Quimet & Quimet is a revelation.
In Barcelona there are heaps of restaurants, of all different styles and cuisines. I’ve eaten Vietnamese, vegan, thai and tapas. I’ve had some excellent tapas (in the Boqueria market for one – I’ll post about that in the future) and some dreadful tapas (in the back streets of Raval). It seems that the quality varies dramatically from place to place, even though often the menus all look very similar.
Quimet & Quimet, however, breaks with convention. There are no Patatas Bravas on this menu – a staple of every tapas joint on the Ramblas. There are also no seats in this restaurant. This unique, standing-room-only, tiny deli-tapas bar wouldn’t seem out of place in New York.
It is fast-paced, busy and cramped with three staff members squashed behind a tiny counter making cold tapas dishes at a rate of knots. And they are delicious.
We have visited three times now and have had fabulous food on each occasion. Sometimes with a little elbow room, sometimes squashed up against strangers. Each time tasty, interesting and not over-priced.
On this occasion, with some visiting foodie friends, we ate a variety of small plates including:
And probably more… we ate well and drank delicious wine and beer with our feast. The food at Quimet y Quimet is all cold and much is antipasti/deli-style food. It combines strong flavours deftly and offers a riot of textures too.
The Iberian pork cheek is incredibly rich, cut through by the mushrooms and sweet onions served with it. It’s definitely one for sharing – a whole portion could get too much.
The crisps are something you probably wouldn’t think to order, but they are thick-cut, very crunchy and arrive liberally drizzled with what I assume is a sweet white balsamic reduction. They are a sensation.
The goat’s cheese goes down very well with my vegetarian husband (note to veggies reading this… there is not a huge amount of choice for you, but if you love food it’s worth visiting just for the experience!) – thick wedges of soft cheese sat on top of a crunchy bread with a tart dry tomato paste.
The swordfish was less popular than the goat’s cheese with our guests, but still disappeared nonetheless!
After a speedy service and lots of shuffling around to accommodate other people ordering and staff gathering up plates, the room began to thin out. With a little more space to breathe we decided dessert was in order and shared Liquerized Peaches and Medlars in Grape Spirit. They were fascinating!
The liquerised peaches are simply divine – boozy soft peaches served with a sprinkle of sugar & cinnamon. When the peaches are gone there’s a little contest to see who gets to drink the left-over liquer. A sweet treat all round.
The medlars offer a more unusual flavour, with a fizzy sherberty taste from the grape spirit, a drizzle of chocolate and a sharper feel in the mouth. These are a great palate cleanser and well worth a try.
Notes to dessert fans – I can’t remember which of the desserts was which from the images… but both are fabulous. Also, one time we ordered the pineapple and avocado pudding, which turned out to be pineapple with Advocaat – a very different thing and definitely better than pairing it with avocado!
So, full and over-whelmed by all the unusual flavours, the hectic convivial atmosphere and (I must admit) the wine… we headed out into the night in search of a bar with some cava and seats!
If you’re visiting Barcelona then you should definitely try to grab a space at this fab restaurant, but be careful to check the opening hours first and prepare yourself for the hustle & bustle and possibly a wait to squeeze in!
Quimet & Quimet Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday: 12–4pm & 7–10:30pm
Saturday & Sunday 12–4pm
Quimet & Quimet Address:
Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25 08004 Barcelona
Tel: 934 42 31 42