31 Jul The best Asian cuisine restaurants in Barcelona
We love the delicacies that the Far East offers us, with exotic and suggestive Asian cuisine such as Thai, Chinese and Japanese. And we also allow ourselves to be seduced by the Middle East and its specialties, which are born from a Mediterranean culture that we share. In any case, we have selected excellent options for you to travel with your palate through Asia with just a metro card.
The best Asian cuisine restaurants
The Basque cuisine group and Hideki Matsuhisa from the Shunka Group opened in 2022 with Ikoya, an ‘izakaya’ (Japanese tavern) in front of Santa Caterina. It is not a Japanese Basque restaurant, but a Japanese one, or rather Matsuhisa in its purest form, where Sagardi provides the organization and Matsuhisa the vision of the Japanese Mediterranean that led him to be the first Japanese Michelin star. Grilled: I enjoy the extreme sweetness of a batashoyu sole –with soy and butter– that is refreshed with the first peas, with a touch of grilling. And with an old cow tataki that melts in your mouth. Cold: brutal tuna tartar with shavings of Cantabrian blue cheese, which denies the cliché that fish and cheese are an impossible pairing.
Crossed gastronomies without labels, where you can enjoy hot and cold, meat and fish, broths and marinades at a stratospheric level of cuisine and product. They also have one of the best sake cells in the country.
It could also be called Boa-Soup or Boa-Curri. On the sumptuous site of the former Sala Gaspar art gallery, this pan-Asian restaurant has done a serious job of compiling recipes from all over Southeast Asia. Skepticism grabs you when you unfold an eleven-page passport letter and lets you go when you try a model and abundant ‘pad Thai or a Malaysian curry with firecracker prawns (the portions are great plates).
And in fact, the strong point here is that they neither version nor interpret: they remain faithful to traditional recipes, and Asian chefs often come here to improve and advise on the preparation of dishes. A dinner here might start with vegetarian samosas or spring rolls, followed by a Malaysian curried seafood soup, and finished off with very Korean salmon bulgogi. The place is a spectacle, and the kitchens in action – they make their dumplings and noodles – too.
No microwaves, no deep fryers, and no beet hummus. In this small Lebanese restaurant in Sant Antoni, the chickpea purée is thick, and the babaganush is closer to escalivada than eggplant cream. The menu is short: three types of hummus and a section of ‘ mezzés’: the Lebanese tapas, wow –with a splendid falafel, soft, tasty, crunchy, and not at all dry, a balsamic tabbouleh and ‘ kebes’ (croquettes)–, and excellent sandwiches. The kindness with which they serve still makes it all the more delicious.
Dr. Zhang has specialized in ‘ dumplings’ or Chinese bags (although they are not). And you can see how they take you, from the kitchen to the table, pieces as varied and unorthodox as the stuffed duck or the fried ones with curry. They have no problem making, for example, a Halloween ‘ wan tub stuffed with pumpkin, sweet potato, curry, and sweet and sour sauce. The pasta is good and homemade, and the filling is carefully made.
The bar is not that it is the restaurant with the worst name in the world: it is that in Hindi it means “again and again”. And after eating, I couldn’t agree more. Nikhil Mahale is a London-based chef from Mumbai – director of the very successful Farzi Cafe London – who has settled in Barcelona with the idea of offering a “modern version of traditional Indian cuisine, and one that goes beyond the typical Indian dishes . north”. This includes making no concessions to spiciness levels. The place is austere and bare: here the center is found in the kitchen. And yours truly doesn’t have enough of a face to pretend to be a connoisseur of Indian cuisine.
At the head of the Tandoor stove is Ivan Surinder, trained at the Tickets stove. He has updated and lightened Indian cuisine: you will see, for example, a ‘ sheek kebab’, a taco of lamb ‘ masala’ with an iceberg base with spiced mango and avocado ‘chutney’. And the chicken tikka masala’, baked ‘ tenure with ginger, cilantro, and peppers, is still as good as ever. Oh, and nothing is too itchy. Although, if you want, they will add hot sauce to you to get smoke out of your teeth, from here in Bangalore.
One of these Chinese should be added to the list of references in the city. In fact, it is popularly called ‘the Chinese, Chinese’, either because there are always Chinese eating or because in this place, which does not understand decoration or fashion, you will not find three delights rice or chicken with almonds, but authentic delicacies of the Asian country, like crispy Peking duck and hand-made noodles with soup or beef.
Grasshopper Ramen Bar
It is quite a guarantee to know that behind an Asian venue there is the British Gilles Brown, co-owner of Mosquito and Red Ante. His approach to Southeast Asian cuisine is methodical and obsessive about quality. The Grasshopper is a small low bar with a capacity for fifteen people. Everything is made from scratch, even the noodles, and they add ‘ kansui’, an alkaline solution so that the water has a Japanese-like property and the paste is elastic and absorbent.
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