The first time I went to Tickets Bar was in May 2014 when I was visiting my friend Andy in Barcelona. He suggested a nice place, but not too expensive, and brought up going to Tickets Bar. Well I booked it immediately. We had an amazing time, so when some friends suggested a weekend away in Barcelona for drinking and tapas, I knew that Tickets Bar was going to be THE place to go to for Tapas. Tickets Bar is the brainchild of Albert Adria, Ferran Adria’s brother (of El Bulli fame). So you can imagine that a night of interesting and tasty food is on the books.
We arrived and were given the choice of going a la carte or with the surprise menu where they chefs make up a selection of goodies to be eaten throughout the night. I think we were all just a bit tired to make up our minds so the surprise menu seemed like a great choice. (Be warned though, one of the surprises may be the bill, as you do get a good amount of food, but if you care about the price, this may not be the route for you.) We also got a magnum of wine, because it seems reasonable for five people. (Perhaps the second and/or third magnums were less reasonable by the time the night went on.)
It started out well with some tasty Jambon and some toast with tomato; two traditional Tapas from the region. And they were tasty. Next came the spherified olives that they are famous for. They’re great if you like olives. (Unfortunately, I tried to be a good friend and not take too many photos, but I did manage to get quite a few of the pretty things). We were continually presented with small bites of food to put in our mouth. One of the prettier ones was the Tickets Pizza which was a thin cracker with some blue cheese and anchovy paste. There was also a tasty tuna tartare on a square cracker filled with seaweed that was like a crunch bit of sushi.
We also had a few of the “air” dishes. The air baguette was a crunchy cracker that looked like a baguette, but was filled with air and it was wrapped with even more Jambon. We also had the manchego pillows which were filled with delicious manchego cheese.
We also had octopus that was cooked absolutely perfectly and served in such a pretty manner. It was amazing going down. One of the best things about the place is that they definitely know how to present things. Another fantastic course was a course of foie gras that just melted in the mouth. There were also so grilled mussels. Sadly one of our dining companions doesn’t like either of these, so it just meant more for the rest of us. The end of the meal was a deliciously seared steak. And it’s one of the best steaks I’ve had. Of course it turns out it was a very expensive piece of wagyu beef (surprise!). The steaks are all wheeled to the table and carved in front of you which is just a really nice addition to the presentation and service.
When it’s time for dessert, we were brought into another room that was garrishly decorated. There were movies playing clips from classic films on the wall. The ceiling was covered in fake fruit. It was really fantastic. Speaking of which, the decor of the whole venue is pretty interesting and amazing. It shows the fun side of dining out and that restaurants don’t need to be boring and sterile to be amazing. It’s definitely even noticeable from the menu shown above.
Desserts for me were fantastic. We started with a spherified juice that we sucked off the top of a rose. (Which was pretty much identical to what I had at the 3D printed meal, but considering that they were also former El Bulli chefs, it’s not a surprise). This was followed by some baklava. We were then treated to La Torta de Tickets which looked like a wheel of cheese but turned out to be a cheesecake served with biscuits. It was also served with a note explaining how they try to use local, fresh ingredients (at least that is what Google translate told me). Definitely something to be appreciated!
This was followed by plates of corks. These were cakes made to look like edible corks, and it was really fantastic treat. I think I may have even tried to eat one of the wrong ones! Finally they brought out a trolley to make some nitrogen chocolate ice cream at the table. Nothing says the end of the meal like ice cream! All of this was paired with a very nice red Italian dessert wine that was suggested for us to have with dessert.
Everyone enjoyed their meal at tickets. We had a great meal, and in my haze of food and drink, I may have made a couple more purchases to take home. I blame it on the fact that the English language version of the book is hard to find outside of the restaurant in Barcelona, so it’s definitely something worth having!
If you’re in Barcelona and want one of the best tapas meals of your life, you definitely need to head to Tickets Bar. Just be aware it books up a couple of months in advance, so you may need to plan accordingly.
Avinguda del Paral·lel, 164 – 08015 Barcelona