January 31, 2015

Flax&Kale Brunch - Barcelona

You've probably heard of Teresa Carles, Barcelona's most renowned vegetarian restaurant, and here I am today ready to introduce to you its little brother: Flax&Kale, which aims at providing healthy nutritious food. Last month the hubby, Liam, my parents and I visited for the weekend brunch, and it was alright, yet not outstanding. There's nothing like my favorite brunch ever, anyway.

First disappointment: by noon their kale chips, which I REALLY wanted to try, were sold out. Seriously?! I had a veggie burger that came with a carrot instead of the kale chips :( The burger was good, but I still like the one at the other brunch I mentioned earlier better! :D

The hubby had eggs benedict and my parents had scrambled eggs, kale salad and spaghettini. I'd say everything was good except for the pasta which didn't have much flavor. I had been to Flax&Kale once before for breakfast and had their Açaí Bowl, which I loved! I would go back for that, but probably not for the brunch, because for what you get, I think it's pricey. 

Next to Flax&Kale is Teresa's Juicery, the other sibling of Teresa Carles and Flax&Kale, where cold pressed juices are made. They are really good, yet expensive at €5 per juice. They are served at Flax&Kale, too. My parents had an Antiox and a Green Slim Fit juice, while I had a chai latte that was quite yummy.

Visited on: December, 2014
Overall Quality: 4*
 Around 15 euros per person for the brunch
Value for Money: 3.5*
Would I recommend it? It is a lovely venue, and their food is actually good, just a bit pricey. I'd definitely recommend visiting at least once, though!

Tallers, 74B

January 20, 2015

Cacao Sampaka Barcelona

cacao sampaka barcelona
Cacao Sampaka is definitely something. If you go and pay close attention to all it has to offer, with its chocolate from all over the world in the form of chocolates, bars, etc., you’ll find yourself in a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory kinda experience. Even the name, Cacao Sampaka, suits the theme well. I wouldn’t find it weird to say “I saw an Oompa-Loompa at Sampaka's today” :D 

cacao sampaka barcelona

As a chocolate passionate, I knew Cacao Sampaka and I would become good friends as soon as I read their statement: "Cacao Sampaka was created to propagate the culture of cocoa, to revive chocolate tasting as a social custom and to convey our passion for this legendary food of the gods." This definition is basically ME!!! I’m the only weirdo you find in the middle of summer under the Barcelona heat having hot thick chocolate for afternoon tea.

cacao sampaka christmas

Cacao Sampaka must be in one, or several, Japanese guide to Barcelona, because it’s always full with Japanese customers, buying chocolate delicatessen to bring back home. I personally can’t believe I didn’t know of its existance until I recently stumbled upon it by chance. It’s worth spending a while to wander around the shop, since you can learn as many things about cocoa there as in a whole section at the Chocolate Museum. 

cacao sampaka chocolate

If it weren’t good enough with the shop already, Cacao Sampaka has yet another pearl: a sitting area in which to indulge in all their yummy chocolate. There’s so many things I want to try, I’ll definitely need to go back soon. Their cold chocolate drinks come in different flavors, sweet, tea or saffron-flavored! They also have chocolate fondues and chocolate spreads on toast... It sounds mesmerising to me! 

cacao sampaka bar barcelona

With all these treats, you may be wondering why I went for the suís, hot thick chocolate with cream, but it was cold and, oh well, I love hot chocolate, so that’s what I had! In fact their hot chocolate is nothing ordinary! They have the regular 70% one, which I had and was delicious, but also a 80% one! I didn’t dare to try it but I might one day, just because so few places serve it! The pastry wasn’t that yummy, but that’s not their speciality so I guess that’s ok.

cacao sampaka suïss

Visited on: January 2, 2015
Overall Quality: 4.5*
 3.30 for a cup of hot chocolate, or 3.50 for a suïss 
Value for Money: 5*
Would I recommend it? Yes, in fact, you can let me know if you want to go, coz I'll be joining for sure! So many things still left to try :)

Little Liam is always such a good baby letting us enjoy all the afternoon teas in town <3

Consell de Cent, 292
(between Rambla de Catalunya and Balmes)

