Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tapas and Beyond in Barcelona, Part 2: Bar Mut

It's all in the detail with Barcelona. Magnificent and intricate design is on the floors, ceilings, crawling up lamposts and mosaiced onto park benches. At the risk of sounding like an ignoramous, little did I know this extended to tapas as well...

We arrived at Bar Mut in true late Spanish fashion for 10:30pm. Even then there were numerous "Reserved" signs scattered on tables. The marble bar with a bronze edge instantly calls for glamourous elbow leaning whilst sipping a glass of clara. Beads of light cast from the glittery disco ball above circle the room, creating the perfect Friday night ambience. 

Bar Mut is what I'd call contemporary tapas, you can be sure there is a twist and turn to every dish that arrives despite the humble names. Our octopus salad was probably one of the more "normal" dishes: gorgeously marinated, octopus still bouncy and tasting of the sea. Diced tomato and chives that lay on top mixed into the dressing to add freshness.

We were transported back to spring with the wood pigeon salad, that came with green leaves, mushrooms, pomegranate and walnuts. A thin sliver of apple sat on top the wood pigeon mound and was also accompanied by an apple puree. Though an incredibly impossible dish to share, this was wild, light and sweet all in one go.

Every dish that arrived was a little picture perfect moment. Our next tapa was fried potato "noodles", so crispy it's more like the crunchy bits of Bombay mix. A broken egg lay beneath the noodles, sauteed prawns and pine nuts. This was surely the modern version of patatas bravas con huevos (fried potatoes with eggs), which is a lot less satisfying when you don't have a soft fluffy potato inside to soak up the runny egg! It was more of a assembly of items than the sum of interesting parts.

And then a breathtaking dish came along. Layers of crispy potato noodles (again), stacked up and slotted in between a mushroom compote. All topped off with a perfectly positioned bright yellow egg yolk, with a mini sprig of thyme. The egg was so meticulously placed, it reminded me of a bald man's head crowned with an olive leaf wreath. It also felt like an absolute crime piercing the yolk! The combination of items was incredible: a rich yolk, crunchy noodles and earthy and soft mushrooms were simply divine. There was a sweet balsamic glaze that smoothed it all out nicely.

Onwards to a hearty Wild Boar stew. I'm not sure I would have guessed it was wild boar if I hadn't known, but still a warming and robust dish, dotted with pomegranates to lift those deep flavours.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the seared steak topped with foie gras. Every bit as decadent as it sounds, the beef fillets were juicy, yielding and blushed like a schoolgirl after her first kiss. The foie gras provided a layer of velvety unctuousness, with a hint of thyme. So naughty, and oh so very nice. 

Like I said, this city is covered in immense detail, and it's food is no exception. Beautiful to the eye and delightful to the palate, Bar Mut is a must visit in Barcelona if you want to experience this exciting and evolving tapas scene. There is a fantastic selection of wine as well, and the staff go out of their way to be accommodating and helpful. The damage was £35 between five, for all dishes, 2 bottles of wine and a dash of beer. Muy Bien!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, it's true. A previous mug in Petrus Soul Bar, close to Mut's is a must.