June 14, 2011

Xiringuito Escriba, Barcelona

After a shitter of a week, we had a lovely Sunday. The sun finally stopped hiding behind the clouds and everyone poured out of their flats and took to the city, to the beach, to the parks...

As it was Rob Roy's birthday last Thursday, we decided to head down to Escriba Xiringuito, which is a restaurant that opens out onto the seafront near Poble Nou. Rob is familiar with the chef there and so he prepared us our own menu of the day... full of tasty treats!

First we started with something called an 'airbag de jamon iberico'. They serve a similar thing at Tickets (Albert Adria's new Tapas gaff) but this was possibly a hundred times the size. Check out this beauty. If I had a minor car accident, I wouldn't mind plunging face first into one of these...
Escriba Barcelona Airbag de Jamon

Airbag de Jamon
It's simple really. Just a really light, crisped bread smothered with Jamon and served with a delicious emulsion of tomato, oil and garlic.

Next we had some rather wonderful cured tuna sliced ever so thinly, with salmon roe, sesame seeds and guacamole. It was fresh and salty... I couldn't stop myself from spooning it all up. If you ever happen to eat in a restaurant with me, EAT FAST... you snooze, you lose. I mean, I really try to restrain myself but if people are just going to talk then what is a girl supposed to do?
Escriba Barcelona
It's worrying though... I look at my mother, 35 years ahead of me and, while she is very polite and has excellent manners, when we take her to an Indian restaurant you would think she was Picasso by the time she's finished from the looks of the tablecloth. She orders almost everything and then, if you don't think fast, she's upon your biryani faster than a fucking leopard. It's almost as if she hasn't eaten in a hundred years.

I hope I learn to control myself.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yes. FOOD.
The following dish was crispy fried octopus with basil oil, parmesan, jamon and scrambled eggs.
It was marvellous and didn't lose it's crunch. I'd love this kind of thing for breakfast... I might try to recreate it soon and let you know how it goes...
Escriba Barcelona
Next they brought along a little prawn in a bowl of delicious looking creamy liquid. I was thinking 'garlic, dill, white wine' but I was confronted with 'bland, milky and slightly coarse'. It wasn't the best dish but the prawn went down a treat. Look at his little face! It's like he's begging to be taken from the milky weirdness and gobbled up; fulfilling his final destiny.
Escriba Barcelona
And so came the Mother of the day. The ULTIMATE paella. My boyfriend is very anti-tourist related behaviour and so I haven't had too many paellas here in Barcelona but luckily this was THE place for paella. It was HUGE and full of little tasty pieces of squid, clams, mussels, prawns, beans, artichokes and rosemary.
Paella Escriba Barcelona
Those prawns were some of juiciest I have had in a while with lots of tender, sweet flesh to sink my teeth into.
Paella Escriba Barcelona
And the artichoke hearts and beans were a wonderful, green touch.
It got pretty messy though!
There was juice everywhere... all over my fingers and my chin. I abandoned my napkin and just went for full finger-licking fun (especially since they didn't bring a finger-bowl).

Phew. You would think by now we would be full. I could see the beads of perspiration on my companions faces. God bless the sea breeze that swept in, otherwise we may have all melted from the exertion of such an eating frenzy.

We had a little break with a glass of champagne and then on came the desserts... There were many to choose from but the two below were my favourites...
A delicious strawberry tart.
Escriba Barcelona
And a bouncy mango cream, catalan style with a hard caramelised sugar case and grated orange zest... the pastry was crumbly and buttery, the mango was light and sweet and the little mint leaf added a bit of a tasty zing. Perfect for cleansing and refreshing my whale of a tummy.
Escriba Barcelona
We retired quickly or, more appropriately, dragged ourselves home where we sprawled out for a siesta. I thought that would be the end of our day and threw on my pyjamas and intended to spend the rest of the evening doing sweet nothing but, as it turned out, Rob Roy wasn't quite finished... I hurriedly put on my squirrel jumper thinking we were going to a friends to say hello, and somehow we ended up in a cocktail bar drinking different kinds of infusions with gin in the Poble Sec district. So there I sat and sipped delightful cocktails in my ridiculous sequin squirrel jumper, with pillow marks on my face until the early hours of the morning.

What a day!
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