The Catalan capital is famous for its fabulous foodie scene, with gourmet restaurants inspired by the chefs from world-leading restaurants such as Celler Can Roca and elBulli. Yet there are also some interesting fusion restaurants in Barcelona, blending influences and styles to offer an altogether unique cuisine. Here are the ten best restaurants for fusion food in Barcelona.
Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, $$$
Thai-style razor clams | Courtesy of Dos Palillos
One of the pioneers of the local Asian-fusion scene, Dos Palillos is operated by ex-elBulli chef Albert Raurich. Meaning ‘two sticks’ or ‘chopsticks’ in Spanish, Dos Palillos offers guests the chance to dine around an open kitchen and watch chefs at work preparing the dishes of their tasting menu. For a more casual experience, sit at the bar in the front room and order à la carte from this Michelin-starred Barcelona institution.
A modern Catalan restaurant not afraid to borrow from other cultures, Con Gracia offers two tasting menus: a seasonally changing ‘traditional’ menu and an ‘experience’ menu involving an unknown selection of the chef’s favourite dishes. A traditional roast leg of lamb and mashed potatoes gets an Indian spice twist, while a gazpacho is made with black cherries and comes with a fresh cheese and basil topping.
A Middle-Eastern restaurant with its own hookah lounge, Ziryab describes itself as an ‘Arabian tapas fusion bar’ offering flavours from across the Arab world and the Mediterranean. Try the crispy strips of halloumi cheese which come wrapped in Spanish cured ham, spicy prawn skewers or even a selection of traditional Catalan cheeses to finish off. Located amongst the old buildings of the Gothic Quarter, step inside Ziryab and you’ll feel transported to the Middle East.
Imagine a restaurant which aimed to serve dishes from every single corner of the world. The menu at Cuines Santa Caterina comes as a grid with on one side the names of places in the world, and on the other types of dish (meat, vegetarian, grains, etc.). The result is one of the most original restaurant concepts in the city, with everything from a Josper oven to its own sushi section, while the Santa Caterina market with which it shares the building offers a constant supply of fresh, seasonal produce.
Bar, Diner, Restaurant, Fusion, Australian, Asian, $$$
Nomm is a relatively recent addition to the restaurant scene around Avenida Parallel. The owner’s Australian-Asian heritage goes someway toward explaining this eclectic menu which includes some original signature dishes as well. Open late at weekends, the venue includes a lively bar as well as a more sophisticated lounge dining area at the back.
A gastronomic culture born of the arrival of Japanese migrants to Brazil some hundred years ago, Japanese-Brazilian fusion cuisine borrows from the best techniques, ingredients and recipes of both cultures. Imagine a fresh fish sushi with pineapple and papaya, or picanha strip steak with plantain and wasabi. The bold, modern décor at Ikibana creates a stylish atmosphere which only embellishes the experience.
The creation of Basque chef Iker Erauzkin, UMA is a modern fine-dining restaurant whose inspiration known no limits. With a technique very much based in the tradition of Spanish haute-cuisine – and its tendency towards molecular gastronomy – the flavour combinations come from Asia, South America, Europe and beyond. A shrimp carpaccio with a curry sphere sits side by side on the menu with sautéed wild mushroom in cream.
Indochine Ly Leap is run by Cambodian-born owner and chef, Ly Leap, who emigrated to Barcelona some 30 years ago. Offering guests the chance to go on a culinary voyage through the flavours of Asia, from China to Vietnam, India to Indonesia, the restaurant’s 700m2 dinning room is like an urban garden with orchids and natural wood furniture setting the tone – and also makes it one of the most romantic restaurant settings in Barcelona.
An Indian restaurant with a Mediterranean twist, Mayura Lounge offers an altogether different experience to that of your average Indian restaurant. Drawing on the depth and diversity of Indian cuisine, the restaurant specialises in authentic curries and Tandoori dishes as well as offering a selection of side dishes and meat, fish and vegetable dishes. The dining room is lavish yet comfortable and helps transport your senses.
A tropical-themed fusion restaurant and bar in the heart of El Born, Restaurant Club Bananas is like a little burst of sunshine in your day. The venue has all the warmth and charm of a Caribbean beach bar – with a few cocktails that will leave you transported there too – while the menu includes a mix of Asian, Middle-Easter and of course Caribbean inspired dishes with a cosmopolitan feel.