When visiting Barcelona a few weeks ago, I went to The Mandarin Oriental hotel and their new Bistreau restaurant. The Mandarin Hotels are always outstanding – luxurious, sometimes understated but always of such a high quality and I love visiting them. It’s my personal mission to at least eat in every single one of them (good luck with that I hear you say!) and so far I can tick off Paris, London, Tokyo and Barcelona…ok there are still many more to go! It was a hot day in the city and pollen counts were at a high so to relieve myself of itchy eyes and a streaming nose I welcomed the hotel lobby and it’s air conditioning. As always with these hotels, you never know what to expect so I was delighted to see that Bistreau was set in the heart of the hotel, all blues, turquoises, greys and whites..my kind of colour scheme. And it was peaceful and calm and aaahhhh….it was so nice to rest my weary feet! Plus the light was too good not to take any pictures.
Everything about this dining experience was elegant – from the thin, streamlined gold cutlery, to the woven mats and the comfortable high-backed chairs. The menu was presented beautifully and had a 20’s feel about the design, it immediately appealed to my design sense with fun and intriguing titles for courses and little illustrations. My favourite thing was from the sharing options – the ‘Bravas from the sea’ which was prawns and kimuchi deep fried and served with a spicy sauce. The dish evoked such a memory, one of sitting on the seaside with fish and chips…the flavour was just like fish and chips in a bag rolled into one. I also really loved the Croquettes which included squid, squid ink and bechemal. I polished off the whole portion myself. Call me boring but I opted for the steak for main course…as my friend (who owns a pub) said ‘you can always tell good food by how it cooks it’s steak) and this steak was delicious. Pudding was simply ‘orange blossom and figs’ and very hard to explain…but it was a real burst of fresh flavour and the perfect end to great food.
Make sure you go to the roof terrace to check out the pool the views over Barcelona...pretty cool!