Saturday 5 July 2008

Barca. Barking mad.

Sorry it had to be said.

Please don't ever go here. I am, of course, referring to the place masquerading as a tapas joint on the top floor of Princes Square, not the beloved capital of Catalunya. I don't think I have ever slammed a place as much as I am about to this one. Maybe it's the large quantities of alcohol (two 1919 and lime) that I had to imbibe to numb the pain, or maybe I am still a little pissed off for having the piss taken. What's more annoying is that I didn't have my camera with me to prove how bad it was (it was at home charging).

HI and I were in town, a place bereft of decent places to eat. We were on route to one of the few reliable places for lunch, the Italian caffe, when HI queried whether there was anything else en route? I knew that Barca had Pimentos de Padron on it's menu, and fresh back from Barcelona, hankered for some. Up we went, I should have known it was going to be bad as the place was full of Saturday shoppers. Undeterred we ordered from a menu that was spookily like the one from Italian Caffe only pretending to be Spanish in origin.

Optimistically we ordered pan amb tomate, aceitunas, padron and a plate of meat. As soon as the olives arrived I knew we had made a mistake. I had forgotten we were not in Barcelona, or even the Italian Caffe for that matter. For £2.50 a measley little bowl of dried up olives, that probably had been tipped out of some jar and never even rinsed of their brine, let alone seen a marinade was put in front of us. I ate one and left the rest in disgust. I turned to HI half jokingly, half worriedly and said I bet the pan amb tomate comes with tomato juice from a tin or a tube. It was worse, bits of bread piled high with chopped tomato whose only saving grace was that they had put some garlic in it and seasoned it, more bruschetta than pam anb tomate. The meat platter too, was measely, £11.95 for 3 slices each of chorizo, salami, lomo and parma ham all of which were cut too thick. Compare this to the very generous plate served at IC which we often can't finish and which is of far superior quality. The only thing that didn't disappoint were the Padron. However, I have realised I can buy them online negating the need for me to have crap meal like this one is the vain hope of re-creating the experience one gets in the true Barca.
For this and two glasses of wine it came to £36 quid and they add on service charge without asking you, so just to re-iterate.
Please don't go here and waste your money.

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