Barcelona: Paella

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Paella is known to be an overall Spanish dish, but technically, it’s more Valencian, which is a bit more south from Barcelona. It’s easy for us to say that it’s a Spanish dish, but Spaniards consider it as Valencian. Obviously, it’s easy to find restaurants and even bars that serve paella and I have to say I didn’t have a bad one during my stay. But for those who want something that is known to be good even for a Spaniard, pay a visit to Les Quinze Nits. It’s very easy to find, maybe a bit too easy, elegant interior, nice service and great food. I’ve seen photos of people lining up in front of the main entrance to get a seat. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations.

While I was eating, I asked G’s cousin M and his wife about the process of making paella. It sounded simple actually, except the fact of the heat, which needs to be changed accordingly. And then there was a catch. You need the pan, which was made to cook the paella. It all boils down to the appliances! Same with the Korean chicken barbeque dish called dakgalbi. You need the huge round pan. It’s good however you make it, but if you want the real deal, you need the pan. It just makes sense. “And of course, mom’s paella is always the best,” M said.

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Our second paella was near the Boqueria market. A couple of bars and restaurants serving paella and seafood are lined up around the market, so it’s quite convenient to sit down and have a meal after all the bustling and clutching onto your bag and wallet. Very touristic, out in the open, but clean, simple service and nice food. (It seems like very touristic places tend to have a yellower color and less vegetables and seafood.)

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Port Olímpic is one of the best places to find a place to eat. Or drink. Or party. It’s basically at the end of the beach, lined up with white tents, bars, restaurants, small clubs and cafes. Very touristic and it’s even fun to look into the different restaurants and their menus. This is the place where tour packages take their tourist for a “authentic” Spanish meal: a starter, drink, main dish and dessert, all in one. Perhaps a bit tacky for those who are looking for a quieter, more special venue, but as a tourist, thumbs up. The food, I have to say, was much better than the one near the Boqueria market.

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All photos by rachelsanghee

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