L’olla de Sichuan, Arago 224, Barcelona
You guys might remember that I had some great hot pot when I was in London a couple of months ago. Well, now it was time to see what Barcelona had to offer.
When entering the restaurant you could see a lot of couples and friends sharing hot pots and this put a smile on my face. The restaurant itself is not gorgeous, it looks like it just opened or is going out of business. Language was a also a problem for us at this place as we do not speak Spanish and English was not really spoken or understood at all. However, you could easily get the whole hot pot experience starting just by pointing at what the other people were having. Pointing at stuff always works but it is a bit embarrassing not to speak any of the local language…
Anyway, the setup was the same as in London, a lighter chicken soup on one side and a spicier version on the other side. Unfortunately both soups lacked a bit in taste. It does take some time to prepare a nice broth but if it is the main part of a dish then there is really no excuse.
We were then offered a three-level trolley with a LOT of different ingredients to choose from. The vegetables that I can remember included broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, several different forms of cabbage, spinach. The meats were beef and pork buts and different types of meat balls. The fish included octopus, squid, cod, fish balls, prawns, crab claws and a lot more. There was tofu, bean curd sticks and mushrooms of several types. I really was impressed by the huge variety and the old lady that was serving us kept bringing more and more to the table and was very enthusiastic about us eating everything. She came with a plate, smiled and explained a lot about the stuff on it before she added it to our pot an nodded. We did not understand a word and could not really say no, she kept on bringing out the food, feeding us for a couple of hours. It was funny, she was really cute!
Except from the soup base itself being a bit watery, this was a good option for hot pot and you could eat until you explode. What a great dinner!