For our second night in Barcelona, David asked our concierge for a recommendation to the best Tapas in town. He definitely steered us in the right direction, recommending Chef Jordi Cruz (the best chef in town, he said) and Ten’s Restaurant in the Born area.

When we first arrived shortly before 8 p.m. we were abruptly told the restaurant wasn’t open yet, and to wait 15 minutes. After a walk around, and a sit down at a nearby park (where we watched a running group do sprints together), we headed back.

It’s always a bit awkward being the first guests in a restaurant for the night. In this case, it was super awkward with the language barrier and the intensity of the servers at first. And so quiet! We made our tapas order and hoped for the best. We were quickly rewarded with some of the best olives we’ve ever tasted.

Our dinner started with the tomato toast that we’ve seen everywhere. This was really fresh with tomato and olive oil. It came at the same time as the deep fried whitebait cone. These little fish were so salty and delicious and we loved the little tweezers you use to eat them! Fun.

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I wasn’t sure about the next course of tinned cockles sautéed with green garlic, ginger and lychees. It wasn’t my favourite of the night, but I did really enjoy the broth and dipping the tomato toast in there. This dish is much more up David’s alley, and he really enjoyed it.

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The next dish was my personal favourite of the night. I don’t know what I was expecting with the Iberian bacon, mushrooms, prawns and rosemary Yakisoba… but I loved the little Chinese food take away container it came in! This noodle dish was divine!

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David really enjoyed the barbecued Iberian pork tail and deboned sparerib meat, with a vanilla chickpea mix. It was a great take on Korean barbecue.

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When we were finished, we decided we had room for a bit more. I wanted to try to thaw the chilly servers (who by this time were a little more busy with some other customers). So, I asked one of our servers “Que recommienda?” Pardon?, she asked. So, I asked again, “Que recommienda?” This time she smiled (wow, a first!) and said we needed to try the stewed octopus with paprika, potato, olive oil and beech smoke. When it arrived with a serving cover, it looked white. We quickly learned it was actually smoke underneath the cover, and as it was raised, we were overwhelmed with the most amazing smoke smell! Loved, loved, loved this (and really wish we had a picture of that effect).

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As the next server came by to collect the dish, we smiled and told him it was perfect. Amazingly, we got a smile back! When I asked “Que recommienda” again for dessert, he brightened up and said we must try the brioche toast with vanilla and candied orange. We learned a great lesson here. Any attempt at using the language as a guest in a new country usually is appreciated.

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The brioche french toast had a wonderful caramel flavour and the cheese tray we also ordered was a perfect end to the meal. Overall, a really lovely Tapas dinner – great skill and technique in the kitchen, and a warmer experience after we warmed up ourselves.

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