Today, I want to write about one of my favourite restaurants in Barcelona, Espai Kru. Literally, raw space if you translate from the Catalan (please Catalan friends, correct me if I am wrong!). I go there to celebrate the main events of my life: birthdays, the realisation that I am alive… Huhuh, a bit too deep maybe!! Ok, all these are just excuses. I go to Espai Kru because I want to eat fresh, unboring raw food and this is one of the best restaurants I found for it. I stumbled upon it while I was trying to book a table at Tickets, the exclusive tapas restaurant created by Albert Adria. This restaurant is also part of his group.
Yes, I love raw food, I even think I love raw fish more than cooked fish. I could be what you call a carnivorous vegan :). And for someone like me, Espai Kru is one ideal place since their menu is mostly… uncooked. They are also fusioning cuisines which makes it all the more interesting. So usually, our order begins with a cocktail. Surprisingly to me, Espai Kru offers a wide range of cocktails and so far, all the ones I have tried were delicious and well balanced. My favourite is the bloody mary. It has the right amount of seasoning in it!
Foodwise, we always start with oysters and last Tuesday was no exception. They have French oysters to which they add special ingredients to enhance the experience. I personally like the oyster with ponzu salsa and salmon roe. My mum prefers the oyster with gazpacho and ham. Not too bad either but the salsa ponzu with its tangy taste had me going for it. Then I tried one Palamos prawn in mexican aguachile. My first raw prawn in Barcelona… First time, I had raw prawns was in a restaurant in Erice, Sicily. Marinated raw pink prawns. The texture, the taste…even now I still remember how I enjoyed them. So I ordered one… First, you eat the tail, then you suck the head and finally you drink the juice. My prawn was looking at me with begging eyes. I am guessing it did not want to be eaten but for its consolation, it was very nice.
I forgot to mention that the restaurant always serves its homemade seaweed bread. It looks green and strongly tastes of seaweed without being disgusting, on the contrary. Then it was time for some sashimi. We always get a selection, two pieces of each to taste. My favourite at the moment are the raw squid served with salt and lime (I really love the sticky texture), the raw mackerel served on a bed of mushrooms (never thought this combination would work), and toro (for those who don’t know it, this is the fattiest part of the tuna, really yummy).
Then it is tartar time! I love tartar steak. Again, I think I prefer raw or seared beef over cooked beef. Plus steak tartar has a lot ingredients I love in it: raw meat, raw egg, ketchup, etc…We ordered half a portion of the Galician beef tartar. It is great to have this “half” option. And half a portion of tomato tartar. Espai Kru is the first restaurant where I have had tomato tartar. I was intrigued at first but now I cannot dine here anymore without my share of tomato tartar… You would not think that you are chewing a tomato because of the sauce mix and the tomato’s texture. I love it but half a portion is more than enough even if you share between two. Side comments: I also really like the recipients they use to present the tartars like on the picture here! They have a feel of mystery and they are very elegant.
There is a cooked food part on the menu. I never really look at it as I come to Espai Kru for raw food. But every now and then one of the appetizers attract my attention and this time, we decided to try the cochinita pibil dumpling with its pico de gallo sauce. I liked it. My mum not so much but just because after the succession of raw food she had not been keen on eating cooked pork. That I can understand but we are also here to try something new. These dumplings were flavoursome, the pico de gallo sauce quite hot!
Finally the dessert, I usually get small cornets of ice creams or sorbets. They never disappoint me. This time, I tried the apple tatin. I did not really enjoy it. It was too liquidy for my liking. I will stick to ice creams and sorbets next time. My mum ordered the white chinese mushrooms in passion fruit and I must say that they were really tasty with the sauce. They also had an interesting texture. This is a mushroom (yes I checked on wikipedia!!!) but it does look and taste like seaweed. It was a nice and light dessert. The perfect ending to a raw food dinner.
They usually offer a digestive shot and sweets at the end of the meal. Not this time… I suppose this was because it was a full and busy night. It is a pity that there is always a flat note in the service when I go there. I like flawless experiences. I will come back again anyway as I also really like the raw food in Espai Kru. It is still one of my favourite restaurants in Barcelona.