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Japanese cuisine paired with grenache

Can Kenji pairs Japanese food with a granacha from Empordà

Written by
Time Out Barcelona Editors
Tocat de l'Ala is a wine created with the collaboration of two wineries, Coca i Fito from D.O. Montsant and Roig Parals of Empordà. Montsant's contribution was via one of their winemakers, and Roig Parals provided the land and the harvesting (by hand). The resulting bottles of wine bear an eye-catching label featuring an umbrella-toting acrobat balancing on a unicycle.

Made from garnacha (aka 'grenache') and cinsaut, Tocat de l'Ala is a delicate and fruity red wine that pairs up nicely with the dishes from the kitchen of Can Kenji. Three years ago proprieters Kenji and Neus opened up this place that seems to want us to know that Japanese food isn't just salmon and tuna maki.

Kenji, who ran a fish market when he lived in Tokyo, wants to reinterpret Japanese cuisine, incorporating Mediterranean and seasonal products. Despite their skill with fish, at Can Kenji they're also fans of meat, and one of their signature dishes is the Asian steak tartare. Also on the menu are shitake 'meatballs' with breaded prawns, skewered chicken curry with yoghurt and mint sauce, and sautéed Iberian pork with kimuchi. The Tocat de l'Ala garnacha and cinsaut bring out the taste of the meatiest meats on the menu.

Carnivores are in luck with other delicacies such as carmelised suckling lamb with balsamic vinegar and honey, and an amazing beef tongue with grilled asparagus. Anyone who has been to Japan knows that this is much more common in restaurants than a plate of sushi. The restaurant's wine list demonstrates the esteem they hold for Catalan wine. They leave conventions aside and offer some of the most surprising wines at reasonable prices.

Useful info

Can Kenji
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Dreta de l'Eixample
  • price 2 of 4

This Japanese bar-restaurant where they combine simplicity and quality, with dishes that verge on perfection, like their beefburger. Don't worry, they also have sushi, udon noodles, maki, tataki and more, as well as some inspired new versions of Mediterranean dishes, such as sardine tempura with eggplant purée.

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