Barcelona, February 2016 – Good news! For those who missed Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli (voted best restaurant in the world for 5 consecutive years), there is Tickets – Adrià brothers’ version of the modern tapas bar. Opened in 2011, the Michelin 1-star Tickets (#42 on World’s Best Restaurants list) has the hottest tables in town.
With the World’s Best Pastry Chef (2015) – Albert Adrià as its creative force, Tickets is like a fun fair of the most innovative and whimsical tapas that one would never dream of. It is a culinary experience like no other!
I once read an article on Ferran Adrià – His stated goal is to “provide unexpected contrasts of flavor, temperature and texture. Nothing is what it seems. The idea is to provoke, surprise and delight the diner.“
Tickets has done just that – provoke, surprise and delight the diner!
Mr. King & I decided to take our server’s recommendations and let the chef make the selection of tapas for us. We were fortunate to be seated at what the maîtres’d referred to as “the chef’s table”. Our counter seats were right in front of Chef Fran Agudo, who is the Head Chef at Tickets. We had a great view of Chef Agudo at work – every tapas dish went to Chef Agudo for his “stamp of approval” before they were delivered to the diners.
Let’s get started… These Olives – a signature dish at the former El Bulli – were liquid bombs that blasted inside our mouths.
The Beetroot Cake was a nice teaser…the yogur and mustard filling tasted like mascarpone cheese.
Nigiri of Tuna was more than meets the eye – the nigiri rice was some sort of foam substance.
Basil Waffles was an interesting interlude. Pizza was crispy, and the ajioli dip was the perfect garnish.
Shrimp Crackers reminded me of something from Japan.
Portobello Mushrooms were one of the most impressive tapas of the evening. Not only was the presentation unique, they tasted juicy and simply delicious.
Crunchy Octopus was our favorite!
Mushroom Noodles was another trompe-l’œil (deceives the eye). The server revealed that the noodles were in fact, shredded mushrooms. Though Green Peas and Avocado may not appeal to everyone, the dish certainly looked pretty.
When the teacup and crepe were served, we thought dinner was over. Look closely, the crepe was actually chicken and tea was chicken consome.
The Steak was succulent and tender. We highly recommend it.
Time for dessert…the dessert room was a heaven for those with a sweet-tooth. Visually, the room was decorated with strawberries, cherries, candy canes, flowers and even a gigantic cake made to resemble a hamburger.
We enjoyed a medley of desserts, and were entertained by the making of nitrogen ice cream. For Mr. King and me, we particularly adored the Rose, Papaya Sorbet and Air-Pancake. Since we were celebrating Valentine’s Day, I will always remember that gorgeous, sweet Rose.
This tapas dinner certainly provoked, surprised and delighted us!
If you are interested in booking a table/seats at Tickets, you can go to their online reservation system, which opens up for reservations exactly 2 months from the booking date. Good luck!
Instead of celebrating on Valentine’s Day, Mr. King and I decided to do it over 5 dinners in the same week. It was a difficult choice when it came to selecting the restaurants, because Barcelona is a foodie’s heaven. Tickets was one of them. Here are the other 4 restaurants we went to:
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.