Barcelona: Tapas 24

Elisa:

There are so many tapas bars in Spain, in every corner in every street, no doubt, similar to how there are so many dim sum chains in China/Singapore that it can be quite mind-blogging for some when making a decision on where to dine. But when it comes to good food, one cannot turn away from celebrity Chef Carles Abellan, a 10-year veteran of 3-star Michelin El Builli. Today, he is the driving force behind Projects 24 which includes Comerç24, Bravo 24 and Tapas 24, the least formal, most affordable and approachable option.
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Located on the corner of Diputacio and Passeig de Gracia, Tapas 24 is located in a basement, with a few outdoor seating along the streets, and consists of an open kitchen, a bar and a few high tables throughout the room. The restaurant is known to serve simple tapas with a unique twist, or rather modern, high-quality interpretations of old favorites. Open at 8am to midnight daily (closed on Sundays), the place tends to be packed during lunch and dinner hours. So if you want to skip the wait, go during Spanish off-peak hours (ie Before 1.30pm or 8pm for lunch and dinner respectively). We arrived just slightly after 1pm and were rewarded with a swift entry into the bar seats and right after we had ordered, the crowd began to filter in. The place started to become livelier and louder, and you could definitely feel that joyful and carefree vibe.
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Tapa D’or (4,50€): Fresh crushed tomato with pepper, “Jerez” vinegar, salt maldon and extra virgin olive oil, to dip. This was actually quite similar to the Pa Amb Tomàquet, which literally in English is bread with tomato. However, unlike the latter which is bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled with olive oil and salt, this one actually had all that sweet tomato goodness, the juices, the pulps and even the skin, made into a dipping sauce finished with salt and lots of olive oil, and meant to be eaten with bread that is served on the side. I quite prefer the rubbed bread actually simply because the bread usually comes toasted/grilled, and I very much prefer crunchy bread with maybe some burnt edges than a of chunky piece of unexciting bread 🙂
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Fresh from the market that day was the Xipirons A L’andalusa (16€): Fried baby squid. I love my fried squids/calamari and especially when they’re served warm straight from the deep fryer and sprinkled with just a touch of salt at the end. They’re just so addictive.
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Bikini Comerc 24 (8,90€): Warm sandwich with black truffles, cured Iberian ham and buffalo mozzarella. It was essentially a delicious grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with the best quality pork and melted cheese that was oozing out from all sides. But everything became even more amazing when some black truffles was added to the equation. It added just another dimension to this delicate little sandwich, an earthy strong flavor that keeps you coming back for more. (I can proudly say that Catalunya Singapore does similarly addictive Bikinis as well! :))
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Mc Foie-Burger (9,50€): Small beef hamburger with foies-gras served with foie ganache. This was another decadent and inventive interpretation of the classic burger. Sandwiched in between a bun that was unexpectedly crispy on the outside but buttery and soft like a brioche in the inside, is a beef and foies gras patty that was cooked so perfectly medium (I am guessing from the reddish colour), it was tender, juicy and bursting with flavor. What made it even more over the top was the creamy foie ganache that when dolloped over the patty, you will be able to savour all the different flavours and textures, sweet and salty, crispy and soft, creamy and chewy, in one bite. None of the ingredient were overshadowed but, instead, they complemented each other to create a composed and not overly-rich dish.
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Lacón ibéric a la GALLEGA (8,50€): Cooked Iberian ham in Galician style. We were quite excited when we saw the couple next to us receive this dish. The vibrant colours were just simply so inviting! And well we wanted to try iberico ham prepared in a different way, rather than its standard formed that is served on the board. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the least suited for our taste buds among all that we had. It was pretty salty, that even eating it together with super bland potatoes did not help at all.
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CAP I POTA (8,90€): Stewed beef tripe with chickpeas and chorizo. The tripe was soft and tender, and the chickpeas still had a slight bite to them which I really love. Nothing too exciting or extraordinary about this dish, but it was quite hearty and comforting nonetheless.
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Xocolat Amb Pa, oil i sol (6,10€). We finished of with these three scoops of chocolate mousse garnished with toasted wafter-thin bread, and drizzled with olive oil and seat salt. (I guess olive oil and sea salt makes everything better here :p). I really enjoyed how smooth and light the mousse was and because its temperature was slightly colder than a regular mouse straight up from the jar, it was almosttttt as if I was eating a super ultra light chocolate ice cream. The olive oil and salt added a delightful hint of savouriness which I absolutely love in my desserts to cut all that sweetness. And I’m starting to think that maybe this was chef Carles Abellan’s modern approach to the traditional churros and hot chocolate. Crispy bread and chocolate mousse? I’ll just have both the traditional and modern 🙂

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Tapas 24 
269 Carrer de la Diputació 269,
08007 Barcelona, Spain
Tel: +34 934 88 09 77
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This entry was posted in Barcelona, Cafe, Lunch, Quick/Easy, Spanish, Travel to eat! :), Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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