Restaurant review - Tickets Barcelona

by Alex Crossley - September 2012

tickets-barTickets Barcelona
Avinguda Paral·lel 164,
08015 Barcelona,
Catalonia
Spain

Guest food blogger, Alex Crossley, runs away to join the circus in Barcelona...

One late September morning, my friend Gala and I trekked twenty minutes through the streets of Barcelona in search of the infamous Catalan chef Ferran Adrià's fairground tapas bar, Tickets! We arrived at our destination in a seemingly un-touristy part of town where we were faced with a facade of windows dressed in weird and wonderful ways with foodie quotes and fairground trinkets galore. We peered in through the glass to witness the intricately organised chaos of the kitchen and waiting staff preparing for the evening's spectacle.

With a two month waiting list, we were not hopeful at entering the circus, yet we returned a few hours later at 7pm to queue and snap up any cancellations. Waiting in hope, we once again nosied in through the window, a scene dramatically different to that of a few hours before... the waiters casual clothes had been replaced with circus master costumes, the trail of produce being carted by the hungry public and the flurry of passionate chefs whipping up weird and wonderful creations!tickets-barcelona-ambience

We were so engrossed in the spectacle taking place through the glass that we were somewhat startled when we got a tap on the shoulder to tell us that there was a table available for us. Lady luck strikes again!

The idea of the restaurant is to have fun in the circus ambiance, giant icing hamburger and all, and to play with the senses. The latter was certainly achieved with our first experience... liquid olives. Carefully placed onto a silver fish shaped spoon, these parcels of jelly-like olive replicas burst on the roof of the mouth to release a unique liquid with the exact taste of the olive but with a distinct consistency, though surprisingly not like olive oil.tickets-barcelona-olive-tomato

Onwards through the bite-size courses passing a tomato cone full of tomato seeds with an ice cream texture, rabbit taco with red sauce and carrot and cheese ravioli of the same consistency as the olives.

The desserts did not disappoint and were tantalisingly tasty! The first was black sesame and white chocolate lava rock which literally came in the form of a rock. Yet it certainly didn't taste like one... a consistency similar to an Aero which melted in the mouth. This was followed by a huge commotion with a bell, a bicycle and an old school ice cream trolley. We were unaware of what was going on until we realised that the fuss was in our honour when the lady asked if we had ordered mango sorbet... which we had! Though it's name makes it sound way too simple... a perfect balance between creamy ice cream and refreshing sorbet. The perfect way to end an extraordinary experience!tickets-barcelona-lava

The food, the experimentation with the senses, the kitsch and busy ambiance... the whole experience was unforgettable!

Ambiance: 10/10

Service: 9/10

Food: 8/10

(the food is great and beautifully presented, but if it's true Spanish tapas you are looking for, this may not be the place!)

Tips:

To avoid disappointment, book in advance (a theatrical experience in itself)... and I mean advance: at least a month! You can queue up as we did, however not everyone manages to grab a table this way.

This restaurant is a great way to try the famous chef's weird and wonderful creations without emptying your pockets too much. We were travelling on a budget and managed to only spend €24 euros each including a beer. However this will not fill you up, we treated it as the first of two last suppers. If you would like to eat a lot, you are looking at around €35/40 per person, which is still great value for what you receive!

Tickets Barcelona Website

Alex Crossley is "an English girl tasting her way around the world"; you can follow her adventures by checking out her excellent blog comomanger or by following her on twitter @comomanger.

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