The Chinese have their dim sum, the Japanese their gyozas, the Vietnamese their spring rolls…and Barcelona has them all. The past few years has seen Asian cuisine soar in popularity in the Catalan capital, with more and more restaurants offering authentic Asian dishes. Whether you like them cooked, steamed or friend, here are the best places for Asian dumplings in Barcelona.
Restaurant, Asian, $$$
Mosquito is one of Barcelona’s best gems: an authentic Asian restaurant with a wide selection of craft beers served in a cool locale in the Born. For €15 (USD$17.50) per person you can eat heartily and enjoy a selection of steamed buns, gyoza or meat specialities with a side of edamame and kimchi. The beers are pricier than your average caña, but include an excellent selection of local and European artisan brews.
Currently one of the most popular Asian restaurants in Barcelona, Fan Shoronpo is far from your trendy ramen bar. An altogether understated affair with its simple décor and closely packed tables, the restaurant can be credited with introducing Barcelona to a new kind of dumpling: the shoronpo. Also known as xiaolongbao, these dumplings have the peculiarity of being stuffed with both meat and liquid. A sort of meat jelly is stuffed inside the dumpling and becomes liquid when heated, with the pleasant result of a juicy burst of flavour when you bite into your shoronpo.
Not your typical Asian restaurant – not an Asian restaurant at all for that matter – Little Fern Café is a New Zealand-inspired all day café located in Poblenou. During the daytime they serve an epic brunch menu featuring the likes of kimchi pancakes and corn fritters which has got the city’s food bloggers going mad. In the evenings though it’s all about the home-made dumplings and craft beer, simple yet spot on for a casual dumpling fix.
Located not far from Plaça Tetuan in L’Eixample, Mian is a family-run restaurant run by a husband, wife and daughter. The house speciality is dim sum, bite-sized morsels which the family describe as their own version of ‘tapas’ to their Spanish audience. There’s a selection of steamed or fried dumplings, including ones stuffed with pork, chicken or prawns. The cozy, modern setting and friendly feel of the place have made it a favourite among locals in the neighbourhood.
Grandson of the chef who worked in Spain’s first Chinese restaurant, Meilan Kao is well placed to know just what makes a good dumpling. It’s not surprising that his eponymous Kao Dim Sum restaurant in Barcelona is considered one of the best of its kind in the country. The dumplings are made according to traditional recipes which have been been tried and tested over the generations. Whether they’re steamed, boiled or fried, you can expect these dumplings to be superbly cooked and taste every bit as authentic as the kind you find in China.
The original Koku Kitchen is a ramen bar located in the Gothic Quarter, but the owners decided they still had a lot more to offer Barcelona and opened this second restaurant in El Born. Technically though, Koku Kitchen Buns / Ramen & Gyoza is two distinct restaurants in one. The downstairs part is where you’ll find the gyozas – or the crispy Japanese fried dumplings – which come in a choice of fillings including pork, prawn and vegetable.
This modern Asian restaurant is located in Barcelona’s rather trendy Gràcia neighbourhood and was created by Catalan chef Jordi Brau after a seven year stint in Asia, during which he fell in love with the local cuisine. He brought back his favourite recipes, including noodle dishes, soups, curries and of course, dumplings. There are four authentic fillings to choose from, and the dumplings are all made fresh to order so they’re wonderfully fresh and crisp upon arrival.