Quantcast

Tickets Bar, Barcelona – The 17 course meal

Tickets Bar, an attempt to bring people to taste the magic of molecular gastronomy by Albert Adria the brother of famous chef Ferran Adria of El Bulli fame. If none of these words mean anything to you, brace yourself, you’re in for one hell of a gastronomic journey. While planning our visit to Barcelona, we hunted for something that would come close to El Buli, considering the once-in-a-lifetime experience had shut down to be re-opened as the El Bulli Fondacion in 2015 (which is currently seeing a lot of opposition since it is to be on land that is classified as a national park).

Getting in

to Tickets, we’d heard was absolutely impossible, with reservations getting full up for the next 3 months within minutes of it opening online. Charles timed it beautifully, and we soon found ourselves on D day, rushing to the inconspicuous location in Poble Sec (as a phone call had requested us to come in a bit earlier)  to get there in time for a 7 pm dinner. We wondered whether we’d be able to do justice to the menu with such an early dinner (seeing as us Indians eat as late as 11 pm usually).

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food,

Unassuming corner store

Once inside

we were seated at what seemed like a bar counter. Looking around while the comically dressed staff served our cava (Spanish Champagne) we tried to understand the amusement park/ circus theme that surrounded us. As the night wore on, we did get into the spirit of the place, finally understanding that this was where anything was possible.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food,

We loved the waitstaff’s uniform!

The menu

seemed like an incredibly intimidating book with a quirky but misleadingly fun cover. Then we realised it was printed in multiple languages and that was half the reason it seemed so difficult to understand. But then we realised, there was no way of telling what we’d like and what we wouldn’t considering the whole point of the food was to be unpredictable. So we did something unpredictable, we chose the surprise us option, where the staff would just keep bringing us courses till we said stop. Sounded simple enough.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Menu

The menu as it sits on our shelf

Course 1

Watermelon infused with sangria, cinnamon, lemon zest and mint. I’ve never “eaten” sangria before, and we were pleasantly surprised when each morsel (which we had to pick up with tongs) melted almost as soon as we closed our mouths. Fresh, zingy and a beautiful start to the evening.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Watermelon infused Sangria

Watermelon infused with Sangria

Courses 2 and 3

What tapas evening in Barcelona is complete without Jamon Iberico and Pan con tomate? But just when you think you’ve tried them all, there comes a platter with tissue thin slices and a bread toasted to perfection.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Jamon Iberico, Pan Con Tomate

Jamon Iberico and Pan Con Tomate

Course 4

The one we’d been waiting for. The famous El Buli olive spheres marinated in olive oil, garlic, thyme and orange zest that we’d been drooling over on our computer screens for a while now. They surpassed our expectations. Olive puree delicately held together by a thin membrane that burst into my mouth the second it hit my tongue. A delicate balance of flavours, and while olive was definitely the hero, it was nowhere as bitter as biting into a whole olive soaked in olive oil.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Olive Sphere

The famous Olive-S

Course 5

Mini airbags stuffed with manchego foam, Iberian bacon and hazelnut caviar. We’d eaten loads of manchego, the airbags resembled what we in Mumbai call pani puris, so we didn’t expect much from it. Until we realised how thin the airbag puffs were and how the essence of the manchego just filled our mouth. The hazelnut oil, of course was awe inducing, as I tried to pick one up and look closer.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Mini Airbags, Manchego Foam, Hazelnut Oil

Mini Airbags with Manchego Foam

Course 6

Nordic Trip. Definitely the best course of the evening for me to eat and to look at. Slices of rye, on black slate, loaded with finely diced beef tartare, onion, creme fraiche and a generous dusting of delicious… vinegar powder! Charles give me a rather disapproving look as I tried to discreetly swipe off as much as I could using my finger, although I’m sure he secretly wanted to do the same.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Nordic Trip

Nordic Trip

Course 7

We’re not really fans of soup or gazpacho, so our eyes didn’t light up when the staff said Tomato salad with Gazpacho jelly. We appreciate the interesting assembly (or deconstruction) of the dish, but it was only after the first mouthful that we realised this was the first bowl of soup we were going to wipe clean.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Gazpacho gel, Tomato salad

Gazpacho? Salad? Wait what?

