One of the meals I was most looking forward to in Barcelona was at Tickets, the tapas bar owned by Ferran and Albert Adrià of El Bulli fame.
This was another of the pre-booked meals I made before we left; reservations can only be made online two months in advance. The process itself was reasonably easy and I managed to get a booking on the first go – just make sure you’re online as soon as the bookings open and you shouldn’t have a problem.
When we arrived, we were seated at a bar along one of the prep stations – a great vantage point for the night.
We were given menus and were told we could order off them if we liked, or the staff could order for us. As it is a tapas bar we were able to have as many or as few courses as we liked and were charged for each course individually as per the prices on the menu. We decided to leave our stomachs in the hands of the capable wait staff. They asked at regular intervals if we wanted more food or not and what we got was based on our answers (hint: always a yes). Here’s a full rundown of what we ate:
To start we had watermelon infused in sangria. I think the word infused is used a little lightly here. Drowning is far more appropriate!
Next a plate of Joselito Iberian ham and some tomato bread. The meat had obviously been sitting at room temperature for a while because the fat had softened oh so beautifully.
Next, THE olives. I don’t know for sure, but I think these used to be served at El Bulli and have appeared on the menu here. I had read they were amazing and couldn’t wait to try them. That said, I was still expecting it to be an olive. What I got was something that looked and tasted just like an olive, but wasn’t. Put them in your mouth whole and feel the pop as the thinnest layer of skin explodes, releasing a thick olive-y liquid inside your mouth. We tried to figure out how these could be made, and guessed the liquid inside must be frozen before being coated in the skin and then defrosted once set. AH-MAZING. We had three each and really should have gone back for seconds.
Mini airbags stuffed with manchego cheese foam. I loved these, D not so much. More for me!
Iberian ham croquettes. Good, but by that point I’d eaten the ham and chicken croquettes at Bar Del Pla and no croquette could ever compare again.
“Christmas” tapas with smoked beef and vinegar powder. So, so pretty. Almost too pretty to eat.
Oysters, two ways (D only, of course). One with sherry vinegar, tarragon and olive oil caviar, and the other with oriental vinaigrette and salmon roe. D wondered if caviar or roe would be too much with oysters, but said they were delicious.
Airbaguette wrapped in Iberian ham.
Marinated and fried fish (corvine). Although I’d said no fish for me, the waiter suggested I try it because it wasn’t too fishy. Much to my surprise I did enjoy it, although D was very dismayed when I said it ‘tasted a bit like chicken’.
Mollette with double chin. I’ve seen this online compared to a McDonald’s McMuffin which is all kinds of wrong. Soft brioche filled with jowl and a bit of mozzarella. Many, many worlds away from anything ever made at a McDonald’s.
Quail legs in a mole sauce. Yes please!
Confit potato with pork rib jus and Iberian ham. Nice but nothing special.
Surf and turf – beans with Iberian sausage and baby squid. D said the baby squid was excellent.
The final savoury course we had was a sirloin steak that was perfectly cooked and sliced at the table for us. It was served simply with some witlof. Meat that good doesn’t need an accompaniment.
From there we moved to the dessert, none of which really impressed to be honest. This was a blueberry meringue filled with yoghurt ice cream.
Followed by a mango roll with vanilla ice cream, yogurt, balsamic vinegar jelly and carrot cake.
The final dessert was a ‘cupcake’. These were semi frozen and fully edible, including the ‘wrapper’.
Overall we had a great night with great food and great service. We had lots of fun there and it comes highly recommended.
Next stop is the land of cows and chocolate – Switzerland!