There are not many Spanish food in Kuala Lumpur and one that I recently came to know about is this Spanish or more accurately, a Catalonian restaurant called Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar. The word “mercat” in Catalan language means market. Quick info: “The Catalans are a Romance ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia, who form a nationality in northern Spain.” The founders of Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar aims to serve authentic Catalonian food with fresh ingredients as you would normally buy at a market.
A quick look at the menu reveals a list of more than 20 different tapas and platillos. Tapas are snacks or small plates of food that originate in Spain. Tapas come in many different forms and vary from one town to another. The tapas and platillos that Mercat serve is the owner-chef’s own creation inspired from his mother.
We had the mackerel fish curated with vinegar served with roast pepper and garnished with finely chopped spring onions and some almond sauce. The mackerel was perfectly cook. It was moist. It was sour and savory. It goes well with the smoky roasted pepper.
Next came the local Spanish favourite, the Spanish omelette with potatoes and onions. The outer layer is crispy while the inner layer is moist. Its almost like the sweated onion, egg and potatoes “juices” are still trapped inside. I can see that it is quite hard to nail this dish as you got to be careful not to dry the inside and at the same time making sure that the inside is cooked properly.
This is the Calatan style chicken with fried garlic stew. It may not look like a stew as stew normally comes with a lot of sauce. Mercat’s take on this chicken stew is quite different from the normal stew in that they made sure that the outer layer of the chicken is dry while the inner layer is moist and juicy. Only very little sauce but packed with flavours came with this dish.
This pork slider is the best I’ve ever tried so far in Kuala Lumpur. The pork slider is made of in-house made very fluffy and airy brioche buns, savoury minced pork, manchego cheese, red pepper and caramelised onions. The combination of the flavours of the ingredients put in this pork slider is just amazing. It’s a great tapas for sharing with family and friends.
The marinate of the Spanish-style barbecued skewered pork taste similar to turmeric. It came with bread spread with tomatoes.
This may look like noodles to you but its not. This is cuttlefish with pork belly bits and beans served on a bed of cauliflower sauce, a Spanish style surf and turf. The cuttlefish is cooked properly, not rubbery. The cuttlefish was savoury and it goes very well with the cauliflower sauce and pork belly bits.
Then came our dessert, the Catalonian cream foam. Other desserts such as chocolate cake, watermelon infused with sangria and the traditional sweet cream from Corooba are available as well.
FYI, Mercat’s specialty here are their Gins and Vodka. I don’t drink, so I don’t know much about this, but we’ve tried The Journey – a combination of 2 shots of nomad whisky, oloroso, lemon juice and ginger, and it was quite good.
The Gist of it:
Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar
Address: 51 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Opening Times: Mon-Fri, 4pm-12am, Sat-Sun, 12pm-12am.
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