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Comerç 24 – a chic restaurant at a hip location – as some publications described this place. Friends and colleagues recommended this place too. We managed only a reservation for lunch. This place and several other “24” restaurants in the chain in Barcelona are very popular with tourists and locals alike. I believe this is where the “24” empire started – the name of the restaurant is its address, i.e., Carrer del Comerç No. 24, in El Born.

The chef – Carles Abellan – was a protege of Ferran Adria at El Bulli (just closed at the end of July 2011).  According to a book about him and his food that was lying around in the restaurant (an autobiography I assume), he wanted to be a rockstar. After many struggles and false starts, the story ends with him serving dinner to Mick Jagger during his Rolling Stone tour.

Although the restaurant is all at street level, it is all artificially lit (can’t tell day from night inside), a bit like a club.

We did not order from their set menu, instead we ordered à la carte.

This is a freebie appetizer but it was really tasty – it is a “cigar” with crisp spring roll skin with a basil leaflet at the end and soft fillings – the soup was also excellent.

There are many asian-influenced tapas at the creative or high-end restaurants in Barcelona.  Alkimia (the other restaurant we visited with a tasting menu) had a few Chinese-style dishes.

This is their specialty – egg shell filled with custard-like stuff that was truly full of flavors.

The staff cleaned the kitchen top to bottom after serving lunch – a truly dynamic kitchen as we witnessed all the frantic activities from prep to serve, and then scrub.


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