Category Archives: Europe – Spain

Casa Rubio – Cordoba, Spain

We went to Cordoba to visit the Mezquita, a former Visigothic Christian church turned mosque and which is now a Catholic Cathedral!

<inside the Mezquita>

After visiting the Mezquita, our guide recommended Casa Rubo.. which is a Michelin Guide – recommended restaurant!



huevo con pisto (fried egg with vegetables)…  the vegetables are like the veggies from minestrone soup…

grilled squid

japuta adobo (fried marinated fish)…. we didn’t like this dish because the batter was so thick and the fish was tasteless..

rabo toro (braised oxtail with potatoes)… Cordoba is in a region of Spain called Andalusia and oxtail is a specialty in their cuisine.  The oxtail is marinated and then cooked till the meat falls off the bone! Delicious!

Casa Rubio

C/ Puerta de Almodóvar, 3
14003 Cordoba, Spain
957 420 853


Bilbao-Berria – Barcelona, Spain

The highlight of our trip was watching Barça take on Napoli for the Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou!

The atmosphere at the game was electrifying! Most of the 90,000 seats were filled …people wore Barça jerseys.. trumpets were blasting..endless body waves.. everyone singing along to the Barça song…

And Barça won 5-0! After the game, we had a late dinner (11:30pm) at Bilbao-Berria.

I passed by it a couple times before and it always seemed to be packed… so we decided to give it a try (and most other places were closed)..

clockwise from top: imitation crab with roe; BBQ chicken; shrimp; egg, pepper and anchovy

anchovy, pepper, onion and olive

the chocolate drizzled creme puff was ok.. the dark chocolate ball had a ganache filling inside!


Bilbao Berria 

Plaça Nova 3, El Barri Gòtic
Tel: + 34 933 170 124
open till midnight

La Torna @ Mercat Santa Caterina – Barcelona, Spain

Compared with the hectic, tourists-filled La Boqueria, Mercat Santa Caterina is a lesser known market but offers a more relaxed and authentic market experience.

Mercat Santa Caterina was recently remodelled with the addition of a new colourful, wavy, tiled roof.

After a successful morning of shopping on Portal de l’Àngel, we lunched at La Torna, housed at the back of the Mercat Santa Caterina.

Fresh fish, prawns and mussels are displayed along the bar!

complimentary pan con tomate..

grilled squid…very fresh!

grilled mussels.. so fresh! It’s grilled just until the shell opens so the meat is not over cooked!

grilled prawns..  the prawns were huge, sweet and had roe!

seafood special (prawns, mussels, clams and hake).. we ordered this cause we wanted more seafood and this seems like a good deal!

grilled asparagus with romesco sauce…the asapargus was crunchy and the sauce was a standout.  The sauce is made from grounded nuts mixed with garlic, olive oil and small dried peppers.

potato bravas…the potatoes weren’t crispy enough but it was still delicious that we ordered another plate! addicted much?

Café cortado

The above meal cost less than 50 euros and we ate so much seafood! The servers were friendly and tried their best to speak English, the food was delicious and the price was reasonable! That was at noon but we wanted to have a small nibble before going to Camp Nou to watch the football match between Barça and Napoli, so we went back to La Torna at 4pm!!  Since the kitchen was closing and most of the seafood was gone, we didn’t have much choice.  We ended up just eating a plate of prawns and half a portion of mussels… which was still so good!


La Torna @ Mercat Santa Caterina

Carrer d’En Giralt El Pellisser, 2
08003 Barcelona, Spain

opens for breakfast till 4:30pm

Ciudad Condal – Barcelona, Spain

It was Sunday night and even those restaurants which are opened in August are mostly closed.  We decided to try Ciudad Condal, of the same family as Cervecería Catalana.  It’s due to the success of Ciudad Condal that Cervecería Catalana was opened.

This place was also packed when we arrived!

Unlike the sleek modern interior design of Cervecería Catalana, Ciudad Condal’s design is more rustic and homey.

more potato bravas! I’m totally addicted!

huevos cabreaos…this is even better than potato bravas!  Poached eggs and spicy mayo on top of fried potato sticks! The potato sticks are like Hickory Sticks (my favourite childhood snack!) but minus the BBQ flavour!  You mix everything together and you get a delicious gooey crunchy bite!

grilled mushrooms and asparagus… quite tasty but a bit salty..

fried calamari… not good.. tasteless and has a thick batter

mini hamburger with cheese and sweetened onions… the onions were too sweet!

grilled prawns… they were smaller than El Quim’s but it tasted fresh and sweet!

croquette..this was was fried in a batch of used oil… and it was overfried too….


Crema catalana… they included walnut cookies too!

The food’s the same quality at both places but the service was better at Cervecería Catalana.  Another difference is that Cervecería Catalana has a hipper and more local clientele while Ciudad Condal seems to serve more tourists.


