Sunday, October 16, 2011

Barcelona - Comerc, 24

Barcelona is very much the cradle of newer cuisine.  Ferran Adria has left his mark in many places, and Carles Abellan, the owner of Comerc, 24 has worked for Adria at El Bulli and has also managed his other ventures.  Needless to say, there is an Adria mark on the food at Comerc, 24.  The food is served very much tapas style, all in reasonably small portions, but there are enough courses in the tasting menu so you don't leave hungry.

Choice of breads and oils
They are quick to impress as soon you are all settled, ordered (ie. left it to the chef), and served the apertifs.  A wooden case with 4 Spanish olive oils and 3 freshly baked loaves delivered to the counter seat where we were.  This is probably the only place on our whole trip where we had any semblance of a warm loaf.  The 4 oils were distinctly different and interestingly so.  Pity I didn't take better notes.

Dinner was 10 courses (excluding desserts).  There were many hits and while all were executed well, some were a little more blah.  Here's a glimpse into the Festival Menu.

Cauliflower with smoked tea and nori
Cauliflower with rice vinegar and ginger
Monkfish with black sesame and black garlic
The fish section was a decent enough starter, alongside the cauliflower cold soup with smoked tea and nori.  No wows.  But the vinegared cauliflower was too much reminiscent of the type of pickled cauliflower you get from the tableside little pot at your local wanton noodle shop.  So it did nothing for me except remind me of home.

Filo, Parma, Basil and Lemon
 A nice savory take on the local Catalan biscuit version.

Pizza 24
This was a wowzer primarily because everything was so fresh.  Tomatoes, figs, Burrata and Basil are definitely best friends.

Sardines with Orange and fresh Wasabi
Same wow factor with fresh sardines, given a tang by the citrusy orange.  The wasabi was mild enough not to intrude and the crushed dry-fried pine nuts were just clever.

Tuna tartar
Another wow.  We've all had chopped tuna (a chutoro cut no less) topped with salmon roe.  But to seal them with an egg yolk sauce was just plain touch of heaven.  Really didn't want this one to end.

Consomme with Parmesan, Truffle and Egg
This one was great for the novelty factor.  White for Parmesan, Yellow for Egg and of course, Black for Truffle.  Tasted good too - the flavors coming through more than it looked.

Cod with Romesco
The zucchini flower is always welcome.  Good overall but the cod was an ok for me.

Duck rice with Foie
Another one of his specialties, we thought it was too small since it was really good.  But we understood why since the ball of foie cream did get rich and heavy.  Meant to be eaten all together, this was the epitome of duck coming through.  Again the crunch was clever to lift away some of the heaviness and the chewing allowed you to savor the goodness for that much longer.

To cleanse our senses, we weren't told to go outside to get some fresh air.  Instead we were served a couple of sprigs of Rosemary in a bowl of hot water and just told to breathe.  Ah.....

Whiting with Mediterranean Vinaigrette
Good but not great.  It felt that the whiting might have been over-vinegared very slightly, but the crisp fish skin was a nice touch.

Sirloin with Turnips
Very decent cut of beef but the turnips were clever and light, especially since we were nearing the end and getting full (though not uncomfortable).  It was also reminiscent of the soft radish from a braised beef brisket consomme in Hong Kong.

Dessert was 5 courses.  Probably the most we had at any place.

Lemon Ice Tea
 Light start to switch into dessert mode.  Not a real fan of pineapple though.

Loved the lightness of this one.  Great palate cleanser and felt like breakfast all over again.

Recuit Napolita with Strawberries
This was my least favorite since the cheese chosen was a little too blue for me.  A tad too strong and overpowered everything else in the little pot.

 Nice build up with chocolate bits, to the grand finale.

Conguitos C, 24
This was my favorite.  It really was reminiscent of a chilled Peanut M&M, as our server warned.  And boy was it the grand finale of desserts.  Excellent.

Petit fours
The green tea white chocolate deserves special mention!

Overall, an excellent experience which although executed in the heart of Catalan, were nothing short of an infusion of international cultures, especially Japanese.  Thoroughly enjoyable.  Special thanks to @g4gary for the recommendation!

Carrer Comerc, 24
Barcelona 08003
Tel: +34- 933192102


  1. Ed - I stumbled upon your review from TripAdvisor! I ate here back in September and am always delighted to read others reviews and check out their beautiful photos, too!

  2. Hi Daisy
    thanks for visiting! Hope it brought back good memories of the restaurant and the city that is Barca!