Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tickets Bar - mark it down if you are heading to Barcelona

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Tickets Bar

Av Parallel 164, Barcelona, Spain

Food: 4.5
Service: 4.5
Price: Fair

I sat idling in front of the computer waiting for 4pm to strike. Why you ask? Well, you see getting a reservation at the famous Tickets Bar is like trying to score front row seats at a Justin Bieber concert. The reservations are open 60 days in advance at precisely 12am Barcelona time, which at the moment is 4pm PST. I got sidetracked at the last moment, and was 10 minute late, low and behold all dinner reservations for 2 or more were gone. Lucky for me, they opened for lunch on Saturdays, so I managed to snag one of the last few reservations at 3pm.
Why is this restaurant so famous?
Because this restaurant is opened by the world renown Ferran Adrià  who use to be the chef at El Bulli (known as the best restaurant in the world for many years before closing its door in 2011). Now he and his borther Albert have opened a series of restaurants in Barcelona with various offerings at different price range.
Tickets Bar serve tapas style dishes, but it's in a league of its own with amazing display of molecular gastronomy that Ferran Adrià was famous for. The circus decor theme was cute and detailed, which made the whole experience felt whimsical (the picture does not do its justice). It's one of those restaurant you really have to try it to appreciate it.
Estrella Inedit 7  (available at BC Signature Liquor stores)
- This variety of thee famous Spanish beer was actually created by Ferran Adrià and his team from his restaurant El Bulli.
- typically I hate beer, but this one was actually good. It was lemony and light, and went well with most food we had. Also it did not have any bitter taste
Tickets Charity Olives €7.80
- the El Bulli famous reconstitute olive
- two flavors: Original and one infused with herb such as rosemary, thyme etc.
- the ‘olive’ explodes in your mouth with very intense flavor burst.
- Very unique experience, but I dislike the taste of olive.
Mini Airbags stuffed with Manchego Cheese €8.10
- airy pastry filled with manchego mousse filling topped with hazelnut oil caviar resting on a bed of sea salt.
- I am guessing the sea salt serve the purpose to draw out any moisture from the shell, so it retains its shape and texture.
- superb presentation and taste, a must order in my book
Oyster with its pearl and sea lettuce water €4.90
- very fresh oyster without a trace of fishy taste
- R's favorite, the oyster was tasty with a light sea salt broth
- servce cold on a bed of ice
Oyster with Consomme of Escabecheh  €4.90
- the oyster was served warm, which means it was half cooked.
- still fresh as ever, but this flavor profile was more acidic, thus R prefer the raw one.
Razor clams with ginger oil and lemon air 13
- one of my favorite dish
- the complexity of the lemon flavors along with ginger and soy worked in harmony
- I highly recommend trying the razor clam: fresh, spring but not chewy
'Mollete' with double chin 3.9/ea
- it may look like a egg McMuffin, but it was a world of difference
- pillowy soft english muffin with a delicate slice of fatty double chin pork resting in mustard sauce.
- the fat was not oily, but silky and just melts in your mouth
Confit Potato with Pork Rib Jus with boil Iberian Ham 9.7
- soft potato paired with flavorful ham, and sweet/savory pork rib jus
- The flavors worked well, but it was not special in any way in terms of presentation or cooking method
Liquid ravioli with Payoyo Cheese - 3.10/ea
- ravioli two ways: the "traditional" way with cheese and crostini, and the new in a liquid bubble with a tiny slice of crostini
- similar to the liquid olives, it's a burst of payoyo (a blend of goat’s milk & sheep’s milk) once you pop it in your mouth
Espresso 2
- R love this one, it was aromatic and smooth
Mango roll with ice cream 9.7
- I really can't recall this one, but I do know it had a icecream center with a jelly like mango outer shell
- the mango jelly shell was remarkably real in flavor, which was also true for the espesso jello
- the foamy cream was very light, yet very rich.
Pistachio molten cake with orange sorbet 9.7
- not a fan of pistachio, the cake was light with the perfect liquid center
- the most realistic orange sorbet I've ever had
We were simply too full at this point, or else I would have totally ordered an ice cream cone after witnessing how it was served. To complete that circus experience, they wheel this adorable ice cream cart right up to your table and serve it any way you like. I am almost certain it would be delicious consider how great the sorbet tasted in the previous dish. 

Tickets Bar is certainly a restaurant that live up to its hype. With fresh and carefully prepared food that never cease to amaze, great service, and whimsical atomsphere, this restaurant should definitely be on anyone's to-dine list. So if you are heading to Barcelona, then definitely set your alarm, because getting a reservation highly depends on it (closed on Sunday and Monday).

ps: I am unsure on a few of the prices. Also their menu constantly changes, so just enjoy what they have to offer, because I am pretty sure it won't disappoint.

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