We had tried going to Bodega 1900 last year, but they were fully booked and we ended up heading back to Tapas 24 for our 6th time in the space of 10 days (I will get to to them later on as we went even more times this trip).
Bodega have a very different atmosphere to most Spanish tapas restaurants, it is pretty quiet, very touristy and the waiters actually speak English – which I think is frowned upon if you’re looking for an authentic experience while travelling. However, the food and especially the dessert, made up for any lack of broken English and incorrect use of words.
We asked the waiter what he could recommend, he did, and we got the Chef’s choice. Which is basically whatever the Chef feels like sending out that night, so we got an 8 course meal – tapas – on our first night.
The first few courses were very peculiar, the one was a olive “capsule” and the other a plate of sardines smothered in olive oil. Both were extremely delicious. The olive capsule was bizarre, the waiter said you should use the wooden spoon it is on, and push it above your palette and it will pop. We did that and it popped. It was the most satisfying olive eating experience I have ever had. It was like drinking an olive, but 100 x better. This is their signature starter, and I can see why.
The next few dishes were really good, we had mussels, oysters, calamari, tomato bread (Spanish classic) and some meat. The best part of the meal was the dessert. It was melon infused with white vermouth. Omg. We often hear of people injecting watermelon with vodka and then eating it, well this was a classier version of that. And a helluva nicer.
I decided to get a glass of normal vermouth, which was the Campari red opposed to the white that was used in the melon. What makes the dish so good, other than the light (heavy) buzz you get once you’re done, is the way it is presented. You actually don’t want to eat it because it’s nothing you have ever seen before. I spent about 10 minutes figuring out how they had cut the melon into this awesome shape and how long it must’ve taken.
Anyway. It was unreal. Had a great tube ride back to the hotel and woke up super early to get ready for the first day of the Barcelona Open.
Tapas 24 and the little ones in-between
So Tapas 24 is a home away from home. We walked in and the waiter called us family, it was an incredible thing to have remembered two random South Africans from a year ago and call us family and demand to serve us. South African restaurants could learn a thing or two from them, I have been to some places in Cape Town so often I should be paying rent, been served by the same person 90% of the time and they act as if you’re a long lost relative who they would rather not see, ever again.
We specifically went back to Tapas 24, because they have the best food in the world and because they literally make you feel as if you’re family. The guy called us family and told the whole place we were family so I am not even joking when I say they make you feel at home – other than the fact that they speak broken English and everyone dresses like they should be in magazine spreads.
They unfortunately, or fortunately, didn’t have the crab hot dog, which Muzza devoured a record 4 times last year. But they had a crab salad, “Which is using the same crab as last year” – said the waiter, and Muzza immediately thought to himself, “Must have been a big crab!” – but avoided the awkward dad joke silence remembering he is only 24 and needs to stop himself.
We accidentally, well got over excited, and ordered everything at once. So our tiny table for two suddenly looked like a party for eight, but they don’t know us too well – which was evident when we ordered two oxtails and the waiter said, “They serve two each (whilst looking at the 8 plates that we had devoured and pictured his oxtail joining the carnage in-front of him)”.
The bikini comerc is the dish you always order when you go there, that and the Mc Foie burger. The sandwich has black truffle, cured Iberian ham and buffalo mozzarella. The burger is a beef burger with foie-grass and foie ganache. The lemon pudding is also to die for, I would die for it. It is lemon puree, lemon sorbet and lemon custard inside this gigantic lemon. (I will attach an English menu at the end).
The little ones in-between…
So the little ones in-between, in-between what you may ask, well in-between Tapas 24, watching tennis, shopping and sleeping.
We went to the El Nacional – which is a huge communal eating area down an alley off of Psg De Gracia. We were dying to eat there as it looked pretty awesome, I wish Cape Town had one of these opposed to the shanty markets that seem to be popping up everywhere. It has four restaurants, two on either side, and in the middle there are three bars. A wine and beer bar, a oyster bar and a Tapas bar. We sat at the Tapas bar because every other place was full, as it was during dinner and lunch the previous three days.
We went to a place that was a few tube stops away from us, we got the tube to Liceu and walked to the restaurant which was called Suculent . It is a fairly new one that was opened by a young up and coming chef Toni Romero who was won over 9 awards in the space of a few years for his restaurants and creations, including three of his restaurants getting three Michelin stars.
The starters and the main were really good, but nothing like the Oxtail or Crab salad we had at Tapas 24. What was amazing was the pudding, like most Spanish restaurants, the pudding is always one of the best dishes. Suculent had a small variety of puddings but the one that I chose I will never forget, it was simple but mind blowing. I had strawberries infused with melted white chocolate and sprinkled with sugar. I didn’t know what I was ordering as it was in Spanish and the waiter recommended it. So when I saw a plate of strawberries, I thought, well this is just fab – fruit for dessert. That was until I bit into it.
Our trip then came to and end.
We left fat, full and satisfied.
Here are some social links for the above:
Muzza Out x