lafabricastroudgreen.co.uk/

La Fabrica, 5 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EF

Jose – Sherry & Tapas bar on Bermondsey Street, London

One of my childhood best friend’s, Rebecca, and I had a catch up / congratulatory lunch (she just got a new job!) one sunny Saturday afternoon at Jose Pizarro’s Sherry and Tapas Bar, Jose, on Bermondsey Street. Rebecca’s gorgeous housemate Jack is one of the managers there and we decided to go on a day that he was there too.

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The staff at Jose are like one big family, which makes the place very special and gives it a happy, cozy, community-like feel to it – “where everybody knows your name” (Cheers, TV Series 1982–1993).

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The menu is up on the chalk boards and Jack ran through it all with us. The staff are passionate about their food, wine and sherry, which I could definitely tell as soon as soon as Jack started speaking about the food on the menu and the freshness of their produce.

Rebecca and I decided on a glass of Petit Sios, Chardonnay/Sauvingnon Blanc/ Muscat, Coster Del Segre (£6.50 per glass). Jack recommended this after I explained what kind of wine I like – he obviously knows his wine as well as his food! It was lovely and went very well with our dishes.

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The padron peppers (£4), like everything else, was fresh in that day. They were cooked perfectly – simply grilled with sea salt sprinkled over it so I could really appreciate the natural taste of it.

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Some pan con tomate (£3.50), which were fresh tomatoes served on some ciabatta bread with sea salt sprinkled over. They were very refreshing and fresh tasting.

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And of course what is tapas without some acorn fed iberica ham, freshly, thinly sliced (£9), which went very well with the pan con tomate.

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Rebecca’s favourite is the pluma iberica (£9.50), which is a rare steak with only olive oil and sea salt sprinkled over it so you can really taste the quality of the meat and is delicious.

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The seabream and black olive tapenade (£7.50) was delicious. I wouldn’t have thought of this combination but it all went very well. The seabream was cooked to perfection, the fish melted in my mouth and the skin was crisp! The tapenade gave a great smokey flavour and it was topped with roasted red peppers – Great combination!

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Jack highly recommended the tomato salad (£6) because of the variety and quality of the fresh tomatoes that they had in that day. It was surprisingly really good for a salad just consisting of different types of tomatoes. The dressing was made up of a honey mustard and really complimented them.

We finished off our meal with a glass of sherry. I am not a sherry person, so Jack introduced me to the world of sherry, explaining the different types.

I explained that I dislike sweet drinks and I prefer something more dry so he recommended a Fino Clasico, Fernando de Castilla (£4 per glass), which took a couple sips to get into it, but it was quite a nice ending to my meal.

Rebecca is more of a sweet tooth so she went for a Oloroso East India Solera Lustau (£6 per glass), which to me was a little too syrupy, but I can see why it would be a good finishing touch to a meal.

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Overall it was a lovely afternoon. The food was all about the freshness of the produce and the natural flavours – Which I personally love!

Thank you, Jack, for a delicious experience!

http://www.josepizarro.com/restaurants/jose/