Saturday, May 03, 2008

La Paradeta in Barcelona

Man, just when I was boasting about how good the weather was last Saturday, this week I'm blessed with the irony of heavy rain throughout ... and Barcelona just lost to Man U in the Champions League too!

Ah well, let's forget about the football for a moment and cheer ourselves up with a bit with some more good foodie pictures in the Barcelona dining scene :P In Barcelona, seafood is the thing to go for, period. In a land deprived of fresh and reasonably priced seafood (Britain, fyi), La Paradeta, located at the heart of the trendy La Ribera area, is the place worth queuing for , for the marisco lovers out there.

This seafood restaurant has a unique fish market concept to it, in the sense that the crabs, squids, prawns, etc are all displayed in huge plastic tubs as below. In the true market style, you order your seafood by weight, and then simply select from a few simply styles of cooking: deep fried, grilled, steamed etc. What's great that you don't often get the unpleasant fishy smell of markets, which is a good sign as it means the ingredients are TRULY FRESH.

I was brought there by K, who has roamed Barcelona so many times that he's as good as a local. We had to queue outside before it opened at 8pm, and there was already a little queue outside of enthusiastic fans of the place. Never a bad sign! :) So there you go, we chose some mussels, prawns, squids and many other interesting stuff that I never knew roamed in the sea :P

And when the dishes came, I knew we, or rather I, had overdone the ordering since I was so excited to try so many things! Look at this gigantic plate of fried goodies! Haha, starting from the left, its fried baby anchovies, then fried baby squids and fried calamari. My favorite was the baby squid, though it was a pity that the calamari was a little too rubbery for my liking. Could have been better grilled, or I've just been eating them from left to right and just got tired of them. Despite best efforts, 3 of us couldn't finish that platter, whole heartedly agreed that there was way too much fried stuff. :P

And of course we had salad, artichoke heart salad to be specific. It was definitely great to do something towards the 5 a day intake, and it's probably a hit or miss for some on the bitter/sourish artichoke hearts, but I do like them, feels like sauerkraut and its very appetizing.

Mussels in tomato sauce was good too! Never was much of a mussels fan, but the sauce was great with some crusty bread ...

Highlight of the meal was definitely the grilled dishes. The giant succulent prawns and long bamboo clams, lightly grilled with salt, pepper and a little gentle squeeze of lemon juice ---> heavenly! Cannot emphasize enough how easy cooking is as long as you have fresh ingredients, the simplest methods will suffice for an amazing meal. So its not about the fancy kitchen gadgets at all, and cooking only becomes necessarily complicated mask poor quality ingredients really.

Always a good idea to end the meal with some funky desserts too! K brought us to this little shop (forgot the name unfortunately) nearby for some designer desserts. All I remember was both were chocolate and nuts based mousse (almond and hazelnut) as everything was in Spanish and it was simply just looks based choices, :D

So if you're a big seafood fan visiting Barcelona, do pay La Paradeta a visit - they do seafood good justice. Enough said.

La Paradeta
Comercial 7
El Born, Ciutat Vella
La Ribera

Nearest metro: Arc de Triomf
Opening times: 8-11.30pm Tue-Fri;
1-4pm, 8pm-midnight Sat;
1-4pm Sun

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