May 30, 2015

Usagui Barcelona - Japanese Cafe

Usagui Barcelona

I just recently discovered Usagui, and it's already my favorite Japanese in Barcelona. When we think about Japanese restaurants, we tend to associate this concept to sushi, and yet Japanese cuisine is so much more than this! 

We have amazing ramen in town, like Ramen-Ya Hiro, and also, luckily, Japanese cafes, my favorite. There's currently two in Barcelona, Takashi Ochiai, a Japanese bakery and cafe I must write a review on soon, and Usagui, an absolute hidden gem. 

Usagui is run by a Japanese couple and the sister of the wife, making of this a perfect family business cafe. Not only do they serve outstanding matcha drinks and Japanese desserts such as mochis or matcha cakes, they also have some dishes available for lunch and dinner. Absolutely everything is homemade, of course. Usagui means Rabbit in Japanese, and you're bound to see little rabbits everywhere: in their business card, decorating the blackboards at the entrance, on their menus, and even their  hashioki (the chopstick rest) is a cute little rabbit. 

The first time we visited {last week}, we went for tea and absolutely adored it, so we decided to go back yesterday for dinner. We had Yakisoba Omu {Yakisoba noodles wrapped with egg}, and Oyakodon {Chicken and egg with rice}. 

Usagui Barcelona

Both dishes were delicious, but I liked the Yakisoba the best. We had miso soups as well. And for drinks J had cold matcha latte, and I had a hot matcha latte with soy milk. Matcha latte is my absolute favorite drink in the whole world, and I cannot understand why Starbucks has it in Hong Kong but not in Spain :'(

Visited on: May 29, 2015
Overall Quality: 5*
 You may find matcha latte sort of expensive at 
4€ but I think it's all worth it for the quality you get. Cake slices are around 4 as well, and main dishes around 9€. We paid 31 for this dinner. They lunch set for 11€.
Value for Money: 5*
Would I recommend it? You simply cannot miss it. It feels like being in Japan!

Carrer dels Santjoanistes, 28 (next to Plaça Molina)
Phone: 93 200 55 41
Opening hours: 
Tue: 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Wed-Sat: 1:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Sun: 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Closed on Monday

May 25, 2015

Barcelona Beach - A stroll

During these almost 9 months since Liam was born, lots of you have asked me to do more blog posts of our daily life with him. I myself think these kind of posts, like any of these ones, are lovely, and don't know why I haven't been posting more of them. I'll try to do more of these lifestyle posts, it's always so nice to look back at them after a while!

On Saturday I told the hubby I really felt like going to the W Hotel Barcelona. This striking sail-like structure has been in the city for almost 6 years now, and I still hadn't found the time to visit! I've heard the restaurants located on the seaside next to the hotel are a good choice, so that's something I look forward to trying out soon, too!

I was wearing our shoe brand, Xicc shoes

The weather continues to be lovely in Barcelona, albeit a bit windy. I was a bit cold by the time we got back home around 7 PM. 

I absolutely love Barcelona having all these beaches and its big port. Even if I live in the city, anytime we go on a stroll next to the sea I feel like being on holidays. Isn't it just perfect? :)

May 22, 2015

Afternoon Tea At The Grand Hyatt - Hong Kong

I still hadn't shared the afternoon tea Chloris and I {with little Liam} enjoyed at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong back in February. I had been looking forward to this afternoon tea for a while, I had wanted to try it lots of times while I lived in Hong Kong, but for one reason or another I never ended up going in the end. I'm glad I finally managed to during my last trip to Hong Kong, although truth be told, it was rather disappointing. We went there on the third day of the Chinese New Year, and there was an extra service charge because of it, which means we ended up forking in more than I found was reasonable! The price on weekdays is $596, and $656 on weekends and public holidays, except that this was a special public holiday and the bill turned out to be... $800 Oh-My.

