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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Sushi: tapas à la Japones
From healthy fast food alternative to respected culinary art form, sushi has spread like wild fire since it first appeared at a street stall in Tokyo in 1824.
The Barcelonese certainly didn’t need much steering when the first sushi bar opened here in the early 1970s. Spaniards traditionally favour bite-sized morsels, convivial eating and the ready availability of that essential ingredient, fresh fish. So what could be better than a cosmopolitan port town? Barcelona and sushi soon saw each other as the perfect catch.
For those who are health-concious and like to be aware of what they eat, sushi ticks all the right boxes: rice provides the carbohydrate while raw fish and seafood is high in proteins and ‘good’ fats such as omega 3 and 6.; What’s more, as many of the ingredients are served raw, there’s no fear of added baddies or depleted nutrition, lost through cooking processes. The only potential hazard lies in the quality and freshness of the produce, but given that most sushi chefs train for a minimum of three years and personally select their goods, risks are generally negligible.
Although many people associate sushi with raw fish, the name actually refers to the sticky vinegared rice that forms the base of many pieces. The rice is moulded into shape either with the hands or with the help of a wooden box or bamboo mat. Nigiri-zushi is a slice of fish set a bed a small rice wad and secured in place with a speck of wasabi, (ferocious but moreish green Japanese horseradish paste). Oshizushi is made by filling the bottom of a wooden mould with the sushi topping and packing the rice down on top, the resulting block is flipped over and expertly sliced into six to eight pieces.. In the classic version of Makizushi, a cylindrical piece, a sheet of pressed seaweed (nori) is placed on a bamboo mat, over which the rice is spread, then a filling (fish, seafood, vegetables, meat) is lined down the centre, and the whole thing is tightly rolled up using the bamboo mat. The chunks of fresh raw fish to be savoured solo, or with a quick dip of soy sauce, are known as sashimi. Most restaurants offer a selection of sushi and sashimi and, it’s well worth fighting for a front line spot at the bar so you can watch the chefs in action.
In homage to the care and creativity of a sushi chef,: how should this masterpiece best be eaten? The intrepid among you (like me), may have tried to pick up your sushi with chopsticks only to realise that if you bite it in two the delicate balance will be lost and the other half of your exquisitely prepared piece will fall back onto the plate, or worse, to the floor. To avoid such waste, you try sticking the whole thing in at once, only to realise it is such a perfect mouthful that you can’t actually chew let alone respond to polite conversation… well, here’s my tip: those chopsticks have been placed there to fool unsuspecting… fools like myself. How should sushi be eaten? With your fingers: pick it up, consume in two bites. Wipe hands. Look nonchalant. Obvious really.
A Selection of Barcelona’s Best Sushi Spots:
Shunka is favorite with world renowned Catalan chef,
Ferran Adrià, and considered the finest Japanese restaurant in Barcelona. If you’re eager to get that front row seat at the sushi bar, this is the place to try and snag a perch.
Opening hours: Tues – Fri: 13:30-15:30, 20:30-23:30
Sat – Sun: 14:00-16:00, 20:30-23:30
C/ Dels Sagristans 5, 08002, Barcelona
Phone: +34 934 124991
One of the city’s oldest sushi restaurants, Yamadori is still considered one of the best. It has resisted international influence and remains true to the original in both its menu and decoration; there is even a ‘zashiki’ room with tatami mats.
Opening hours: 13:00-15:30, 20:30-23:00
C/ Aribau 68, 08011, Barcelona
Phone: +34 934 539264
‘Kaiten’ is the Japanese term for conveyor belt service, the classic fast food alternative. With its prime location between the Gothic Quarter and the Port, and the combination of variety (approx. 40 different items whizzing round before your eyes), quality and price, Kaitensushi makes an excellent alternative choice.
Opening hours: 12:00-16:00, 20:00-24:00
Passeig Colon 4, 08002, Barcelona
Phone: +34 933 192458
The head chef of Hello Sushi, Yuki Horita from Tokyo, was the first woman to train in a Japanese sushi school. Forward thinking and internationally aware, Horita creates unique dishes fusing traditional Japanese with international influences. Hello Sushi is a calm haven in the middle of the vibrant Raval.
Opening hours: 12:30-16:30, 20:30-24:30
C/ Junta de Comerç, 08001, Barcelona
Phone: +34 934 120830
Kynoto is a small sushi bar tucked away in the heart of the Barrio Gotico. With space for just 24 people, the feel is both intimate and stylish. Exquisite presentation and personal service make this the perfect option for those looking for an evening of ‘seduction by sushi’.
Opening hours: 21:00-02:00
C/ Correu Vell 8, 08002, Barcelona
Phone: +34 932 682540
Small place with japanese chef from Tottori. Sushi Sashimi and japanese autenthic foods. Homemade japanese butter roll bread.
Opening hours: 12.00-16.00/20.00-23.00
C/Allada Vermell 10, 08003 Barcelona
Phone: +34 616.527.729
June 12th, 2010 at 11:12, posted by Clarol