barcelona soho

It was a lazy Friday night and we got a call from Wendy asking us if we would like to join her for dinner. She’s buying and we headed down to BARcelona for food and drinks. BARcelona is a place that serves Spanish food and the best thing about the place is that you can order stuff from SOHO (which is next door) too!

barcelona us

BARcelona and SOHO are located in adjacent lots and belongs to the same owner – you can sit at either one and order food from the other. SOHO specializes in Irish food and I’m pretty sure both establishments share the same bar.

There’s an outdoor patio type canopy that allows you to chill al fresco style. It’s Miri so there’s always a nice sea breeze going on at night. ;)

barcelona facebook

I am intrigued by BARcelona’s concept – they have different seating arrangements to suit everyone. You can have a private dining area or sit in one of the side booths where there’s a computer screen on the table. I saw a lot of people logging on to Facebook and showing their friends photos.

I facebook-like the idea. :) It brings social media back to the real world.

Anyway, the photos I took are really horrible coz I didn’t bring my dSLR here so I’ll use a thousand words instead. Heh!

Jeanie had the broccoli soup from SOHO. I like it – it’s very creamy and rich. I’m not a big fan of soups in general so that’s saying a lot.

barcelona salad

The other thing that surprised my friends was the large Cobb Salad (RM 15) which we ordered for starters. This also came from SOHO and contains organic mixed greens, honey roasted chicken, tomatoes, onions, bacon with blue cheese crumbles and hard boiled eggs. I don’t eat a lot of veggies but the salad uses a balsamic vinegar dressing which hits the spot and the bits of bacon inside helped a lot too. I ate quite a bit of the leafy greens – enough to hit my usual monthly quota. smirk

The chef also recommended several tapas dishes that we had. The most memorable one is Albondigas Picante (which will hereby be referred to as the meatball tapas). This is quite surprising since it looks rather plain at first glance. However, when the Taste Test (TM) is applied, it turned me into a believer. The meatball is firm but literally bursts with juicy goodness when you bite down into it. Nice!

barcelona tapas

There’s also the Patatas con Alioli Picante which all the others liked but I didn’t care much for. It does have very nice dressing but eating potatoes just doesn’t do it for me. To each his/her own!

The Baranjas con Salsa de Pimentas (eggplant with Spanish sauce) was good though. I love eggplant. It’s one of the few vegetables I like, mostly due to it’s creamy and rich texture. The tapas dishes all come with slices of bread to soak up the gravy.

barcelona paella

I love the Paella Marisco (seafood paella) too – it came with huge prawns, mussels and squid. You can request for them to use the more authentic Spanish rice instead of the regular rice tailored to local tastes – it tastes much better this way.

The rice is firm and each grain is distinctive. It’s flavorful and goes very well with the seafood. Trust me on this – ask for Spanish rice. :D

barcelona pizza

Next came another one of their specialties – the Valencia Pizza (RM 19). It’s 10 inches, made with a topping of onion, chilli, pepper, bacon and minced beef and comes in a proper thin crust. I had my doubts initially upon setting my eyes on it. Chilli slices on a pizza? It looks like the product of an overzealous fusion chef but when I bit into the thin crust and tasted the pizza, I fell in love with it immediately. I eat a lot of pizza and I usually forgo it when I’m eating out but this one tastes exquisite!

barcelona pizza closeup

It’s one of those rare moments when fusion cuisine works very well. I can see why it’s on the recommended list in the menu. I would recommend it too. :)

barcelona maghrita

Down to the cocktails, I had three – this is the Ultimate Margarita (RM 20). It’s done well and I love the sea salt lining the rim of the glass. It’s a small thing but you’ll be surprised at the number of places that don’t do it, especially in smaller cities. It’s not a proper margarita unless there’s sea salt on the rim. I like the attention to detail in BARcelona.

barcelona tea party

I also had their signature BARcelona Tea Party (RM 25). It’s listed on the alcohol menu as “Star & Strong Alcohol”. It’s true, the alcohol content is rather high in this long island tea variant. I love it! :D

barcelona wings

The best dish that we had that night was hands down the humble chicken wings. It’s oven baked and marinated with juices which complement the chicken very well. The skin is crispy but the meat tender – a wonderful experience. Do not miss this one if you’re ever in BARcelona. It’s perfect as finger food or a main course. Succulent.

barcelona neon

BARcelona and SOHO is located diagonally from Mega Hotel in Miri. It’s outside of the main clubbing distinct and as such, provides a nice change of scenery. The bill is affordable too – the tapas ranges from RM 5 – RM 10 and the mains are reasonably priced. It’s a great place to have dinner or drinks with a couple of friends.

barcelona me wendy

Thanks for picking up the bill Siaw Yin! You’re too kind. Next meal is on me. :)

la bodega

La Bodega in Bangsar is supposedly the first authentic Spanish tapas
bar in Malaysia. I went there on my final night in KL to celebrate my
RRMA win. The ambience in Bangsar was as lively as usual, despite it
being a Sunday night.

la_bodega_bistro.jpg

La Bodega tapas y vinos is a bistro restaurant that serves their flagship tapas as well as other Spanish cuisine.

la bodega bar

The interior is nicely designed, with bar style seating arrangements around the bar, and tables on the side.

la bodega wall

The walls of La Bodega are covered with B&W pictures, showing
life, as it were. I liked it a lot. There’s also something very
interesting, if you look up…

la bodega wine top

The top of La Bodega in Bangsar is custom fitted with a wine rack!
There are literally bottles of wine hanging on top of you. Nice!

la bodega order

We placed our orders and I got a bottle of champagne to celebrate,
but they were out, and the attendant recommended Torres Grand Coronas
Cabernet Sauvignon, which was okay with me, coz I like red wine.

la bodega food

We ordered from the hot tapas and raciones menu as well as from the
paella menu. The photo above shows the various tapas that we ordered.
It all tasted good, the sauces were soaked up well by the bread.

la bodega tapas 1

Pollo al ajillo (Chicken sauteed in olive oil, garlic and parsley)

la bodega tapas 2

Chuletas de cordero a la parrilla (Grilled lamb cutlets gratinated with garlic mayonnaise)

la bodega tapas 3

Albondigas “Saint Climent” (Lamb meatballs in a rich brandy sauce)

la bodega paella

This is the main meal – Paella Valenciana mixta. It’s prawns,
chicken, mussels and clams cooked in a paella with saffron, peppers,
peas and rice.

la bodega paella flash

Here’s a photo of it with flash. This dish requires a minimum of two
people and a 30 minute wait, but that wasn’t a problem with us as we
all had this for the main.

paella mixed

This is what it looks like after it’s mixed. It’s counted per
person, at RM 18, so if there’s four in your group, the dish is RM 72.

paella mixed flash

Here’s a clearer photo, with flash. It’s surprisingly filling and they were generous with the ingredients. It tasted wonderful.

la bodega group

This is a group shot of us at La Bodega in Bangsar. L-R: Alice,
Richard, Louisa, Huai Bin (me). The bill came up to about RM 300, but
it’s worth it. Good food, highly recommended!

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