Kate's Peach SyllabubKate's peach syllabub
I’ve always maintained that British puddings are the best in the world. Where else can you get, for example, 'boiled baby', 'spotted dick' or a 'gooseberry fool'? Of the many things I should miss about good old Blighty, pudding is probably what I miss the most.
Until now such treats were unheard of this side of the Pyrenees and then the revamped Casa Delfìn (Passeig del Born 36, 93 319 5088) revealed its new menu. The joint has been around forever as one of the few remaining neighbourhood classics where folks went for brain bocadillos, a foot long and steaming cauldrons of cap i pota. It was a place for people who loved food and great mountains of it, and new owners, Kate Preston and José Lombardero (of Taller de Tapas) have vowed to let the song live on, albeit in their own, more updated style. Gone is the nicotine-stained ceiling and in its place a beautiful, sea green version, the original colour incidentally, discovered beneath decades of paint. A pretty, leafy balustrade contains a cute mezzanine area with green and gold-flocked wallpaper. Sixties and Seventies Costa Brava postcards adorn the walls alongside family photos. And the barman shakes cocktails New York style: caipiriñhas and mojitos for €7.50.
The menu inevitably has also had an overhaul, but for those of you who, like I, fear the extinction of hefty plates of veal liver and onions, and tripe and chickpeas, rest assured they’re still going strong alongside more user-friendly roast lamb with rosemary and thyme, suquet (fish stew) and pan-fried squid with garlic and parsley.
Like most things in life, the best is saved for last, and Kate’s defining mark on their newest venture is the introduction of British puds. As a knickerbocker glory glass of Eton Mess (berries, meringue and dangerous amounts of cream) crosses the floor a kind of hushed awe falls across the room. The majority of the Catalan clientele have never seen anything like in their lives, but guess what, before long the whole restaurant’s ordering them. Syllabub and peach cobbler are up next. Now, if I could just put in an order for sticky toffee pudding for Autumn…