It was our second day in Barcelona (Barna or Barca to some), and we have arranged to meet friends, Clark and Pau, who were coincidentally on their tour of Europe as well. That morning, they had just arrived from their sweet escape in San Sebastian, a city in the North of the Basque Country.
We agreed to meet at 11am, as most of the restaurants and tapas bars only open at 2pm. (So, this timing is considered to be very early for a meal.) We’d had more time for coffee and a stroll then.
We are meeting up in front of the Barcelona Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia). It’s not the shortest line to heaven but it’s the largest structure nearest to where we stay and they are familiar with it, too. So there!
The whole day of photo shoot, food trip and lots and lots of walk started with a cup of Cannabis Gelato in Barri Gotic. Yes, no mistyping here: C.a.n.n.a.b.i.s. It tasted rather good but clearly it was a sham. No effect. Nothing. Nada!
Several Calles (Streets) later, we chose to have coffee in a small corner café and bar called Atril at Carrer dels Carders. (Got the name right, thanks to Clark who had had the café’s location saved in Google maps.) We picked a table outside, certainly not to be easy targets for snatchers, but for fresh air and to enjoy the street scenes, e.g. tourists wandering, Europeans making out, et cetera.
Strongly recommended by Pau and Clark’s friend, we must go and find Tantarantana. ¡Vámonos! (Let’s go!) Yes, that’s the name–Tantarantana. It was named after the street and also from one of Barcelona’s well-known theatres, Teatre Tantarantana. With the help of google maps (quite app-tly useful!), we found the restaurant and bar rather quickly (even with loads of photo taking stops and poses along the way).
Tantarantana is at Carrer d’En Tantarantana. Say it again: “Tan-ta-ran-ta-na.” Good! Part of the San Telmo Group, Tantarantana is one of the six restaurants that the company manages. Café San Telmo, is the group’s first ever restaurant which opened in 2006. Followed by Tantarantana and The Bastard in 2011, Figaro and Santana in 2012; and Rosewood opened this year. SEAT, EAT, AND ENJOY! That’s their tagline.
“Berenjenas con Miel”, “Patatas Bravas”, “Judias Salteadas”, y “Nuestras Albondigas”, La Española Paulina ordered for us. At that time, we were already starving, hence the big order. We opted to be seated in the open terrace just across the restaurante.
We all enjoyed the taste and richness of each dish. Itemised under Vermouth on its menu, the Potato Bravas in soft garlic and Aubergine Dipped in Honey and Lime were simply tempting. Smelled and tasted delicious. Validating my chemist friend Lino’s statement, “Taste is smell; smell is taste.” (Try covering your nose and eat something, it will affect the taste.) For dishes cooked in Tantarantana pans, the Meatballs and the Sauteed Santa Pau beans with squid and asparagus were miraculously yummy. Whatever miracle ingredient they used in the preparation, only the Chef would know.
Agented by our waiter, we had the opportunity to meet Master Chef Joseph, a Filipino living in Barcelona for 22 years now. His expert grip on both the Basque and Catalan style of cooking was harnessed through experience and sheer talent in the kitchen.
I urged Chef Joseph to share to us some practical tips on how to prepare the dishes we had, and he did; but he informed us that some of the herbs and spices they use can only be found in Spain. Still, he was very generous, pleasant and friendly to us.
Let me take you inside the resto.
Open 365 days a year, Tanta (thank goodness there’s a short name), can be very well recommended to friends who are visiting Barcelona. All dishes are simple and fresh and its collection of wine is current and dynamic. Special dinner parties, for as many as 50, can be accommodated. They have a seating capacity of 22 on the mezzanine. To those of you who are looking for a great dining experience in Barcelona, at Tanta, all you’ve got to do is SIT, EAT AND ENJOY!
Address: Carrer d’En Tantarantana 24
Reservations contact: 93 268 2410