Posted by - 28 March 2011 - No comments

Santa Maria - probably one of the best places to eat in Barcelona

If you have to eat at one place in Barcelona it should be Santa Maria.  The restaurant is run by ex-protegees of Ferran Adria of El Bulli fame, so the food is inventive and deliciously unpredictable.

Given the founders' pedigree, you'd assume that the food at Santa Maria would be expensive, but far from being eye-wateringly expensive a meal here costs around £25, so roughly the same as a  meal at Pizza Express.  

Groups of six or more have to eat from a tasting menu, and even if you're not dining in a group I'd recommend you go for this option, rather than the a la carte.

We started off with a glass of cava, a bargain at 15.70€ a bottle, before we're served a refreshingly lasi made of mandarin, orange blossom and mint.  This was quickly followed by a selection of juicy olives and lightly spiced poppadoms.


Then a succession of dishes arrived, including this delightfully fruity mango and squid salad.



One of the perils of food blogging, is if you have far too much fun (and wine) while out, it can be a thankless task trying to work out what you've eaten if you haven't taken notes or managed to obtain a copy of the menu, so you must forgive me for the lack of detail and for that I blame the ridiculously cheap, but good wine.   One thing I can remember is we enjoyed every single mouthful of what was served. 

The quirky combinations at Santa Maria take inspiration from the East, and fuse them with Western classics like mussels in curried sauce to delivery exquisitely delivered flavours.



Then came deep fried frogs legs that tasted like fried chicken.  This divided the table, and it didn't help that there was a tank with a living breathing frog peering through the glass positioned by the table. 

 



The marathon meal ended with 'Dracula' a deliciously foamy dessert containing popping candy - a playful dessert, to end one of the most entertaining meals I've eaten in Barcelona.


Costs27.00€ per person for the menu degustacion excluding drinks.  It's gastronomics - gourmet food on a budget

Verdict:  The food is extraordinary, but not ridiculously quirky.  I will be definitely visiting again next time I'm in Barcelona.
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