Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lunch Adventures: Mayura Lounge


Indian food for a Spanish palate. For lunch you have a choice between the Indian thali menu or the Mediterranean menu. The thali menu on this particular day had: samosa, chicken saag, rice, lentils, vegetable curry and chapatis. The menu also includes drink (i paid extra for a Cobra beer) and dessert (i chose mango lassi). There are several supplement options if you want additional items like pakoras or a meat other than chicken. Overall the food was nicely spiced but not overly hot. The green chile chutney gave everything a nice extra kick of heat.

Mostly lounge style seating consisting of low sofas/chairs with lots of cushions. Our group sat at the long bar which is divided in the middle by a water feature. Hint: if you sit at the bar you get a discount on the price of the menu.


menus came in english and spanish. our orders were taken quickly and the food came out pretty fast. paying took a bit longer because we were each paying separately.

11.80 for the indian menu

Calle Girona, 57 Barcelona
Tel: 934 814 536

New Series: Lunch Adventures with Restaurant Tickets

One of the best perks from my new job at Xing is the booklet of Sodexo restaurant tickets that I get every month. Each booklet has 43 tickets, each ticket is worth 3 euros. Most of the restaurants around where we work accept these tickets in lieu of cash. This amounts to 129 euros tax-free each month. Can't beat that! It's also a really good way to encourage us to get to know our work colleagues better as we inevitably go for lunch together in a group. Such a nice contrast to the rushed sandwich or tupperware leftovers eaten at your desk, in front of the computer.

The Lunch Adventures posts are going to be all about where we go for lunch and what we eat. And don't forget, if you have Sodexo restaurant tickets, all the places i write about accept them.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sucking vegetables: The Way of the Calçotada

I have a friend Don Purple who is a stylist in New York. Part of what makes him a good stylist is his vast collection of things he's picked up over the years. I remember the last time i saw Don we were in Scotland and his favorite thing to do was trawl the numerous charity shops looking for "collectibles". At that time his collectibles were all porcelain white animals. Anything…bunnies, kittens, puppies, would be considered and sometimes purchased. I confess i didn't understand it really, it was just 'stuff', but years later when i saw some of the brilliant photos he styled it clicked.

I'm a collector too, although my stuff isn't porcelain white animals. My stuff is local food experiences. It's not necessarily about exotic or hard to find or 'best in class' ingredients. It's more about the particular local ingredients and how they're celebrated in the local culture. Like….german rye bread slathered with schmaltz...

or the famous pork pies from the Ginger Pig...

I like to go to someplace new and eat something from that place -- doing that sears that place on my memory better than any instagram can do.

Lucky for me there are a ton of regional food festivals here in Catalunya. i've already missed the Fesolada (white bean festival) in Sant Pau. And i know that on the horizon there will be a chicken and artichoke festival in Prat Llobregat this month

Right in our town of Castelldefels we had a Calçotada. The featured ingredient is the calçot. It's basically a variety of spring onion. I noticed that all the local fruiterias (where you also buy veg) had stands of calçots cropping up around the beginning of january. when i asked my team mates about them they told me about Calçotadas which are meals centered around the calçot.

the usual way of preparing and eating calçots is to grill them over a barbecue until the outer layers are completely charred and the inside is cooked to a sweet pulp.

Since there's already a barbecue going the rest of a Calçotada is made up of grilled meats and maybe even potatoes and artichokes.

the other essential element of a Calçotada is the romesco sauce that you dip the calçot in before eating it. apparently it's the quality of the romesco that distinguishes a good Calçotada from an average one. and of course the other essential requirement is the company of good friends to enjoy the experience with.

there's a definite learned technique to eating a calçot. at last week's Calçotada our friend asela demonstrated the technique. first, peel off the charred outer skin. next, swish the cooked white part in the romesco. finally suck the end, pulling the onion up through your teeth to get every last juicy bit.

kelsie wasn't too impressed with the sucking vegetables bit. she was far too fascinated with our new friend alba who was captivated by the oranges we had.

i of course sucked and savored every last calçot and had enough to last me until next year's festivities.