Spanish

Location: 

Lua
Carre Santa Caterina de alexandria 1 07108 Soller
Majorca
Spain

Before our trip to Majorca, we did quite a bit of research about the best restaurants on the island we should visit and Lua kept coming up in our research. As it was located in the town Soller where we were staying, it was extra convenient for us to visit it, which we did on a Friday lunch time. Lua is located in quite an interesting yellow corner building which stands out. Also most of the restaurants in Sollers are located closer to the water overlooking the boats, but Lua is one row behind them on a small hill, so you are slightly further away from the water, but the view from the 1st floor restaurant is probably better and you can see the port and the expensive boats. The interior of the restaurant seemed a bit more upscale than the other restaurants in the neighbourhood.

Maija rated: 

3.50

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Location: 

Caballito Del Mar
C/ Paseo Sagrera, 5 Palma de Mallorca
Majorca
Spain

Caballito Del Mar is a fish and seafood restaurant in Palma de Majorca, the capital city of the small Spanish island Majorca. Caballito Del Mar means a sea horse in Spanish and on Sunday before our flight back to London we wanted to have one last nice Spanish lunch. As it was a Sunday most of the high end restaurants we wanted to visit were closed, and very few restaurants were open. Initially we wanted to go to a tapas restaurant next to Caballito Del Mar which came highly recommended in various news articles, but that restaurant seemed to have closed down, and as so many places were closed and Caballito Del Mar looked quite nice, we decided to settle and eat there.

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Barrafina Covent Garden
10 Adelaide Street WC2N 4HZ
London
United Kingdom

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Barrafina Soho (MMMMM) is one of my favourite restaurants in London, which got this year its first Michelin star (which I think is too little too late… they should have got this years ago). One of the problems with Barrafina is that it is such a small restaurant and queues can be super long (they don’t take any bookings) and so you could wait a long time before getting a table. That is why I was quite excited to hear that Barrafina opened another restaurant a few months ago in Covent Garden, about 10 minutes’ walk from the original Soho branch.

Maija rated: 

4.50

Location: 

Notting Hill Kitchen
92 Kensington Park Road W11 2PN
London
United Kingdom

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Somehow my boyfriend manages to get emails with great deals in restaurants, ie 50% off or cheaper set menus, etc and one day he got an offer to eat at the Notting Hill Kitchen with 50% off our food bill. I have been wanting to come here for a while as I know one of my friends Ludwig actually invested in this restaurant and therefore I know quite a few friends that have been here.

Notting Hill Kitchen is now a year old and is located in Notting Hill (surprise, surprise!). The main chef is Luis Baena who cooks Iberian Peninsula/ International. The restaurant is very big and we came here on a Tuesday evening and it had quite a few people having dinner here but because the restaurant is so big, it did not feel like it was busy. I very much liked the bar at the entrance to the restaurant, it seemed very modern and hip. The dining room is a bit more formal but not too formal.

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Cheriff
Carrer de Ginebra, 15, 08003 Barcelona
Barcelona
Spain

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When my friends and I were in Barcelona, the one thing that we were desperately craving was paella. I googled best paella restaurants in Barcelona and the one that came up was Cheriff, so I asked my hotel concierge to book it for the 6 of us for a Saturday dinner. I was pleasantly surprised we got a table as when I googled the restaurant it did say it was very popular and you had to book well in advance, not on the day like we did, and when we got there it was full and there were very few, if any, free tables. Cheriff is named after the founder of this fish shop that was opened some 45 years ago, who later expanded the fish shop into a restaurant and is now run by the Cheriff‘s daughter and son-in-law .It is located in the touristy area by the beach, Barceloneta, Barcelona´s fishing village.

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

El Rey de la Gamba
Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 53 08003
Barcelona
Spain

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It was a Sunday morning in Barcelona and a group of us wanted to get some lunch before our group sauna/ spa appointment, and we decided to go to the seaside to get some fish tapas, in a restaurant called El Rey de la Gamba (the king of prawns in english). The restaurant is located in the Barceloneta area of Barcelona, close to the beach, on one of the big streets which is quite a touristy area. On this street there were a few restaurants located next to each other with the same name, a few El Rey de la Gambas and even a El Rey de la Gamba 2.
 

Maija rated: 

2.50

Location: 

El Celler de Can Roca
Calle de Can Sunyer 48 17007
Gerona
Spain

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This year Noma was knocked off the top spot as the world’s best restaurant in the St Pellegrino restaurant awards by a restaurant in Girona owned by three brothers – El Celler de Can Roca.  According to themselves: “El Celler is a free-style restaurant, committed to the avant-garde, but still faithful to the memory of different generations of the family's ancestors dedicated to feeding people”. Naturally, as I have been to Noma and had a great meal there, I was very keen to visit El Celler de Can Roca. I booked the table in June a month after it was announced El Celler was the new world’s best restaurant and then could only get a table on a weekday lunch (Friday) 6 months from then, in January. Having said that, it is still easier than getting a table at Noma, where they just never have any free spaces as you can only book up to three months in advance.

Maija rated: 

5.00

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Location: 

Ember Yard
60 Berwick St, Soho W1F 8SU
London
United Kingdom

I wanted to have lunch with my friend Neil but the problem was that it was December, close to Christmas and the first 10 restaurants that I called in Mayfair a week before our lunch were full. So I was desperate and could not find a restaurant in December that could host me. These sort of problems with getting a table make me feel like the recession is totally over. The place that I did book in the end was Ember Yard, as it had just opened, and I guess people did not know about it just yet, hence I could get a table. Having said that the restaurant was full when I went there, so word travels fast about new openings.
 

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Ametsa with Arzak instruction
Halkin Hotel, 5 Halkin Street SW1X 7DJ
London
United Kingdom

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Arzak is one of the best restaurants in the world (it has 3 Michelin stars) and is located in San Sebastian, where the best female chef (as voted in 2012 by the St Pellegrino awards) Elena Arzak works with her father Juan Mari Arzak. Ametsa is a collaboration restaurant located in London, by Hyde Park, that has been influenced by the cooking of the Arzak family and the restaurant. Although many times Elena and Juan have said they don’t want Ametsa to be exactly like Arzak and a sister restaurant, Ametsa is influenced by Arzak, but there is only one Arzak. Ametsa opened in the spring 2013 and has been one of the most anticipated openings of this year. It is located in the Halkin hotel, by Hyde Park Corner and has recently won 1 Michelin star. Ametsa, just like Arzak, present ‘New Basque Cuisine’, pairing the earthy flavours and techniques of Spain’s Basque region with modern, surprising twists featuring locally-sourced and organic produce.

Maija rated: 

4.00

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Location: 

Tramontana Brindisa
152 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AT
London
United Kingdom

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Brindisa brand is a Spanish tapas expert in London with 4 restaurants across London in Soho, London Bridge, South Kensington and also now in Shoreditch, their latest restaurant which opened in autumn 2012. I went to the Shoreditch branch called “Tramontana Brindisa” on a Saturday evening with my boyfriend and another wonderful couple Santa and Ian. Tramontana Brindisa is named after a northern wind, Tramontana is the name of a wind that affects parts of Spain’s coastline.  Brindisa Tapas Kitchens serve freshly prepared Tapas along with cured meat, cheese and fish plates from Spain’s best producers. Monika Linton started the Brindisa mini empire by doing wholesaling and retailing in 1988, and 16 years later (in 2004) she opened the first restaurant with the help of the famous chef and restaurateur Mark Hix in Borough Market, a restaurant where I have been and which I have passed many times and always found it full and buzzing.

Maija rated: 

3.50

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