Photo by Tara Stevens
Andrew Morris is a London-based cookbook publisher with 33Books (who, I should point out in the interests of transparency, have published my book), who regularly visits Barcelona for inspiration. It’s a destination where the prime purpose of visiting is to eat as much fabulous food as possible, he says, and I couldn’t agree with him more. We went for lunch on the beach to talk food, wine and the city’s never-ending appeal for food lovers.
Andaluz-style chanquetes (tiny fried fish) with partridge eggs, carpaccio of rape with poppy seeds, crayfish with oyster leaf and arroz del chef (made with smoked rice from Carpier, with artichokes, mushrooms, prawns and baby octopus). The wine was Nou Nat, Binigrau, Mallorca (Chardonnay and Prensal Blanc).
Why the obsession with Barcelona?
It’s a culture where eating out is an everyday thing. If you combine that with a city that is clearly obsessed with product and ingredients, you get this sympathy of taste available on so many different levels—from tapas bars to three-stars.
Why did you choose Kaiku for today’s lunch?
I was talking about wanting to eat seafood with an old friend of mine and he insisted I come here. I owe him a big thank you as it’s stupendous and you get to sit looking out over the sea. What impressed me was it’s all about a love affair with the sea and the chef clearly wants to present these products in interesting ways. I’d like to have been with a big enough group to try everything.
What were your favourite dishes?
I really liked the texture of the poppy seeds on the carpaccio, which turned what could have been quite slimy monkfish, or at least a very dull, pappy mouth feel, into something that really worked. And I’ve never had smoked rice before so that was new for me; it was comforting but not overpowering and was great with the artichokes and mushrooms, and especially the mussels.
Andrew also recommends:
Last night’s Can Kenji (Rosselló 325, www.cankenji.com) was great: punchy, fresh Japanese food with bags of flavour at bargain prices. And I always go to Quimet i Quimet—I know it comes up a lot, but it’s a crowded, local jewel box of beautiful, sparkling treats where there’s always something more to discover.
Plaça del Mar 1, Barceloneta. Tel. 93 221 9082. Open Tues-Sun, 1-3.30pm. Menú €13; á la carte approximately €30-€35 for three courses plus wine. Tara’s rating: ✪✪✪✪