Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Spanish Food Log #1: The Worst and The Best

Nearly a month and a half ago, on 8th December 2010, one of my closests friends, Jing, whom I've met since our arrival in Sweden, departed for Spain for about 5 days. Since it was only for a short period of time, we could only go to Madrid and Barcelona, 2 days each for both cities and the 1 full day dedicated for traveling to-and-from both countries.

I was a bit tentative about going there initially, since I had quite a bit of work to do and had classes as well. Anyway, decided to just go ahead with it since I knew what was going on in class, the direction of my projects and would only just miss a class or two. Moreover, I'm here in Europe,  hence it's definitely more affordable to travel within other European countries than if I were to travel all the way from Australia/ Malaysia. 

One of the most renown and notable food in Spanish cuisine is tapas. For those that are unfamiliar with them, they are a type of appetizer that comes in a variety of combination of ingredients, many of them on sliced baguettes with olive oil. 

Jing and I had our very first tapas in Spain at Barcelona, after our trip to Madrid, at one of the restaurants on Rambla dels Estudis, in between our hotel at Silken Ramblas and Placa de Catalunya, all within the vicinity of Barcelona city centre. 

But before I go onto the pictures of our tapas, I can't wait to show the picture of the hot chocolate that I ordered at Madrid near Atocha Station during lunch, before we set off for the airport for Barcelona.


 Jeng jeng jeng jeng!!!! Spanish hot chocolate (they pronounce it as CHO-CO-LAT-TEH)

I was like....whaaat on earth is this? I asked for hot chocolate and you gave me chocolate sauce?? And I was on a diet (still am). This is gonna fatten me up in no time. But boy was it gooood!!!! It was so thick, creamy and rich. Omg so goood! I just had to finish the whole thing but I took my time and had it teaspoon by teaspoon, to a point Jing was asking: "Ey, are you eating porridge?"

Darn good. WOOHOO. I feel alive even thinking about it.

Then came lunch, which sucked to its very cheesy and spinachy core. It should have its name changed to "Eat-Me-If-You-Want-To-Feel-Miserable".

Everything was just so....creamy, thick and on the dry side. Swallowing a mouthful of my greenish pasta was like swallowing a bite of mudcake with warm custard sauce. As you can see, there was absolutely NOTHING but carbs and fat on my plate. No protein. Jing had fettucini carbonara, which was better than mine. The croquette tasted like potato mash whipped with cream. Very thick consistency. It was by far the worst meal we had in Spain.

I'd rate it 4/10. 


Now, let's have a look at the good stuff in Barcelona, tapas!!!

We absolutely had NO CLUE what each tapas was. All we knew was they were like a feast to our eyes and we just had fun pointing at the pretty ones and went 'I want this! This! This! And that!'
Look at these beautiful! Oooooooh.

 Top: Squid topping?? Bottom: Spanish Jamón (pronounced ha-mon), which is ham basically dry-cured, caviar and prawn.

 Don't know what they were. Just take a guess. But they tasted good.

 Look at 'em beauties. How good would it be if mountains look like that and each part of them are edible.
 Spanish omelette, composed of egg, potato and some sorta batter, I suppose, as it tasted thick with springy consistency. With some bread slices here with tomoto spread.

 Err....Spanish sausages?? Forgot the name. But it was gooood. Topped on unpeeled, panfried potato slices. 

 Random customer

 The good man that served us tapas

 Blood pudding/ sausage on the right, I think.

 My part of the table at the bar. I ordered the hot chocolate again, half hoping it would be like the one I had in Madrid, thick and creamy....omgggg. But it was just a regular HC, sigh. Better for my waistline I guess, if I looked on the bright side.

*Nom nom nom*

A period of about 5-7 minutes passed and in came new plates of tapas!!

 So pretttttyyy!!!!!

 Looks good but nyeh too creamy for me :'( That looks like cream cheese wrapped in ham, topped with a small dallop of blueberry jam

 We were already full but when we saw this we just had to order it!!!!!

 Our last baby before its halves ended in our stomachs. That was grilled red pepprika, sundried tomato, some super delish, pan fried fish, err...don't know what that is on top, some sorta fish I guess and possibly artichoke with some chocolatey looking, dark brown sauce.

I'd give it 7/10, for the variety presented, presentation, taste and ambience :)
That's it with the tapas! Next would be the paella we had!



Getafix said...

Those tapas look awesome! I've heard from friends how good they are in Spain...but I didn't expect them to look this good!

Pastas and hot chocolate = meh. I can whip up better looking pasta from a can. Never eat pasta from Spain!

How much are those tapas by the way? They charge by the plate?

mei ying tan said...

Yeah! They were really good. nyum nyum.

Lol I'm sure your pasta would be much better than theirs. That pasta I had was so thick that I could pull up of of the plates worth up just with my fork. Unfortunately many of the european countries have pizza and pasta as one of their staples :( So I guess we just went into the wrong restaurant.

Let's see...I think for each person we had round about 10EUR worth of tapas and a drink each. Yes they charge it by they plate :)

mei ying tan said...

*half of the plate's worth