Saturday, 14 August 2010

comerç 24, barcelona

Carles Abellan is a graduate of Ferran Adrià, having worked the stoves at el Bulli in Roses, and has a long career in some of Spain’s illustrious restaurants.

His new venture, Project 24, combines multiple business ventures in one building: a tapas bar, a catering company and a restaurant.

The restaurant, known as Comerç 24, specialises in avant-garde Catalan cooking using creative influences from around the world.

The interior has that artsy-industrial design so typical of Barcelona: frilly metal columns, bricked walls, bright yellow furniture and an open kitchen.

The food was good. Well, to be fair, it was much better than good. It was great.

I think our opinion of Comerç 24 suffered simply because Australia pumps out some amazing restaurants and yet we idolise Europe as some kind of gastro-mecca.

We seem to think that everything coming out of European capitals is surely better than what we produce at home. When we arrive in Barcelona/Paris/London etc we are sad to discover that “1 Michelin star” is just the equivalent to our own “1 Chef Hat” system and not an astronomically higher grade of culinary delight.

Partly to blame is an unfounded European arrogance (based on much-founded history and tradition) and total ignorance of what’s eaten Down Under, and mostly to blame is a sad Australian insecurity that Europe is the only place to be for all things foodie.

The result: Australian foodies dining out in Europe are unfairly disappointed because the food isn’t drastically better than what we eat at home.

But how can you blame a restaurant for this?

And I think Comerç 24 suffered from this unfairness. With retrospect, it was great food and we enjoyed it.

I’d recommend it to anyone looking for modern, tres cool food (that tastes good) in Barcelona.

And the price wasn’t bad either, given the quality, €360 for three people: including degustation menus, cocktails, wine, after dinner drinks and 10%+ tip.

Unfortunately (shamefully) I lost my notes from our dining experience so I have to post the photos without explanations. Please forgive my forgetfulness where I can’t remember the details.

Filo cigars filled with lemon verbana goats cheese

Octopus carpaccio with ink sauce

Gold-dusted macadamia and anchovy filled olives

Asparagus, herbs, wild strawberries and flower salad

Mackerel sashimi with orange and salad

Tuna tartare in egg yolk

Flowers and soba noodles in a vegetable broth

Truffle and egg "sferification" with a light broth

Truffles and cream

Asparagus and orange


Red mullet

Local cheeses

Strawberry crumble with basil sorbet (just delicious!)

Melon and basil soup

Petit fours: oreo cookies, lemon meringue pie, peanut butter & chocolate

Food photos by Anna. Photos of the restaurant interior and Abellan borrowed from other online sources.

Carrer del Comerç, 24
08003 Barcelona, Ciutat Vella
T: +34 933 19 21 02

View Foodie Destination: Barcelona in a larger map

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