January 11, 2015

Best Curry in Barcelona - Thailandes

Thailandes Barcelona
They sure are right

You may remember I've been to dreamy Thailand twice, once in Hua Hin as pre-wedding trip, and another time in Phuket, right after our Hong Kong wedding reception. The hubby, on the other hand, has been to Thailand around 10 times in his life. This is why, when we find delicious genuine Thai food, we know it. And, guess what, we have found Thai heaven in Barcelona. Ever since we discovered Thailandes half a year ago, we've been back 8 times. That's a lot for us, considering we seldom repeat restaurant as we always prefer to try new places and Barcelona has way too many restaurants to discover! 

Thai Barcelona

The curry from Thailandes is one of the best either J or I have ever tried, no matter in Thailand, Hong Kong or Europe. I think it is undoubtedly the best curry in Barcelona, definitely a must try for curry fans in the city. The best of them all is the red curry, make sure to order it and you won't regret. The yellow one is really good as well, while the one I liked the least was the green, but then it may be because it was too spicy for me. 

red curry
Red curry

There's a set lunch, from Monday to Friday, for 15 euros, which is what we've always had, because it's a really good deal! There's a starter, a main dish, and a dessert to choose from a very long list that's always the same. 

tom kha goong
Tom Kha Goong

For the starters, I'd recommend the soups the most. The Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup) is my fave. It's a rich, creamy, delicious soup you'll find yourself addicted to. (The one in the picture above is Tom Kha Goong, which is the same but with shrimps instead of chicken, since you can choose). The other soup, one of the most famous dishes from the Thai cuisine, Tom Yum Goong, is a spicy soup with shrimps, also a sure bet. If you're not that into soups, salads are also outstanding, yet spicy, be warned!

As I mentioned, the best main dish is the curry (red, yellow or green in this order), but Pad Thai, the famous stir-fried rice noodle, is another good choice. 

Next month we're going on a trip to Vietnam (yay!), and I'm looking forward to eat real Vietnamese curry, which is different from Thai curry, but delicious as well! I'll let you know how that goes, since it will be the first time to Vietnam for the three of us, the hubby, me and, of course, little Liam :)

Avinguda Diagonal, 379 (next to Passeig de Gràcia)

January 2, 2015

Artte Barcelona - Art & Tea

artte barcelona

Artte is yet another masterpiece by interior designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan, which I introduced to you on my Praktik Rambla Hotel review. This trendy cafe actually specializes in tea, and has a tea shop at the entrance where you can buy loose tea. 

tea shop artte
Did you notice all the tea pots hanging from the chandelier? :)

tienda te artte

It's perfect for either a cup of tea with a pastry or a full meal. We went with a couple of friends we hadn't seen in a while and they had a cup of tea, while J and I had something to eat since we had only had brunch earlier that day. I went for the hummus and eggplant spread, which was absolute delish. I would so totally go for it again! 

The tea selection was huge, just how I like it! So many loose teas to choose from it was hard nailing it down to one. I loved how all the teas come with timers, either digital or in the form of  an hourglass, to tell you when your tea will be ready to be poured. I absolutely loved this, since I find most restaurants don't take proper care about this and you end up pouring a tea that's been sitting for too long or too short. Teas have a timing for god's sake! I particularly liked the sand clocks, simply brilliant!

It was the first time ever for Liam to sit in a high chair, and he LOVED it! He was so curious, and kept touching the little table attached to the high chair, it was just adorable. 

Artte is more than a cafe, it's a place where food and tea meet art. In fact I think its name plays with the word Arte, the Spanish for art, and the word Te, the Spanish for tea. At Artte you can find numerous pop-up art and music exhibitions. You can take a look at the schedule on their website http://artte.es/

artte barcelona

Visited on: December 20, 2014
Overall Quality: 4.5* Everything was perfect, except for the service, which was a bit uptight.
 Around 3.5 euros for a cup of tea. Around 10 euros for a main dish.
Value for Money: 4.5*
Would I recommend it? Yes, it's one of the most gorgeous venues in town.

Muntaner, 83
Closed on Monday