The thing I had been looking forward to the most was the Croquembouche, a majestic French dessert consisting of a pyramid of cream puffs, cemented together with toffee. It looks absolutely stunning. I heard this was available on weekends and public holidays only, hence the reason why I never even thought about going there on a weekday. Well, what was my disappointment when there was no Croquembouche whatsoever on my visit to Tiffin {where afternoon tea is served at the Grand Hyatt}! I know for a fact they did have it before because my friend Marie went a couple years ago and she told me. Maybe I should have asked the waiters whatever happened to it :( This is a picture of a croquembouche, a.k.a. pièce montée I found on Pinterest:

Breathtaking or not!?

The high tea at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is not only about the tiered stand, though. There's a huge dessert buffet that includes yummy waffles, 4 different kinds of delicious ice-cream, 2 sorbets, popcakes, candy and cakes. Seeing this you may think the price is totally worth it. Maybe it is. The point is you can only eat that much food right? So I never really enjoyed buffets, specially for afternoon tea. If you've ever had the traditional English afternoon tea, you'll know you get full only with what's on the three-tiered stand, so for me there's no need for more.

There's life music (piano, violin and cello) during the high tea, which makes it really nice. We couldn't see them from our table though :(

As you can see from the tea stand, it was a good idea for this tea set to have a buffet, because there wasn't much stuff on the stand. I didn't particularly like the food on the tea stand, to be frank. The waffle with ice-cream from the buffet was remarkable though. But then, that's not what I go looking for in an afternoon tea, hence my disappointment. I remember the tea selection being rather poor, too. I can't recall it exactly, so if I'm wrong please correct me, but I remember me not being the least excited about the tea.

Visited on: February, 2015
Overall Quality: 3.5*
 A bit over HK$800 on the day we visited! Check above for a better price detail explanation 
Value for Money: 2*
Would I recommend it? Quite frankly, I wouldn't. There's so many better choices out there!

May 18, 2015

Port d'Aiguadolç

We had a wonderful lunch in Sitges on Saturday to celebrate my dad's feast day. El Port d'Aiguadolç, a port complex in Sitges, is one of those places we love on special occasions during the warm season. As it happens, all our most important days except for the hubby's birthday and my own feast day, happen between may and october, so we end up coming back to this place more often than not. The weather this year is absolutely amazing, it started being hot in April and it hasn't stopped ever since. I still remember how last year it didn't really get that hot until August! Of course that was a blessing to me, since I was pregnant and the last thing I wanted was my feet to get even more swollen! 

There's two restaurants we love at el Port d'Aiguadolç: Can Laury and La Taberna del Puerto. Both have amazing rice dishes: paellas and soupy rice with lobster ,the latter being my favorite! That's exactly what we had, too bad I only took pictures for snapchat but forgot about the camera entirely! Btw, go add me on snapchat @oliviaschoice if you still haven't to see what I'm up to everyday! 

I was wearing a gorgeous dress from Dandara, a lovely classy Spanish brand that has the most perfect dresses for special occasions. You can find mine here.

Which other restaurants would you recommend in the area? I'd love to hear!

May 8, 2015

Palo Alto Market - Barcelona

Barcelona is all about trendy street markets these days: the Lost & Found Market, Eat Street, Mercantic... and since half a year ago also Palo Alto Market. This past weekend weekend we went to Palo Alto, and we loved it. Vintage caravans transformed into food trucks that serve high quality street food, local entrepreneurs that showcase their brands, and art exhibitions, all in a dreamy location: the gardens of an old industrial warehouse in the Poblenou neighborhood. Take a look at the pictures and judge by yourself. I think you'll definitely be paying a visit to Palo Alto market soon!

This pop-up market usually opens its doors the first weekend of every month, but this month is opening up again on the weekend of 23-24 May, so there's your chance! Do not even by one second go there without havnig previously bought your ticket online with the Zapper app (you can find all the info on Palo Alto market's website). The queue to get in is NEVER-ENDING! You can skip the whoooole line by purchasing your ticket (2€) online. Oh, did I mention, the first time you visit, if you buy your ticket online, it's free! 

Palo Alto market
C/ dels Pellaires, 30
08019 Barcelona