Barcelona 2014 - Tapas 24
You can get tapas anywhere in Barcelona - but for something which is a bit more cheffy, head over to Tapas 24. This tapas bar is the brain child of El Bulli alumni Carles Abellan. Tapas 24 is one of his more accessible establishments which include the more upscale Bravo and Suculent.
Located in a basement at the upscale neighbourhood of L'Eixample and just off Passeig de Gracias - Tapas 24 is not very big and they have a no-reservation policy. The only way to get a seat is to go during non-peak hours - which means avoid the lunch hour or go before 7.00p.m. The best seat is at the bar where you can watch all the action in the small kitchen.
What Chef Abellan has done here is to take the standard tapas staples and give them a gourmet treatment. Everyone says you must order the Bikini Sandwich and we did. It is a toasted sandwich with Jamon Iberico, cheese and black truffle. Simple but packs a flavour punch.
Another must-order is the McFoie Burger - a beef patty mixed with foie gras sandwiched between a very thin and crunchy bun served with a foie gras paste. What's not to love!
The Patata Bravas - another supposedly must-order dish - is basically French fries with garlic aioli and spicy tomato sauce. I am not a great fan of French fries, so this did not hit the same notes like the above dishes.
Bomba de la Barceloneta is a deep-fried potato ball with meat filling and a spicy sauce. This is very good as the potato is very fluffy and light.
Rabo de Toro - oxtail stew with turnip and parsnips. This is a really rich, meaty and flavourful dish. Ideally, you would want some rice to go with it!
Arros d'olla Valenciana. Served in a traditional Valencian cast iron pot - this was the best of all the dishes. Like a very dry porridge cooked in the most flavoursome stock, the taste was sensational and I would gladly go back just for this over and over again.
Tapas 24 is a great concept - all the traditional tapas dishes delivered with gourmet flair and great execution, all at a relatively reasonable price point. This is one of the must-visit restaurants in Barcelona.