Friday, April 19, 2013

La Paradeta

Hands up if you like consuming seafood!!! Hands up if you like consuming seafood by the seaside!!! Yeeeeeah! La Paradeta was a fantastic recommendation from my Barcelona expert brother. As a lover of consuming seafood and particularly of consuming seafood by the seaside, this place sounded right up my street.

It is a a brilliant concept for a restaurant: you go in through the door where an amazing array of fresh seafood is laid out, like at the fishmonger's. You tell the jolly dudes what you want, before going to the bar to get your drinks / bread / sides, then you find yourself a table. Meanwhile your seafood is cooked for you by a team of chefs who call out your table number when each part of your order is ready. GREAT idea.

Unsurprisingly, seeing as Catalan folk seem to love seafood and this is such a great concept for a restaurant, this place is ridiculously popular. We arrived before opening time on Saturday lunchtime to find a small queue had already formed. We were quite grateful of this as we could watch the locals in the queue in front of us to help us work out what we were supposed to do.

Well, this was a super fun dining experience from start to finish. While this could seem like an intimidating place to eat if you don't speak the lingo, it's actually ideal as everyone was getting involved in a bit of pointing, although going armed with a bit of cooking vocab might be of use - I was asked if I wanted my calamares fried or grilled, for example.

Once we had ordered our fish, which was exciting in itself, we got ourselves bread, salad, allioli and a delicious bottle of cava complete with frosted glasses and ice bucket (a treat for me and Bailey to drink cava at lunch!).

Next up we waited for our table number to be called out so we could get our freshly cooked seafood handed over to us through the little serving hatch. Far from being annoying (you'd think having to get up all the time would be), this was most definitely part of the fun. Although things were ready at different times, this was great as you got to eat everything while hot and fresh.

Our first plate was the most delightful calamares me and Bailey have ever had with the perfect amount of crunch, and a massive portion of tiny fried fish. This was perfectly crisp with the lightest tempura-esque batter. When eating little fish, I always think of Mrs Petticoat pretending to be a giant while eating whitebait; well, she'd have had a field day with these teeny-tiny fishies. Both of these were fantastic dipped into the super garlicky allioli.

Next we got octopus and razor clams which were both packed full of flavour, perfectly cooked and served with an amazing garlic oil which was great when mopped up with bread. This was my second razor clams experience, and a much less sandy one at that.

Finally we got a big old plate full of things Bailey doesn't like and I realised my eyes had been bigger than my stomach as here we had 20€ worth of prawns and langostines all for me. Whoops.

They were too amazing to leave behind - plump, rich, meaty, juicy and surely the best crustaceans I've ever eaten. I made a real mess eating these bad boys compared to the little old Catalan man on the table next to me who managed to shell his without making a single bit of mess.

I made quite a big mess for a small lady
Stuffed full of seafood, I declared this to be one of the best lunches I'd ever had. My only niggles? I thought the salad was a bit overpriced at 4€, and I ordered too much but that was down to my own greed.

To give you an idea of how popular La Paradeta is, the doors opened at 1pm and by 1:25, every table in the large restaurant was full, with a queue of punters (staring daggers at anyone who'd finished eating but still had half a bottle of cava to finish off, i.e. us) going all the way to the other side of the street. I loved La Paradeta so much I'd love to think that a place like this could open in Manchester but I just don't know if people would go for it and if the fish could be of the same quality. Therefore, La Paradeta is an absolute must for seafood lovers on holiday and there are several branches in Barcelona to choose from. However, get there early to avoid disappointment!

1 comment:

  1. Fresh seafood and wine – perfect partners for a fine dining experience! The calamari looked heavenly and crispy, it made me wish that I can reach out and help myself to some, if not all. Great post, Jules! I hope you and Bailey continue making these great reviews. Until next time!

    Crystal Carson @


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