Restaurant Review : Mercat Barcelona Gastrobar
“In Spain gastronomy is a topic that is everywhere and that is constantly talked about, consumed and shared, so it is easy to have passion since childhood you have had those influences” David, Executive chef cum owner of Mercat Gastrobar passionately shared with us. According to him, inspiration flows naturally as a Spaniard as he recalled growing up being surrounded by fond gastronomic memories.
He started Mercat in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2014 with aspirations of embarking diners on a Spanish gastronomical journey consisting of authentic Paellas and Tapas with a Spanish vibe and ambience.
Although the outlet at Bangsar has closed, Mercat has persevered through the difficulties of the pandemic, and evolved by going into a delivery service. David fondly recalls the times pre-pandemic where family and friends would gather yearly in mid-February at Mercat to celebrate Calçotada. It is a fun filled festival celebrated traditionally by savouring calçots entails.
David looks forward to the easing of the pandemic which would welcome a celebration of Calçotada and even paella competitions.
Today, whilst we were invited to dine at Mercat, we were served the following:
Each homemade Iberico Croquettes had the distinct rich flavour of Iberico pork and had an extremely creamy texture within alluring the diner to indulge with more.
Arriving fresh from spain, each padron pepper is extremely crunchy and fried with aromatic sea salt.
The Patatas Bravas consisted of potatoes fried to a perfect crusty golden brown and filled with spicy tomato and alli oli. Each bite invited an explosion of flavours. The Fardos Ibericos Con Aroma De Trufa had a very rich and strong aroma of truffle yet a tinge of saltiness coming from the fresh meat wrapping the goodness within.
The squid ink Paella was cooked to perfection with a rich flavour of squid ink and generous portion of seafood such as mussels, cuttlefish and spanish prawns cooked in a lobster broth. This was topped with a sprinkle of garden fresh chives giving the dish an inviting crunch.
An extremely refreshing dish with the perfect balance of savoury atop a crunchy bread tapa with a touch of green adding colour to the dish.
No meal is complete without mouth watering desserts such as crispy churros fried to a perfect golden brown dipped in a rich delectable chocolate sauce.
Given its vibrant Spanish atmosphere and flavourful dishes, we would definitely be back, hungry for more.