All dishes totally different. Ingredients from the world over. Photogenic dishes because they seem unique, and they are. Tiny portion after tiny portion. An imaginative dish followed by a creative one. These are different ways that today’s avant-garde cuisine allows us to travel via our senses. This kind of “creative” cuisine requires a certain concentration, but it also facilitates the ordering process, since one never actually commits to any of the choices. It is a style which results in fun menus that spark discussion, and they are enjoyable for both those that prepare them and those that eat them.
Mano Rota is the creation of two well-trained Hofmann chefs with that starry-eyed excitement and creativity stemming from the triple whammy of youth + daring + training. It is a formula that works well and has numerous fans that fill the restaurant, something that does not surprise us Miguelínes because there are several dishes at Mano Rota that make a jaunt there well worth it.
It is a modern-rustic venue in the gastronomically fertile Poble Sec, a place with personality, where there is even a table just for groups in a curious space behind the bar, tucked in next to the kitchen. The atmosphere is youthful, not intimate, very gastronomic, with young, engaged servers who love to provide detailed explanations of each of the kitchen’s creations. It boasts an extensive, well-thought-out wine list to accompany the dishes.
Since we eat 15 dishes, we’ll only highlight the most important ones. The first is a curious “Codfish in tempura”, in which the breaded part is nice, juicy cheeks, accompanied by a light aioli. The “Cuttlefish udon” is equally unique and flavourful.
Codfish in tempura
Refined flavours presented with delicacy, as you can see in the photos. But if we have to highlight one thing above all the others, it was the dishes that concluded the set menu. The first one that comes, “Iberian pork with roasted pine nuts”, is a new dish that we bet will last a long time on the menu they’re about to launch. They nail this dish, which marks the high point of the dinner. But after that comes “Lamb in red curry”, which is almost as good, an exotic, wonderful closure to the savoury portion of the meal.
Iberian pork with roasted pine nuts
Lamb with red curry
The desserts are on par with the savoury dishes: delicate, elaborate and creative. The “Cheesecake” isn’t what you might think, although it does have the same flavour… or better. The “Toffee nougat”… ah! The toffee nougat: look at the picture and tell us you wouldn’t eat it! The first one is better, but if you’re addicted to sweets, the second will satisfy you.
The increasing popularity of this cuisine featuring small portions, precise compositions and global ingredients stems from the price: now at places like Mano Rota it is affordable for any gourmand who allows themselves the pleasure. The time when the Michelin-starred venues started purveying these menus at astronomical prices is now in the distant past. So there you have it: if you aren’t familiar with this restaurant, there’s no excuse! You’ve got to get there!
Per person: 2 appetisers to share, 1 main course, desserts to share, 1 glass of wine
*Gourmet sampling menu: €60, 3 snacks, 6 dishes and 2 desserts (beverages not included)
Where is Mano Rota?
Address: Carrer de la Creu dels Molers, 4, 08004 Barcelona
Telephone: 931 64 80 41
Timetable: Monday to Friday 1 to 4 pm and 8:30 pm to 12 midnight. Saturday, 7:30 pm to 12 midnight. Closed Sunday.