Glorious dinner@Botafumeiro, Barcelona

This seafood restaurant was highly recommended by locals, as well as my European affiliate colleagues, who frequently have business trips in Barcelona. I had been warned that it would cost about 30-40 Euros / pax.
When we walked in, we were greeted by countless numbers of picture frames hung on the walls. If you look closely, you will notice that the photos showed all kinds of famous celebrities who visited Botafumeiro. Some examples that we saw were Shakira, Eva Longoria, Enrique, Nadal! photos, taken with the chef but I could tell that his was most proud of his picture taken with the ex- American president, Bill Clinton. The photo and its frame was the largest among all the hung pictures.
Squid ink seafood paella. I didn’t get to try this dish, but those who did said it had a lot of ‘wok hei’ in it. Hmmm…..
We initially ordered the escargos, thinking they would come cooked with butter and garlic. Instead, they came on a pile of ice, along with the oysters. I ain’t a fan of shells, but the rest who ate all gave a big thumbs up for its freshness.
This was my dish, grilled monkfish. Freshness was 10/10. Flavour was so so. Not sure what a monkfish looks like but the meat was pretty supple and tender, thinly layered of chargrill coating its sufrace.
Each table had a dedicated waiter serving, and ours did a fantastic job. Although I must say, his way of serving the crab was rather peculiar. My doctor ordered a crab dish, and at first it came on a plate, the entire crustacean, red and cold. My eyes widened thinking how to eat it.
The waiter was laughing at our reaction and later explained that he brought out the crab  to show its customer first, proving a good quality crab would be served. He even mentioned that the crab’s name was Motolo. Now that made eating it a “whole lot easier”knowing its name. Minutes later, the crab was nicely dissected like an experimental lab rat, served as a cold dish.
WIERDDDDDDDD……
This was a scoop of vanilla ice cream, with raspberries and soaked with bourbon. This… would get you high just as quick as tequila shots. One scoopful of it, got the alcohol shot right up to my brain. I could feel my cheeks immediately flushing from the heat.
Definitely one dessert you woud like to eat, knowing that you’re gonna have some sassytime later through the night! *winks* If you know what I mean.. haha.
This white wine was.. spectacular. Peachy, light, with a hint of grass. Perfect for seafood dishes. Deep down, I wanted to quietly have another bottle on my own. Damn..
Such nice hospitality! Since we had a big group and clearly, we gave them a pretty good profit, they gave us some local desserts .. for freeeeeeeee! The chocolate truffles were damn good, but the best was the almond flakes. Kinda reminded me of chinese new year cookies, I don’t know why.
The famous Sagrada Familia church, designed by Gaudi. Gothic looking, with pastel colours on the tips of the church. It is still not fully constructed and the cost of building it fully depends on the entrance fees of visitors. However, the cost of going into the church is just too expensive in my opinion. The entrace fees was 15/20 Euros. Even more expensive than the Vatican!


Dinner@El Choquito, La Ramblas

It takes quite a long while to get accustomed to the long daylight timing in Barcelona. The sun rises at 530 am and sets at nearly 10 pm.

During summer/ siesta season in Spain, locals dine late and start their daily work activities late too. Dinners usually start at 9 pm, and if one requests to have dinner at 6 pm (like us in Malaysia), people would stare with astonishment.
By 730pm local Barca time, we couldn’t wait any longer and decided to have dinner, whether it was considered early or not in the eyes of locals.
Mr C, the rice fan, was waiting to try out local spanish paella.
HUGE pan of rice came on our table. Rice = super banyak. Prawns = super kecil and kurang. Some clams and chopped bits of scallops were added in also. Not the best paella I’ve tried, as the rice was still a bit undercooked.

The sangria, was superb. Sweet, tangy and the only thing missing was.. A JUGful of it. Taking into account of our jetlag and having to wake up early next morning, I took a raincheck on the idea of having a jug of sangria.

730 pm Barca time, was 130 am Malaysia time. My tummy was in sleep mode already. Not feeling very hungry, I ordered tapas instead, which came along with my glass of sangria. One slice with jamon (pork), minced pork meat blended with cheese, and torched goat’s cheese.
The sliced french loaf was cold and hard (not sure if locals loved ém like this but I would prefer them to be warm, crunchy and toasted).
The jamon was porkified, my breath smelt of it after a slice. Similar taste to our local dried meat, bakkua. The middle one tasted like spam, not to my liking.
This was my favourite 🙂 Smelly goat’s cheese, torched and grilled over a thin layer of caramelized sugar. Initially, over the first bite, the smelliness would drive your tastebuds up the wall. After taking several bites more, I started to like its taste. Much like drinking wine.
My colleague on the other hand, totally disliked it. One bite was enough to tell him that his next bite would kill off his entire appetite.
Total damage: Euro 27.