A Barcelona food blog
Mam i Teca is the kind of place I fantasise of one day owning, lottery wins and some serious cookery training permitting. At tables they can seat 20 with space for a few more perched on stools at the bar, a perfect intimate location without the chaos of a big restaurant.Here you will find a true taste of Catalan cuisine, where traditional dishes are served created with produce from around this proud nation to standards loyal to the principles of the Slow Food movement which the proprietors follow.
We were dining here to celebrate my friend finally passing Oposiciones, an arduous scheme for selecting civil servants in Spain which seems very bizarre and long-winded to an outsider. Salut to Irene and good luck to her with all those angst-filled teenagers she will be teaching in September.
And so to the food. This was gutsy, strong regional cooking and after deliberation we shared a Xató salad, rabbit cooked with prunes and apricots and some desserts.
Xató (pronounced like the French word for ‘castle’) is most certainly a dish you will either adore or despise. It is heavy on salt from the bacalao salt cod, canned tuna steak and plump anchovies, not to mention the briney olives. However, this is balanced with bitter endive lettuce and a creamy romesco sauce made from among other things, tomatoes, peppers and fried bread. For me this is perfect equilibrium and this was the best I have tasted thus far. Rabbit is a meat I love and do not understand why it is so out of favour in the UK. Here it combined the popular mix of meat and fruit so widespread in Spanish cuisine, and though many may deny it, also present in the food of Catalonia. This rabbit had been stewed with red wine, port, prunes and apricots along with other ingredients being kept a little closely guarded by the chef. The rabbit was moist, fell off the bone and that sauce was loving mopped up with excellent bread. Desserts were clearly home made and the passionfruit ice cream and creamy though not too sweet cheesecake, topped with bittersweet berry coulis, were both wonderful. This was probably not one of the cheapest meals I’ve eaten in Barcelona but having the good fortune to being treated as thanks for my exam tuition I can’t comment further there. However, it was one of the most honest meals I have eaten in the city; excellent quality, made with love, full of flavour and not at all poncey. Just how us Yorkshire folk like it.
Mam i Teca, C/Lluna 4, Raval