The Barcelona Files (II): Rias de Galicia

After a long night at Comerς24 we took a good nights sleep and had a wonderful day in Barcelona. As Sunday is a quite difficult day for fine dining especially in Barcelona as all starred places are closed we decided to give Rias de Galicia a try renown for being one of the best sea food places on the planet. Very well…

We took a subway to Plaza España and walked by the big fair building (not modern at all, hey, it is Barcelona). Soon we arrived at our destination:

Rias de Galicia

Rias de Galicia

Coming closer we discovered some food which just looked fabulous:

Simple Arguments to get People in

It's so easy to fall in love..

So, we were at the right place. After entering some moment of 70s déjà-vu mad us shivering, some “professional” old-fashioned waiters greated us in a half-empty restaurant and one young lady escorted us to our table downstairs. There is also an upstairs area where maybe only the Spanish sit… All in all the atmosphere was dark wooden and very much in contrast to the energetic and vibrating Comerς24. If the food would be different then I would appreciate it;-)

Looking at the menu it was immediately clear that this would not turn out to be a cheap endeavour. The barnacles were €72 for the full portion (watch the video on the link and read and you know why) so we opted for a half to start with (it turned out to be 0.6 as it goes by the gram and the full is 300gr). Then we shared razor clams (navajas a la plancha), calamares (calamarcitos dia) and a plate of nice mixed mussels, gambas and prawns.

Well, I have to admit this was the very fist plate of barnacles we had and it turned out to be a bit tricky to get those nice bastards out. You have to crack them below the top and pull the flesh from the lengthy part out. After one or two tries it worked just fine. They were fresh and delicious. A bit salty which was testimony to their freshness they were cooked in a salt water and served warm not hot. The taste was a bit like razor clams but more refined and subtle, more vealish if you want. An absolute must and a brilliant start.

Barnacles (Percebes)

Barnacles (Percebes)

The calamari rewe marinated just a little bit with some herbs and grilled to perfection. It was tender and juicy and a bit crispy on the outside. Delicious!



Razor clams – very often served as part of an amuse bouche (Oud Sluis) or grilled like at Rochat (mediocre at best) or Rabey (very good). The freshness of ours at this occasion was outstanding – if you have a closer look you can still see the shiny surface. This is the benchmark, same perfect preparation as for the calamari. Remember this picture when reading the Can Fabes review coming soon – they served us a pale tasteless almost indigestible species.

Razor Clams

Razor Clams

The main was a truly wonderful mix of different mussels, prawns (gambas) and langustines. Only the gambas were a bit overdone, mussels were excellent and the langustine very good.

The Mix

The Mix

This was a seafood feast and really met and exceeded our expectations. Yes, you can be lucky to find products of that quality at the small resturant at the sea but then most of them screw it up by not really knowing how to handle the good products. Different here: perfect products, perfectly cooked (besides the gambas). The price was at one star level altogether – but we had a bit of seafood.

Interestingly I got to talk with a Dutch guy who works in Barcelona who assured us that we did the right thing in composing the menu. But, he went there for jamon and veal!! So maybe next time.

Is it high-end? Yes, as the product quality and the utmost care put forward clearly will serve me as a benchmark. Service was mediocre and old-school at best but that doesn’t count. Every serious foodie needs to have dines there at least once for reference.



2 thoughts on “The Barcelona Files (II): Rias de Galicia

  1. Pingback: Can Fabes - Slightly Below Expectations (September 2008) « High-End Food

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. When you first walk in, you do wonder if you’re trapped in some 70s notion of a “high end restaurant” – but that seafood is sooo good.

    Btw, I sat upstairs, which is definitely “American” seating.

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