I’m going to do a full review of the new Mosquito (C/ dels Carders 46, La Ribera, 932 687 569, www.mosquitotapas.com) in the restaurant section of the magazine in January, but meantime I’m so excited to finally have somewhere to get real Chinese steamed dumplings in this town that to not share the good news immediately just seems churlish.
Mosquito has had a solid fan base since it opened as an Asian tapas bar five years ago. The kind of place that you could reliably go for a good feed and a glass or three and come away with change from €20. Briefly, it became a Catalan tapas bar, which was fine, but disappointing for those of us who relied on it for our Asian fix. So no one was happier than I to find it packed to the gills one Thursday night, the kitchen steamy and hectic as Cantonese cooks made up dumplings and transferred them straight to fiercely bubbling cauldrons and frying pans, emerging hot and fresh to your plate. The selection (which is growing, the menu is still developing) ranges from your classic shrimp pot stickers, to delicate steamed pockets of beef and water chestnut to the classic pork and prawn mix, each more mouth-watering than the last, plus a handful of other dishes including fork-tender, aromatic steamed tongue and slivers of pigs ear stewed in a weighty broth of soy and spices (both capable of converting the most ardent offal haters), piquant cabbage salad and stir-fried bok choy with shitake.
The wine list is small – all of it Italian including a ripe Valpolicella as the house red – but go for the beer. There are 40 brands to choose from ranging from light and refreshing organic pilsners to dark and fruity ales. Though I’m not much of a beer drinker as a rule, there’s something about the nature of the amber nectar that makes it the perfect partner to Chinese comfort food. What can I say: it's a winner.