Course 8

Tuna belly with avocado and mint. After taking us to the far corners of Europe, this meal had now begun leaning towards the Oriental. To be fair, this was delicious, and we would have appreciated it had we had it elsewhere, but at Tickets, it was eclipsed by the other courses.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Crushed avocado, tuna belly, salad

Crushed avocado and tuna belly

Course 9

Quail eggs in a nest. I love quail eggs, and I loved the delicate strands of the crunchy nest. But it did not blow me away. At this point, it seemed like the menu was plateauing in a way.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, quail, eggs, nest

Quail eggs nest

Course 10

Salad taco with sea bass ceviche. It seemed odd to be having seafood after the veal, but in the strange world of Tickets, it all made sense. Again, this course was just nice.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, ceviche, taco

Ceviche taco

Course 11

Razor clams in escabeche, saffron pearls and soy sauce shards. When given an option between Oysters and Clams, we chose clams considering I’d hated oysters the first time I tried them in Paris. They looked stunning, like nothing I’d ever seen before, and I was dying to slurp one into my mouth. Wasn’t disgusting like the oysters, but definitely a bit too salty for my liking. Charles’ tastes it seems, are better acquired.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, razor clams

Razor clams

Course 12

Smoked market fish with mini shiitakes. We’d already begun licking our lips in anticipation as we saw this dish being assembled at the open station right next to our table. The sauce was  rich and deep, the fish fresh, and it all came together beautifully. The punch was back!

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Smoked market fish, mini shiitake

The open station, for our convenience

Course 13

These croquettes weren’t on the menu, and I’d prefer it remain that way. By far the most underwhelming course that night. Unlucky 13 maybe?

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Croquettes

Looks underwhelming too

Course 14

At this point, the staff kept asking us if we were done and would we like to begin with dessert? Charles and I exchanged a quick look knowing exactly what the other was thinking, “We’re stuffed, but this is so delicious, let’s keep going!” And we know exactly what the staff thought of us, “Keep it coming? Seriously? What gluttons!” Guilty as charged. Again the pancetta burger he brought out wasn’t on the menu either. But it was quite nice, nothing like a burger, but a lovely grilled muffin sandwich.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Pancetta, Burger

Pancetta burger

Course 15

We finally proceeded to dessert. First up was a strange piece of rock. We looked closer, and realised there were parts of it that were a slightly different colour. Picked those bits out and tasted them with trepidation. And heard a million violins. The White Chocolate Lava Rock was crunchy, sweet, slightly salty and once again like nothing we knew. Amazing.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, White chocolate lava rock

White chocolate lava rock

Course 16

The hot and cold chocolate fritters sounded very intriguing. But what we ended up with were soft and squishy fritters instead of the crispy crunch we were expecting. It did taste great to be fair.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, hot and cold chocolate fritters

Squishy and soft chocolate fritters

Course 17

I dug right into the carrot cupcake as soon as it arrived, and had already demolished a bit of it by the time Charles whipped out the camera. Unfortunately I had to listed to the waiter explain that even the wrapped was edible. I looked up at him, slightly red in the face as I licked a bit of mascarpone cream off my fingers.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, carrot cupcake

Sorry about the um, damage

The bill

was surprisingly low for the kind of experience we’d just had. If I recollect correctly, it was somewhere around about INR 23,000/- for 2.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, bill

The bill in a beautiful vintage tin box

Staggering out

Charles and I could barely walk, but did manage one mandatory tourist pic outside this wonderland. Not wanting the experience to end, we milled about the windows, trying to understand all the Catalan signs while sighing over loads of memorabilia. We may not have had the chance to experience El Bulli while it was around, but we came close to a little piece of it, and it’s something we’ll hold close to our hearts (and stomachs) for a long time.

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food,

The tourists

Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Albert Adria, Tapas, Eating, Food, Albert Adria

Worshipping at the altar

Tickets Bar, Avinguda del Paral·lel, 164, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
es.bcn50.org
All the above information is true as of July 2013 when we visited Tickets Bar in Barcelona.
15 Discussions on
“Tickets Bar, Barcelona – The 17 course meal”

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.