Barcelona: Pinotxo Bar

23 Jul

Apart from Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces, one of the must see places in Barcelona is the Mercat de la Boqueria (or just La Boqueria) – a food market off La Rambla for its convival atmosphere, huge and colourful array of fresh produce, spices and other gourmet produce such as Spanish olives, olive oils and Iberico hams (the latter is a must buy)! Pinotxo Bar, a 14 seater tapas bar located just near the entrance of the market is a just as much an attraction in itself as the market, and is a popular spot for breakfast (or brunch, in our case).

I am usually not a milk drinker (pretty sure I’m lactose intolerant, just like 90% of the Asians out there) but this Cacaolat brand of chocolate milk was so good. Our server even steamed it up for me. There’s none of that cheap artificial chocolate flavour found in other mass brand chocolate milks.

Salted cod salad with tomatoes, onions, capers, bell peppers and olive oil – The famed Spanish salted cod wasn’t salty at all and it was such a light, refreshing fish salad that I could eat everyday.

Mussels with carrots, celery and olive oil – The fresh, plump and tender mussels here just needed a subtle dressing.

Warm plate of baby squid and white beans with olive oil balsamic vinegar – I never knew white beans could taste so good, let alone a combination of squid and white beans. This is one of their signature dishes.

Anchovies with bellpeppers and eggplant – I’m partial to anything anchovies and again this was amazing. The anchovies were so fresh and had none of that fishy smell, all your anchovy haters need to try. The bellpeppers and eggplant were just melt in your mouth.

Catalan pork sausage – Good real meat in the sausage. Nicely grilled.

There were no churros or many options available for sweets, but the xuxo (cream filled sugar dusted flakey pastry) was a lovely end to our meal.

Our endearing and friendly server was the perfect host. As Pinotxo doesn’t have a fixed menu, the servers will tell you what’s fresh for the day and recommend choices.

The food as you can see, was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Everything was so fresh as you can imagine, being located in one of the largest food markets I have ever seen. We also got to try some of the more exotic Catalan dishes (exotic to me at least, in this part of the world) that are less prevalent on Spanish restaurant menus, so every dish was a surprise.  There’s something about the way the Spanish chefs conjure up dishes in that effortless, creative and charismatic way that always seem to do great service to the produce they work with. Truly, one of the most memorable meals I have ever had. Ain’t no need for ridiculous Michelin stars, world’s best rankings or a big price tag to validate that.

Price: $$
Location: La Boqueria 466 – 467, 91 La Rambla 08002, Barcelona
Phone: 933 171 731

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