After attending the Grand Prix F1 qualifying in Bareclona, we headed to Botafumeiro which we had heard about through recommendations and we were not disappointed.
As you walk into the restaurant the staff immediately greet you with a big smile. The interior is antique with wood panelled walls. The kitchen is open and lining the walls on the right, in front of the bar, is the wall of fame. The wall includes celebrity shots of Morgan Freeman, Bill Clinton etc. During the evening we also spotted one more that could have been added to the wall.
Botafumeiro is charming and so are the waiters, all wearing sailor suits. It reminded me of Chiltern Firehouse in a way.
The restaurant is much bigger than it comes across. They have a whole back area and an upstairs area with the capacity to seat around 300 people. We were seated right at the back of the restaurant.
For starters we had steak tartare. The flavours were much more subtle than what I’m used to for a tartare but it was nice nonetheless.
The jamon and anchovies starters were also tasty but I personally thought that they would have been nicer without the slightly stale bread, served on a platter instead.
For the main course we had Monkfish and Lobster Paella. Both of the mains were deliciously fresh and flavoursome. The portions are definitely generous and you won’t leave feeling anything but full.
The service was top notch – very observant but unobtrusive. It is obvious that they all take pride in their work and the restaurant.
Look who we spotted in the background! Mr Bernie Ecclestone himself – talk about getting the full Formula 1 experience. We tried to be sly while playing paparazzi, pretending that we were taking pictures of ourselves… yeah right (he is on the right side of the picture). He must have noticed.
Now, after we finished our mains – instead of bringing a dessert menu, they brought us a plate full of desserts to drool over and that was their menu! How can someone resist?
They do bring a complimentary dessert plate though on top of the ones ordered. I’m not sure how much dessert one can handle after all of that food?
To let it all digest, the kind waiters also brought shots of Limochello which I loved. It was refreshing and perfect to finish off the meal with.
Overall I loved this restaurant and we stayed for 3 hours without any rush from the staff. The food itself was nice but didn’t have the wow factor, something which I would expect for the price that they charge. Apparently the seafood platter is the most popular choice.
Botafumeiro is high end without being pretentious. Musicians stroll through the restaurant playing on their guitars and singing, we got a special one too but I can’t remember which song it was! It was a very classical Spanish one. If you visit Barcelona for a special occasion – this is a must! http://www.botafumeiro.es