Poached Mag •
26 Apr 2013
For the full review with pictures, click http://poachedmag.com/2013/03/21/foodbar-dada/
The signs of a good dining experience at FoodBar DaDa
are short of promising. It’s hard to find the narrow restaurant front in the first place. The host stand and interior walls sport the dubious motif of faded newspaper cuttings, as if this was a pop-up restaurant given the go-ahead to open only five hours prior. There’s a certain uneasiness as you notice that the furniture is mismatched, the piping is exposed or that the menu is simply printed on a pedestrian A4 sheet of paper. The music is a hodgepodge of R&B, jazz, rock and Havana club, blasting above the already noisy conversations and the sizzle of the kitchen centerpiece that is the Josper grill.
But what makes this restaurant so wrong, just makes it so right. It’s that awkward child in class with a hippie edge, that hole-in-the-wall with an industrial chic, totally unadorned but charmingly unrehearsed. The food is what takes the cake.
To start, classic cod puffs with a lick of apple sauce are made airily light and went ‘poof’ after just two bites. Grilled vegetables, each roasted separately at varying lengths of time, produce an artful spring garden fertilized by a nutty Romesco sauce.
With proteins, head chef Jordi Noguera
stays true to the ingredient and displays an affinity for simple and rustic preparations. Nothing more than judicious doses of wine, garlic and lemon is needed to showcase cockles in its glorious entirety. A whiff of the salty sea hits you before the cockles’ sweetness seeps through the soft, expertly-cooked flesh. Nothing more than salt and pepper accompanies a ribeye of wagyu in the Josper grill, which teases out tons of meaty flavor from the even marbling. It is an absolute joy even with a glass of cava, where the combination of bubbles and fat is a refreshing tease for the next bite of pleasure (Though it must be said that a wine list predominantly indexed by region or producer rather than variety risks leaving the wine novice cold).
In a city where tapas is a beaten-to-death concept, claimed by chefs which aren’t remotely Spanish in training, Foodbar DaDa manages to keep it fresh. It might be stretching your budget a little with the small portions, but there’re surprises in store at every turn. Gazpacho, as a chilled vegetable soup, transforms from a boring diet juice to a culinary magic trick; a martini glass of charcoal olive oil ice-cream drizzled with cream of balsamic looks like kitsch vanilla gelato with chocolate sauce, until it dissolves and adds a tantalizing, sweet-salty creaminess to a clean...