Ciudad Condal

Rambla de Catalunya, 18
Barcelona, Spain
933 181 997

Euskal Etxea – Barcelona, Spain

It was Sunday and the Picasso Museum has free admission every Sunday after 3pm! We decided to have a late lunch before going because just a few door down from the museum is Euskal Etxea.

Euskal Etxea was one of the first places to introduce the tapas culture in Barcelona and it serves Basque food.. so it’s called pinxtos instead of tapas.

Displayed throughout the bar are all sorts of bread with toppings on top, held together by a toothpick. You get a plate and just pick whatever catches your eye! You don’t need to pay yet cause when you’re done, the waiter will count your toothpicks and total up the amount.

1st round (clockwise from top): jamón serrano; anchovy, pepper and some thing mixed with mayo; smoked salmon; imitation crab with mayo

I forgot what these were…

grilled squid… it just came out of the kitchen and the servers went around asking if we wanted something hot from the kitchen!

the anchovy, pepper and some thing mixed with mayo bread and imitation crab with mayo were so good we had to get seconds!

and thirds!

I like this type of self-serve tapas bar cause it’s more laid back and there was a huge variety of different bread! We kept on eating and eating and ended up with 24 toothpicks! Each toothpick is 1.8 euros and the bill came up to nearly 40 euros!  However, dad was grumbling afterwards that this was such an expensive meal and all he ate was bread!


Euskal Etxea

Placeta de Montcada, 1-3 (Barcelona).
Tel: 933 300 303

Cervecería Catalana – Barcelona, Spain

After lunch at El Quim, we had a siesta and then headed to Park Güell.

Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí and it’s like I’ve entered into a land of fairytales!

a gingerbread house-looking building…

By the time we left the park, it was already 8pm and we were already really hungry. We headed to L’Exiample (only 2 metro stops away!) for dinner at Cervecería Catalana.

We got there around 8:30pm and the place was packed!!! There were no empty seats at the bar and the waiting list for a table in the restaurant was at least half an hour!  We found a seat at the bar and were too hungry to wait for more seats, so we ordered some tapas to start.  Thankfully soon after, we got a table!

potato bravas….. mmm.. I like this more than french fries and ketchup!

pan con tomate…. my least favourite pan con tomate in all of Spain… the bread wasn’t even tomato-y….

deep fried cheese with nuts… a really interesting texture combination! tasty!

deep-fried baby squid… these seem to be the frozen kind.. nothing special..

chicken wrap….

grilled shrimps…. again, it’s the frozen kind..

mini hot dogs….nothing special..

some sandwich that was forgettable…

fried sardines…these sardines were meaty and didn’t have the fishy taste..

Crema catalana… this is the Spanish crème brûlée! yummm!

If I haven’t been to Paco Meralgo /Tapaç 24, then I would say the food’s pretty good here.  But because I had tapas and seafood of a higher quality at those two places, I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the tapas dish at Cervecería Catalana.  Price-wise, this was more economical.. we came out stuffed and only paid 70 euros for 4 people.


Cervecería Catalana

08013 Barcelona, Spain
932 160 368

El Quim de la Boqueria – Barcelona, Spain

After a heavy breakfast at the hotel, we decided to stroll along the tree-lined La Rambla to digest!

We walked all the way down to the harbour and by the time we walked back up, we were hungry! Located right off La Rambla is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, a public market.

There are stalls selling vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood etc.. and even tapas bars! The 2 most famous tapas bars in La Boqueria is Pinotxo Bar (which is closed in August) and El Quim.

We decided to lunch at El Quim and with the lunch rush and the less than 20 seats, we had to wait a while..

grilled prawns….these were gigantic!!!!!! The freshness of the prawns was brought out with just a hint of salt! So delicious!

grilled octopus.. again, this was so fresh!

2 fried eggs topped with baby squid…this is one of the signature dish at El Quim.  The baby squids, fried in their own ink, along with the semi-runny egg yolk makes each spoonful such a delight! This is the best `breakfast`dish ever!

potato bravas… so yummy that we ordered another plate!

We liked the food so much that on our last morning in Barcelona we also went to El Quim! We got there at 8am for breakfast but they told us to come back at 8:30 since the kitchen wasn’t ready yet.  The chef above is owner Quim making the Spanish omelettes!

potato omelette…all the other potato omelettes we ate were made before-hand but since we got here just as it opened, we got to taste freshly cooked tortilla! This tortilla was very juicy!

zucchini, pepper and onion omelette.. I like this tortilla more because the vegetables make this more juicy!

grilled baby squid…unfortunately, this was very salty 😦

BocaQUIM (pork loin, asparagus, onion confit, Modena reduction and fried egg)…the best sandwich ever cause it has all my favourite food!! The pork was tender, the onions were so flavourful and the fried egg was cooked perfectly!  So good we had to order another one!


El Quim de la Boqueria 

Stalls 584-585-606-607-608-609 at La Boqueria

Rambles , 91, Barcelona