La Singular (C/ Francisco Giner 50, 93 237 5098, approx €25) has gained a cult following for its food largely by merit of the fact that it’s simple, well-cooked and honest. I first went there through a friend who lived down the road who’d made it her local; then recently I interviewed the sommelier from two-Michelin-starred Mugaritz in San Sebastian only to discover its her favourite restaurant too. Word travels fast when something is this good.
Small but perfectly formed, the women who run it use local, seasonal ingredients to create a menu that mixes all-time classics like creamy croquettes of cod, chicken or spinach, or home-made pâté and salad, with more contemporary home-spun recipes like venison marinated in strawberry sauce or the ultra British roast lamb and mint sauce. The menu changes every day and the girls seem to have a knack for choosing mood food: sunshine and blue skies, think pickled tuna on toast or home-cured salmon; rain and howling gales mean cosseting stews, casseroles or curries. Either way you’re as likely to get something Asian-inspired as you are Catalan.
My favourite thing though is that it's got that comfort level that makes you feel not so much that you’ve gone out to dinner, but like you’ve stayed at home.